Last weekend, Mrs. Thrill and I had a nice long lunch with a couple of friends.  My friend (who we’ll call “James T.”) and I used to work together until I got promoted to a different section. We started off the conversation by catching-up on some of the recent changes at our organization following a recent merger and exchanged some gossip.  Inevitably, the conversation found its way into politics from there.

James is one of the very few people I know who both supported Trump’s candidacy from the very beginning and wasn’t a Birther.  I don’t know.  Those two just seem to be related.  He’s not very political, not by my standards anyway.  He’s the kind of guy who will see something on cable news and mention it in passing in a sort of “Can you believe what x did over y?  That’s really ____” but he doesn’t dwell on it.

He’s about as invested in politics as most Americans are, I think.  Aware of the headlines of the day either from television or social media, forms a quick opinion on it, and then gets on with more important things.  He’s decidedly center-right, but in no way would you describe him as a partisan to any degree.

The way I might describe him is that he’s a great family man with a huge circle of loyal friends who is highly respected in his field of employment.  Additionally, he has many worthwhile hobbies and interests that bring him joy and happiness.  So you might say that he doesn’t stress too much over political nonsense or invest much of his own happiness into it, you know?

Well, James did have one complaint.  He was just flabbergasted about how “nuts” everyone has become ever since the election and how he had been avoiding talking about anything related to Trump with people he wasn’t very close to.  Until, that is, the day after Trump’s Joint Session Speech.

“I went in to the cafeteria and ran into this one manager from upstairs who I chat with every now and then,” explained James.  “Nice guy.  Most of the time, we just make small talk.  While we were standing there in the line, he asked me what I thought of Trump’s speech.  Before I could stop myself, I said ‘Oh, I liked it!'”

As James described it, the guy got this pained look on his face.  It clearly wasn’t what he wanted to hear.  What followed was about five awkward minutes of them both standing there silently, waiting for their food.  Something tells me that the friendly small talk James and this guy have been exchanging for many months probably isn’t going to continue in the future.  Unfortunately, we call this “normal” in America now.

James didn’t feel good about it and he really couldn’t understand how it got to this point.

“Let me ask you a question,” said James.  “Were we this bad after Obama won?”

Oh, I can just imagine the various reactions of those of you reading this right now.  Must be progressives screaming “YES!  YES, YOU WERE AND YOU KNOW IT!” at their MacBook screens in coffee shops all over the world as young men with complicated mustaches and Harry Potter glasses turn their heads in confusion.

Anyhow, I really did want to say “No, of course not,” from the hip.  Instead, I took a deep breath and looked up at the ceiling for a few seconds before answering: “They think so.”

James made a face that amounted to “Really?”

“This is something I’ve been thinking about too,” I continued. ” I spoke to a lot of Obama supporters after he was elected.  You know, they were so happy and optimistic, while I thought it was the beginning of the end of the world.  I kind of shit on them, I guess.  Then for the next few years, they were constantly bombarded with ‘Benghazi’ and all this other noise like we are with ‘Russia’ now.  Looking back on it, I do think I was pretty annoying and I feel a bit bad about it.”

“Yeah, maybe you’re right.”

“But I do think there’s a certain difference in the, I don’t know, intensity?  Liberal people seem to take politics more personally than we do.  Have you heard about anything about that poll showing how happiness among liberals is down?  I mean, like, they seem to be feeling worse about life in general because of who won the election?  I can’t say that was true in my case when Obama won.”

James didn’t say anything, but he had a thoughtful look as the fried pickles arrived at our table and we moved on to other topics.

Now, I’m willing to admit that those of us who were (and still are) anti-Obama definitely did do and say things that may have killed your buzz after the 2008 election.  Looking at it from your point of view, I see that you were ecstatic to know the Iraq War was finally going to be over after all the polarization that had surrounded it, America was poised to recover its reputation overseas, a new milestone had been reached in race relations with the election of a black president, there was finally an opportunity for real health care reform, and so much more.

Our collective response, more or less?  “He’s a socialist Kenyan and a total empty suit.  Unfit and ineligible for the presidency and we hope he fails.”  Then we stuck to it for the next eight years, attributing every possible evil to the man that we could and seeing a scandal in every event.  From our point of view, it’s perfectly okay because we were right and we can claim his presidency was a failure with Trump’s election and the coming repeal of Obamacare (maybe).  We have also reversed the outcome of the 2008 election and now the GOP is the dominant party.  It’s great.  It’s really, really great.  Or is it?

Yes, we got our way and we won last year, but what happened to us and how we behave toward each other?  The truth is that all of the divisiveness, the hatred, and the vitriol that characterized the Obama era is still here and now most of us on the Right feel that it’s even worse.  Some, very few, of us are getting the horrifying sense that we shortsightedly fed the divisiveness monster for 8 years and now the monster is coming for us.

We may feel like the country is on the right track now, but our relationships with friends and family and co-workers have been strained in many instances.  Which matters more to you?

I’ve admitted that I was part of the problem during the Obama Administration and that I can certainly see that I was annoying, but was I as annoying as you on the anti-Trump side are now?  This is where it gets contentious.  What I will tell you is that it never occurred to me to avoid discussing politics completely with family members or to get rid of friends who voted for Obama.  There was still some possibility for a rational discussion, and even during the Bush years before that.

Nowadays though, I am afraid to talk about politics in person with people who I know or even think might oppose Trump and I don’t even characterize myself as a “Trump supporter”.  Whenever his very name comes up, the anger is just scorching.

You know what’s different?  I get the sense from a lot of anti-Trumpers that if you voted for Trump, you must somehow be a bad person.  You’re a closet misogynist, you’re a homophobe, or you just secretly dislike people who are different from you.   It’s more personal than political.  I honestly don’t know if progressives mean to communicate that, but I have to tell you guys that every conservative on your social media news feeds who reads things you post and share that send that message wonder if you’re talking about them specifically.  It hurts.

I never thought those of you who voted for Obama were bad people, in any way.  I thought you were naive, yes, but the earnest idealism that my progressive friends have and their desire to make the world a better place is what I find most endearing and do respect.  I mean, I think the results of your policies would be awful, but I like your level of engagement, compassion, and thoughtfulness as personal qualities, okay?

It’s with much regret I say that I do think that I have lost friends over this election and not because of any desire of mine.  There were the blunt postings on Facebook from people I’ve known for years that said, “If you voted for Trump, unfriend me now because you obviously care nothing about me since I’m a woman/gay/black/Latino/etc.”  You know, as if that person had not already been a woman/gay/black/Latino/etc for the many years we had been friends.  I hadn’t cared that they voted for a president who wasn’t, shall we say, widely perceived as having an agenda that was especially favorable to heterosexual white Christian males of the middle class.  Hell, we thought he hated us and we said so often when we were being our most annoying.

There are old friends I have not heard from in months and I’m starting to wonder if I ever will again.  Worse, I wonder if I want to.  I can still talk politics casually with my conservative friends, but I don’t know if I can have any conversation whatsoever with my liberal friends without turning the whole luncheon into an awkward game of Minesweeper where instead of mines, you try to avoid any mention of political hot buttons.  It’s a concern if I don’t want them to stop being my friends.  I hate that.

For all of that, I am going to start the discussion off by saying that yes, we conservatives were very annoying and unfair when Obama was president, but that you who on the other side are making it even worse over Trump.  This isn’t to condemn or insult you.  I just want you to look at what’s going on.  I think you guys do make politics more personal, you internalize it hard, and it is affecting the way you feel about life to a degree that is not only hurting your relationships with other people, but it’s hurting you.  It’s not good for anyone to be pissed off that much or for this long.  Why would you give Donald Trump that kind of power over you?

What do you think about this?  Are liberals just giving us back what we gave them for eight years or is this something new and much worse?

Before we start, I should explain that this is a Discourses post.  Whenever you see “Discourses” above the title, it means that the rules are a bit different than they are for other posts here at RVS.  The purpose of a Discourses post and discussion is never to “score points on the other side”, to prove right or wrong, or to have a flame war.  It’s an opportunity to have what, I think, almost all of us feels isn’t possible anymore.  That is, a meaningful and productive conversation with people who disagree with us so we can broaden our own understanding of a topic.

To get an idea of what I mean, if you want to discuss what Susan Rice said on the Sunday morning talk shows after Benghazi, this is the wrong thread for doing that.  This is the thread for talking about how your uncle wouldn’t shut up about Benghazi during the last Independence Day barbecue and was so obnoxious that you haven’t attended one with the family ever since.  You use that to explain how this political climate affects you.

I will work to keep us on track and I will provide moderation if the conversation starts to get nasty, but I don’t think it’ll come to that.  If you’re willing to participate in this discussion, I’d like to believe it’s because you want to start fixing some of those relationships.

Here are some good discussion points to get started.  You don’t have to answer any of these questions to participate, but feel free to use them if they can give you a jumping-off point.

  1.  How has the election outcome affected you personally?
  2. Are both sides equally guilty or is one definitely worse?  Why do you think the way you do?
  3. If you can agree that your side is behaving as asinine or worse than the other side did at another time, do you feel like you are justified in being that way too since trying to be fair and reasonable won’t matter anyway?  For example, if you think conservatives are hypocrites for being willing to believe any conspiracy theories about Obama but have suddenly become the most sober of skeptics with regard to any questionable dealings of Trump’s or his associates, does it tell you that it’s perfectly fair for you to argue in the same way even though you were more a more skeptical personal when Obama was president?  Fair is fair, right?  Or is it?
  4. For those of you from outside the US, has there been anything in recent memory in your country’s politics that you can compare with what Americans are going through now to help us out?  If you’re from the UK, have there been any similar issues with Brexit, for example?
  5. How many people have you unfriended or unfollowed on social media because of the current political climate?  How about in real life?

The things people on the other side tell you here are, more likely than not, the same things your friends and family and acquaintances are feeling too and wish they could tell you.  You might be able to take something you learn here and mend some fences.

UPDATE: A reader shared this article, just published today, that hits all the same notes we’re discussing.  Whatever you’re feeling these days, you’re far from alone.

o

 

 

56 comments

  1. For me personally, my wife is American and she still votes. She supported Sanders, and wasn’t really a big Hilary fan, but she ended up voting for Clinton. She was upset that I wasn’t showing any outward signs of disappointment that Trump won the election. I had to remind her that I didn’t vote for him!! It was a quiet few days at home, and a few heated emails were exchanged, but we’re back to normal. We can discuss his antics at home now, but I can calmly present the counter arguments to her without fearing her scorn now.

    As I’m getting older, I’ve certainly become less political than I used to be. But even at my peak interest, I don’t ever remember a time where I would unfriend someone because of their beliefs. No doubt I’ve had many a heated political discussion with friends, but at the end of the day we never forgot why we were friends, we’d find some common ground and move on.

    The closest situation I can remember was in the early nineties when in Ontario elected a socialist government. It was a stunner, as they handily defeated the incumbent Liberals, and a lot of neophyte politicians were elected. It was around my first years of university, so I remember having a lot of debates about it, but I don’t recall any hatred being spewed from either side.

    How much does the Internet come into play? It’s seems easier to make friends now, so maybe we have too many ‘friends’. Traditionally there’s more of a physical element to friendships – seeing someone, speaking to them, sharing a laugh etc. There’s an emotional attachment, you’re more emotionally invested. With more electronic relationships maybe a friend becomes more easily expendable, so it’s easy to unfriend them. It’s also easy to hide behind the Internet and type things you wouldn’t dream of saying to someone’s face. Maybe we’re evolving too fast in this area.

  2. This is going to get a few different points off of my chest, I think….

    Subjectively speaking, I feel that we’re much worse than you guys were under Obama. I’ll get into that more in a moment but I want to first make the point that this phenomenon seems to have ramped up in my lifetime and, specifically, in the Internet era. You didn’t start it with Obama, I can assure you. As one of the witch burners under the Bush presidency, I can verify that we were pretty vocal, pretty vitriolic, hugely hyperbolic. Perhaps you guys were the same under Clinton but I was still too disconnected with politics to understand and assess it. I recall “wag the dog” narratives and Whitewater scandals and mysterious deaths but I don’t recall whether or not you guys were constantly enraged like people have been under Bush, Obama, and Trump. So, at the very least, you’re off the hook with Obama.

    Now, one big point that I’ve been waiting to make — one that every conservative needs to read and acknowledge, even if they don’t agree or understand — is that Trump is different. Trump is a *completely* different beast altogether. We made silly attacks at Romney which makes it seem like we’re crying wolf. But Trump *is* different. Drawing an equivalency between an inexperienced community planner and a mediocre businessman is the wrong tact to take if you’re trying to understand why we are so opposed to this man. We’ll complain about his inexperience, of course. We’ll complain about his underwhelming track record as a businessman. But that’s just piling onto somebody that we already do not like. We look at Trump, an amoral, vicious bully and we ask you to find a peer on those grounds. Because, as simplistic as it may sound, that’s our beef. That’s our hangup. And we can’t get over it. The image we have is of a man who has little respect for decorum, for tradition, for honesty (he’s redefining the term, even by politician standards), or, seemingly, anybody outside of his circle. He attacked his peers in the GOP throughout the campaign (and before). He’s a despicable, narcissistic man who shouldn’t be allowed a platform to self-adulate. This is before you even consider this policy.

    Maybe I’ve explained it well. Maybe I haven’t. But any considerations that you make regarding liberals and Trump should be viewed through that lens first and foremost. We are ashamed that our political system has gotten so bungled that we are represented by a crude reality television star. We draw comparisons to Idiocracy and, honestly, we don’t feel that we’re exaggerating. We look at Trump and say, welp, we’ve finally done it. We’ve finally broke the whole fucking thing. Sorry, kids.

    (heston)We finally really did it. YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! AH, DAMN YOU! GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!!!(/heston)

    I remember telling you back in November, as I did to several of my conservative friends, that things were going to get very difficult for you — winter was coming. I saw all of the same “defriend me now!” posts and it just added to that belief. I’ve watched it play out very much as I had expected and it’s been difficult. I have sympathy for my conservative friends who voted for Trump. Even at our most reasonable, we have such a difficult time comprehending how more than half of the voting public could look past those obvious disqualifiers.

    Hillary.

    Hillary had flaws. Even within the liberal hive, we are still at odds over whether she was a great woman, hindered merely by her gender, or whether all of the smoke that trailed her indicated at least a few legitimate fires. Regardless of this internal debate, it’s inescapable that she was a poor candidate if only for the perception. There were 18 year old voters this year that did not know a world where Hillary wasn’t a “shrill rudderless politician, attached to scandal after scandal and changing positions based on the prevailing winds”. They grew up with it. Changing that perception, even if untrue, was impossible. The DNC did itself no favors in ignoring that fact as they railroaded Bernie.

    But what was Hillary? She was DC. She played the game, just as it had always been played. She wasn’t inherently worse of a politician than many of the politicians that came before her. She was the beltway. She was the status quo that we all rail against when we demand change. We knew that. We weren’t blind to that. But, like you, we’ve been waiting for the Chosen One to come woo us with intelligence, charisma, and legitimate ideas. Until that person comes along, we were fine to accept that status quo in the meantime, patiently waiting.

    Then Trump appeared. He was that outsider that we’ve all wanted. He shook up the system, just like we always wanted. His methods were unique and unpredictable and effective. But white knight? Chosen one? This is the guy you wanted to be the vessel for change? He didn’t look at all like we’d thought he would. White knights don’t grab people by the pussy. They don’t insult war heroes. They don’t throw Twitter tantrums.

    So, yeah, from the “change” aspect, I get it. From the “blow the whole damn thing up” aspect, I can appreciate it. I understand what Trump represented against the perception of “more of the same”. But him? That petty, selfish, coarse man-child? Us liberals can’t get past that.

  3. Yeah, I kind of have a split household too. My wife equally hated Clinton and Trump. She voted for Jill Stein, of all people. Weird thing with us is that even though we don’t agree on much politically, we don’t strongly disagree much either. I can’t quite explain it. We tend to find common ground on most issues and just don’t bother with the most troubling ones.

    At first, my kids hated Trump and then they found out I was voting for him. Then they went pro-Trump (they’re in elementary school, give them a break). I was actually horrified by this and had to tell them not to tell anyone at school that they liked Trump because we live in a somewhat diverse neighborhood and I just did not want any bullshit.

    For the most part though, I am glad we keep the acrimony out of the family life at least.

  4. I agree with your post almost completely. One difference – I never wanted Obama to fail. I expected him to fail, sure, and for his policies and SCOTUS nominations to bite me in the butt (and they have), but I never wanted to see him become an abject failure as the President – him proving my opinion of him wrong would have been something to celebrate. I care too much about myself and this country for wanting his failure. That, I think, is a major difference between then and now. I think there is a large portion of those on the left (certainly many in the media) who actually want Trump to implode, regardless of the damage it does to the country. There is a part of them that wants him to jail people that criticize him, just so that they can be proven right.

    I think Trump Derangement Syndrome is worse now than Obama Derangement Syndrome ever was. And that goes for both sides. I have (had) a friend who ranted on Facebook ad nauseam against Obama, and found nothing wrong with Trump during the entire election, and since. As one example, he is convinced that Trump was the first person to be sworn in as POTUS behind bullet proof glass. Despite me showing him multiple pictures of other Presidents going back to Johnson being sworn in behind bullet proof glass. He actually deleted my picture comments, and continued to insist he was right. And there were many that were agreeing with him. TDS affects those on both sides equally. I do think the left is suffering much more vocally from it than most conservatives suffered from ODS. Maybe that’s just the larger proportion of those in the media also suffering from it.

    I for one am getting quite sick of politics. It seems like the older I get, the longer the election cycle gets. Some have already started discussions around the 2020 election. Can’t we have a break from it all for at least a year? I think the only way I’m going to get that is if I delete my Facebook account, and stop reading blogs or news sites.

  5. Ah, damn. Almost made it all the way through without a typo —

    “This is before you even consider this policy” should be “This is before you even consider his policy”

  6. Yeah, I don’t mean to say that *we* wanted Obama to fail, so much as that’s the perception we may have given off. Rush Limbaugh did bluntly say it, but I never wanted the country to be worse off just to prove a point.

    I’m sick of politics too, at least, I’m sick of discussing everything as “Republicans are right, Democrats are wrong!” There’s too much of that out there. I absolutely do recommend that people delete Facebook. It’s not good for us and there have been studies that show it is bad for us psychologically even when politics isn’t a big factor.

    For blogs, I hope you stick with us. Our intention here is to focus on the positives, find common ground, and at least try not to make things any worse. People NEED to be engaged in politics, especially good, honest, and honorable people. It’s because the atmosphere is so poisonous that those decent people who most need to be engaged are fleeing the field. I want this to be a place where constructive dialogue can happen again. There aren’t many places out there filling that niche, I’m sorry to say.

  7. This touches on a point that I considered adding to my diatribe. Instead, I’ll add it here.

    Whether or not liberals are actively rooting for Trump to fail — I think it’s fair to say that they are — there is another weird undercurrent at play. A delusion of sorts — one backed up by media report after media report from “leakers” or “people in the know”. All of them playing on the belief that Trump will somehow step down, lose interest, get impeached or otherwise fail to serve 4 years and that we’re this close to it happening. I’ve read posts from people wondering if Trump will not finish his term due to “a” or whether it will be due to “b”. The delusion that he’s going to flame out quickly (or, at all) is surprisingly strong among my liberal friends. Frighteningly so. I’ve already tried to explain that the conditions that put Trump in office aren’t likely to change much in 4 years and that we should be preparing ourselves for 8 years. But I think that’s more reality than they can take right now. I’ve never seen anything like it.

    More evidence that Trump is different — the majority of the opposition party is willing to cling to any hope that the entire nightmare may be over soon.

  8. First off, I will join with you in urging all conservatives to heed what kevin has said here. I can’t emphasize enough that this is the more truthful, open, and fair statement on everything that is happening you will ever read from “the other side” and I’m amazed that it’s right here on our little blog. Please reflect on it and keep it.

    I think kevin has expressed what millions of disappointed progressives are feeling, but they can’t express it as anything but “Fuck Trump!”. It’s like overload. There’s too much to say. Kevin found the words and gave them to you. It’s a gift!

    You’ve given a lot here, kevin, and I need to give back. What I will tell you is that many of us who voted for Trump do agree with every one of his flaws that you highlighted. He’s not like us. He’s not of us. You want to know why we overlook the flaws?

    He fights. Really, really well too.

    A big complaint conservatives have had over the years is that Republicans lay down and roll over when they get blasted by Democrats, the media, or Hollywood. We don’t like those institutions and get frustrated when our “champions” don’t stand up to them.

    Trump, arguably, is a product of all three of those institutions that conservatives dislike (Democrat, media personality, Hollywood star) and he knows exactly how to beat them on their own terms. We’ve never had that before. It was painful to watch you guys rip Romney apart in 2012. I personally thought he was a good man, if phony and out of touch, but it was clear that he wasn’t a fighter. He didn’t inspire conservatives to turn out for him because we didn’t believe he was up to it.

    With Trump, it’s different. I mean, we already know that any Republican is going to get smeared. If a Boy Scout like Romney who instituted Obamacare as governor of liberal Massachusetts before it was cool can be portrayed as a Nazi, what chance does ANY Republican have at a fair shot? But then Trump made it clear that he wasn’t going to stand by and absorb attacks. He invited them, responded to them, and got rewarded for it.

    What you see as “bullying” (fairly), conservatives call “self defense”. I know it sounds insane, but it’s sort of like that Karate Kid fan theory that Johnny was actually Daniel’s victim instead of the other way around.

    We’ve encouraged that and it’s absolutely terrifying you guys. It’s dangerous too. Reading your comment has made me realize that I have cheered that sort of thing on myself and I need to stop if I want to really believe that I’m trying to improve the discourse.

    You did do something important with that long comment (even with your typo) in terms of affecting my own thinking and behavior. We’ve overlooked an astonishing level of problems with Trump because “not Hillary”, but we cannot make excuses for him agitating against you any longer or things can only get worse and it will be our fault.

  9. The one thing I’m NOT questioning about progressives at this moment is that I genuinely think they’re motivated by what they believe to be best for the country and not just “Trump bad! Stop at all costs!”.

    All of the substantive arguments are fair: He’s divisive, he’s unqualified, he’s dishonest, he’s wrong–and when I say “wrong” I mean that he favors policies that various studies and expert opinions provide enormous amounts of data clearly demonstrate why he’s wrong.

    But he plays on our worst instincts so well….

  10. What’s your temperature of the overall conservative opinion of his first 2 months? I’ve been thinking that he’s pushed through a lot of stuff that seems to justify the votes that he received. Ignoring national polls, do you think that most conservatives are pleased with how things have progressed so far?

  11. UPDATE: Added a link shared by kevin to the main post. Recommended additional reading on this topic.

  12. Conservatives are happy with Trump and are standing by him. They approve of his efforts to deliver on his campaign promises and they’re actively defending him from attacks on Russia and other things. I’d characterize morale as “high” and I don’t see it ebbing anytime soon.

    Unfortunately, the more he gets attacked from the Left and strikes back, the more conservatives will rally to him. Even when you guys provide valid counterpoints, I fear we’ve lost the ability to hear you.

    The stage is set for our hubris to introduce trouble in the second act.

  13. Thanks for the feedback. It’s what I was expecting but I’d rather know than assume. It helps set expectations and prepare me for conversations with those who are convinced that the GOP is conspiring for his ouster.

  14. Ha, ha! I’ll go on with that. Conservatives absolutely believe that the GOP Congress is unreliable and wants to thwart Trump, possibly for the same reasons Democrats do.

    However, the GOPe is scared to death to be seen as opposing Trump because they know he’ll come after them hard if they do. Think about it; if he’ll blast John McCain on his strongest attribute–being a war hero–you can imagine how “no-limit” he would go on anyone lesser. I mean, McCain was our presidential nominee in 2008. He gets no mercy from Trump and conservatives laugh about it.

    The conservative base will support Trump in any feud between him and the GOP Congress and/or party leadership. Partly because they’re seen as “The Swamp” and partly because–again–Trump is perceived as being the fighter who’s waging the good war and they’re complete wimps.

    Liberals must understand that they are not going to get salvation from us. The GOP won’t and can’t touch him and if Democrats are expecting us to do so to spare them four years of agony, they are shit…out…of…luck. We already tried to stop Trump a year ago, you know I did what I could, but as long as he’s giving us what we want, (Gorsuch, immigration control, etc) we’re going to tolerate the plethora of dumb shit, El Guapo.

  15. Many Conservatives (not Republicans) think McCain is anything but conservative (me included). He should never have been the nominee in 08.

    I will support Trump, only so far as he puts forth conservative principles. This shit sandwich the GOP just handed us in Obamacare Lite is certainly not going to help if he tries to convince everyone it’s the greatest thing EVAR!

  16. Yeah, I’m with you. If it’s Trump vs Congress, I’m siding with Trump. I know how they are and at least when HE lies, it’s to further his goals. They lie and don’t do shit.

    That fight IS coming. Liberals will at least get to enjoy watching from the sidelines.

  17. Liberals were personally invested in Obama, and expected his legacy to continue under Hillary (establishment liberals, anyway.) Then the old orange guy won, and now it seems you have to walk on eggshells even if you were a moderate Republican who only supported Trump because he was the nominee.

    Politics has always been personal to people, which is why most people avoid it with strangers. Is it any different with Trump or is it just more out in the open because people vent and kvetch on social media?

  18. Oh, man, so much here.
    I think the internet makes everything worse. The fake news spreads faster (and there is some on both sides, but there is more on the right. The Macedonians who run those sites found that they weren’t making any money off the left-leaning fake news.) The anonymity of the medium makes people say stuff they would never say in person. We get to interact with people we never run into irl, as well as surround ourselves with people just like us, so that every feeling is justified because there are other people who feel the same way.
    To Kevin’s point about how far back this animosity goes – I was living in DC during the Clinton years. The animosity is not new. All the Clinton body count stuff goes back at least that far. This was always my favorite – http://www.cuttingedge.org/News/n1224.cfm, but there is so much more. Again the internet took what was a niche industry and blew it up. I would argue that a huge part of it is misogyny – the real trouble started when Hillary dared to wade into politics instead of just picking out china patterns (remember, she had a healthcare plan before Romney.) But Bill himself was poor and Southern and brash. And boy, did they come after him, too. I am sure that people older than us remember people hating Presidents before that, as well. But again, the internet made all of this old Clinton stuff new and fresh again 20 years later.
    The part of the article that really jumped out at me is the bit about he young people feeling hopeless. They really were used to Obama being in charge for the last 8 years and have no memory of what it feels like not to have that. Suddenly, what seemed to be a coffee-house debate about Bernie v. Hillary turned into the harsh reality of Trump. This is very similar to the feeling in the UK after Brexit. The young didn’t vote, the old people did and the young are left holding the bag. It’s an expensive lesson. I know very few pro-Brexit people, most of my friends were vocal Remainers. One of the reasons they are not quite in the same position were are now, is because Brexit has not yet happened, so no one yet knows the full effect it will have. Plus, they all say that they feel better about themselves now that we’ve quickly taken away their title of ‘worst self-induced injury by a country.’
    This is a gross generalization, but there is a socioeconomic and educational gap between the two groups of voters, it’s not just age. One of the ways in which it manifests itself is the response you get when meeting a member of the opposing side. I remember tons of people frothing at the mouth when Obama won, worried that he would take away their guns and institute Sharia law. I don’t remember anyone on the left suggesting that those sentiments were unamerican and that the speaker should get the f*ck out of the country. If anything, the stereotype is the liberal pedantically droning on about why the guy in the pickup truck is technically incorrect and it would take a Constitutional amendment and we don’t have the votes. This time, when the roles are reversed and the liberals are worried about free speech or a tax on beards, no one is patiently explaining to us why Trump will not be technically able to ban all newspapers from the White house. It goes straight to ‘if you hate it here so much, why don’t you move to Canada, like you promised!’
    You guys also seem to have completely forgotten the Tea Party. If that’s not a direct parallel to all the protests now, I don’t know what is, down to the silly hats. But that further goes to my point that the right seems to have a claim on ‘real America.’ And that’s what’s driving a lot of the anger on the left (as the article mentioned.) Somehow, real America is defined geographically, so you can’t be a real American if you are live on a coast. But further, no matter where you live, you are not a real American if you are not white, straight and Christian.
    You say that we liberals consider everyone who voted for Trump to be a bad person. I can’t speak for all liberals. I know Kevin doesn’t think that way, for example. I would have to say that I do assume that some Trump voters don’t like brown people. Some don’t like strong women. However, for the most part, I assume, like you do of the Obama voters, that the Trump voters are dumb, rather than evil. You have to recognize that your description of an Obama voter is, in short, ‘you are naive and results of your policies would be awful, but your level of engagement is endearing.’ So you are saying that your opponent is too dumb to know what the results of the policies will be, but you aren’t. Is it because you are smarter? Better educated? Doesn’t that sound exactly like what the liberals say to the Trump voters? Trust us, we have the science?
    Btw, I have yet to hear a single Trump voter explain to me how Obama hurt them or how Hillary was going to hurt them. I’ve heard some reasons as to how they personally might be marginally better off under Trump (look, ma, slightly cheaper lead bullets!) but, to me, those sound very much like your earlier post about being happy with the early spring because it saves you money warming up your car. When a progressive reads that, what’s left unspoken is ‘… and f*ck those people on the Maldives.’
    That’s what your fiends mean when they say ‘unfriend me.’ They know that you knew they were gay/Latin/whatever. They are now confronted with the reality that, even knowing that, you chose to vote for a guy that would actively hurt them. Yes, you thought Obama hated you and said so often. But how has he hurt you? The fact that you equate the plight of white straight Christian males with that of minorities is exactly the problem. The rest of the country would love to experience that plight.
    So yeah, it *is* personal, it’s not just the impression you are getting. It’s very hard not to see a vote for Trump as not personal, because it’s a vote for policies that would personally hurt people. Not just ‘you elected a leader who hates me.’ We feel you elected a leader who wants to harm people like us. And, to Kevin’s point, this guy is different. He is not a Constitutional scholar and will not be constrained by precedent or appearances. Maybe if Trump voters explained why they wanted Trump, instead of being silent, there could have been a dialogue before and right after the election. Instead, most of you stayed silent (looking for all the world like you are ashamed of your leader) and let the loud ugly minority become your spokespeople.
    So, in the aftermath of the election, when liberals expressed their feelings of sadness, there was no rational debate. There was gloating, calling people butthurt snowflakes and telling them to leave the country. I have personally been told to leave the country by people I am related to. I have also been accused of being a greedy AIPAC bankster (not sure why that would have made me angry about Trump, he is great for banks and AIPAC.) Several people have unfriended me and some others just pop up once in a while to say ‘still butthurt, I see.’
    I don’t mean to say that the right has a monopoly on this. There are plenty of people on the extreme left who are just as unreasonable. There was a lot of ugliness between the Bernie people and the Hillary people. But, from my perspective on the center-left, the Bernie bros were nothing compared to the Trump people. I’ve been yelled at by both, but only one side told me I don’t belong in this country because I don’t agree with their opinion.

  19. That’s an excellent question. 10 years ago, most of the stuff like this that got shared was on blogs like yours or Right-Thinking. You had a relatively small number of people who would find some content that they liked, share with some commentary for their readers, and discuss it a bit. Thing was that you had to build a following, but most people could do it on a blogspot site, if nothing else.

    Then along comes social media and suddenly, it’s incredibly easy to do the same thing as bloggers do. The shitty part is that your friends and family who just want to see your kids’ soccer photos are now a captive audience to your “blog posts” instead of the interested audience you had to build up with a blog.

    They don’t really WANT to see that stuff, but it’s right there in their face when they want other content. I can definitely see how social media itself is a force multiplier on a bad situation.

  20. For your first paragraph, what do you think of the comments between westvirginiarebel and I right above yours on social media’s impact as sort of making one’s social media family and friends virtual unwilling participants to what used to be blogging? I’m wondering if it’s this that’s making things seem so much worse and more present.

    I mean, I don’t go to Daily Kos every day (though I do subscribe to it in Feedly). But when I go looking for it, I know what I’m looking for, I read what I want, for my own reasons. You put it on my social media feed though when I’m looking to see what my dad is up to or check out my best friend’s vacation photos, and instead I get a faceful of Kos, it might bother me. If I get five or six or 25 people doing it, it can feel like I’m being overwhelmed.

    I do agree with you that the cycle of partisanship started at Clinton, not Obama or Bush. The various scandal allegations followed by the GOP takeover of Congress then with the impeachment drove a deep wedge of mistrust between the parties. At first, they were able to pass some bipartisan legislation, but after Monica? Wasn’t happening. To go from constant investigations of a president impeachment to contested election to an unpopular war and it’s no suprise that we’re at each other’s throats.

    Re: Tea Party. No, I didn’t address the protests in the post nor do I think they’re especially unusual now. Before the Tea Party, we had the anti-war protests and they were quite effective in flipping Congress in 2006 as the Tea Party did the other way in 2010, 2012, and 2014. I was more interested in the small, personal interactions than the big movements.

    Have to quote this one:

    I assume, like you do of the Obama voters, that the Trump voters are dumb, rather than evil. You have to recognize that your description of an Obama voter is, in short, ‘you are naive and results of your policies would be awful, but your level of engagement is endearing.’ So you are saying that your opponent is too dumb to know what the results of the policies will be, but you aren’t. Is it because you are smarter? Better educated? Doesn’t that sound exactly like what the liberals say to the Trump voters? Trust us, we have the science?

    I don’t think “naive” = “dumb”. I thought it was unrealistic to believe that Barack Obama was some sort of savior based on his lack of accomplishments. That’s what I saw going on. And yes, I do disagree with certain policies from the opposition party and think their outcomes would be bad if implemented. It doesn’t mean I think the person who believes them is “dumb” because I don’t think I make politics personal.

    For instance, one progressive friend of mine (if he still is; doesn’t comment here) wants single-payer health care and does not care what it costs no matter how much it costs taxpayers. I disagree. I don’t think we can afford it, I think it would be completely overrun with waste, and would result in rationing of care. However, my friend is willing to accept that because he feels that health care is a human right and that if we will just establish it, we can fix the problems later. See, in that last sentence, I just summed up his argument. Notice that I can articulate a progressive policy idea without making it sound dumb? That’s because I don’t think it’s dumb. I just think it’s wrong and that the cost and wait time issues would be too much to bear.

    No, I’m not going to debate single-payer healthcare on this thread. That was just an example.

    Instead, most of you stayed silent (looking for all the world like you are ashamed of your leader) and let the loud ugly minority become your spokespeople.

    We stayed quiet because we kept hearing from you guys that we were racist and misogynistic homophobes if we didn’t hate Trump. You know how everybody got surprised by Trump winning when the polls showed he would lose? It’s because Shy Trump Supporters knew what the climate was and decided to shut up and just vote.

    Sort of a funny unintended consequence.

  21. 1. i slowed down my Ammo buying rate… breathed a bit easier after it was final…..but personally, not much has changed…

    2. the Lib side is a bit worse, why? Republicans/conservatives never went in for the mass rally protests, and i cant think of any teaparty rally that broke down into rioting violence ect ect….The name calling this time around and jsut insane ranting is far worse than under bush. given the rights batshit birther crap was annoying as hell, but it was fed by the O’s administration simply refusing to prove them wrong for such a long time The left….well i dont remember seeing videos of anyone having a total meltdown because Obama won the election.

    3. The fact that the left seems to get away, socially, with the crap they pull that would destroy any person on the right.. annoys teh crap out of me, but that doesn’t excuse going full tilt asshole on them, as satisfying as i might thing that might be……it is not where it is fair or not, it is what it is….. a never ending cycle of outrage and anger…

    4….

    5… yeah i have had a few leftie friend block me on FB, and most certainly a few that were not friends but friends of friends.
    A few stayed on and post a nearly non stop cavalcade of anti trump means, some times they are truly funny, other times they are so far out insane and vulgar, i a agnostic, worry about their souls/
    as for the real world i know one person, but i knew that was coming… anyhow.. oh well no big loss. At work everyone in my department, including the black guys voted for trump..

  22. 5. You do post a lot of politics, but I always noticed you’d be pretty evenhanded. Being a Libertarian, you don’t have to carry Republican or Democrat water.

  23. the last 2 months i have found my self very happy with trump to yelling WTF at the monitor …. i vary from oh hell Trumps a cagey brilliant nut job, to h’s a fucking spastic arrogant jerk.

  24. One thing I remember was how dwex–you know, raving social liberal but small government libertarian–was always laughing at how he criticized both sides all the time (mostly Republicans), but whenever he’d badmouth Obama he would lose a liberal friend.

    It was the liberals who were quicker than the supposedly narrow-minded conservatives to close him off for presenting an opposing point-of-view. As a liberal guy, I don’t think he ever knew exactly how to handle that except to chuckle at it and shake his head.

  25. Sort of interesting where everybody is landing on the question. Let me know if I have this right so far:

    Santino says it was worse at first over Trump, but has gotten back to normal.

    Kevin says it’s worse now, but that’s because Trump legitimately is the worst thing that could have happened.

    Zurvan says it’s worse now and I think we’re in the closest agreement.

    westvirginiarebelsays it’s worse AND has thrown in an interesting question that it may just be social media that’s making it seem worse than it is.

    mashav believes that it’s already been bad for 20 years, but the proliferation of #FakeNews sites combined with the anonymity that enables shitty behavior on the Internet makes it seem worse; and concurs with Kevin that it’s worse based on how awful Trump is.

    Grendel says it’s worse now.

    Am I tracking correctly? Let’s have more!

  26. Just an aside that I forgot to mention. When I first saw the post I saw the headline and read the first sentence and thought it was going to be about having children. I was all ready to confess about how annoying I was as a child.

  27. I’ve noticed that too, Kevin. It’s very strange, many people (mostly on the left, but I’ve seen it from Republicans) are counting down the days before Trump is either impeached or just gets bored and resigns. I don’t think they are looking at this realistically. I don’t think Trump is dumb enough to do anything, or at least get caught doing anything worthy of real impeachment, and as long as he has his Twitter account, he’s not going to get bored.

  28. Oh, if only it were that simple. Annoying kids are easy…when they’re actual kids. We’ve become a whole society of annoying children.

  29. Btw, I have yet to hear a single Trump voter explain to me how Obama hurt them

    That’s an easy one. My health insurance deductible has gone from $0 with 100% coverage before Obamacare was signed to $6,500 per person in my household. That’s right, I have to pay $6,500 for each person before anything is covered. And after that, I have to pay another 20% up to a maximum of $13,000 per person before we hit the out of pocket maximum..per person. If two of my kids have bad hospital stints in a year, I’m screwed. That was 100% handed to me by Obama, and a Democrat controlled Congress, there is no denying that.

    how Hillary was going to hurt them.

    She openly declared me as a Republican (at the time), as the enemy she is most proud of. Pretty sure you don’t go out of your way to not hurt someone you think of as your enemy, so…yeah, that’s not a good sign.

  30. same here! LOL, i had a moment last week. M youngest son was tryign to explain something to me about a game he was playing on his tablet, i was uh hu yep ok uh hu.. with no clue what he was talking about.. then it hit me, my dad did the same thing when i tried to expalin some game on the old Atari or NES… lol

  31. People as described in the opening paragraphs of that article are 100% where the term “snowflake” came from. And I’d say they’ve earned it.

  32. You are probably right that some people don’t want to see political posts interrupting their cat video feed. But it’s very easy to block someone from your feed, rather than being a captive audience.
    I honestly don’t get that last argument about the shy supporters. I have never in my life been embarrassed by my vote to the point where I would not admit to it in public, let alone to an anonymous pollster. Did the pollsters call Trump supporters homophobes, too?
    If you have good reasons to vote for Trump, which do not involve stupidity or bigotry, why not state them?
    I keep asking how Obama hurt you or how Hillary was planning to hurt you, but I don’t hear any answers.

  33. Folks on the Left are in this bizarre netherworld somewhere between Wishful Thinking and Abject Despair. I don’t really think their position is as bad as they think, but I’m really surprised how long it’s taking for them to snap out of the collective disarray.

    Remember the last episodes of Wishful Thinking?

    How about how Jill Stein’s recount was going to reverse everything? Whoops, Trump managed to gain votes in Wisconsin.

    Well, what about the idea of persuading the “faithless electors”? Nope. More of Clinton’s electors ending up refusing to vote for her than Trump’s did to him.

    Alright, how about the Russia stuff? He can get impeached for that! That story is already falling apart. You can certainly keep talking about it, but it’s not going to end his presidency unless you have some evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russian government and even Clapper says they never found any.

    Surely the Congressional Republicans will eventually impeach him? Nope. They’re just as clueless about how to stop him as Democrats are, even if they were inclined to try. Also, they have absolutely no desire to have him turn his supporters loose on them destroy their careers by impeaching the president from their own party to make Democrats happy. I hate to call ideas “stupid”, but that idea is very much that.

    If I were the Life Coach of the Left, I’d offer the following two items to give some guidance (not that they’d ever ask me for it) to break the despair:

    1. At least entertain the possibility that Donald Trump is neither stupid nor crazy, and in fact is using his vast and recognized skills in media and brand management, the equal of which have never been seen in any American politician, to accomplish his deliberate, long term goals.

    If you guffawed or shook your head at the above sentence, I’m going to remind you very pointedly that this stupid, crazy old man defeated your supposedly brilliant and experienced candidate despite enormous disadvantages in funding, favorable media coverage, polling, and the Electoral College map. Are you still laughing or would you like to attempt #1 again?

    When you stop living in a dream world and thinking that Trump is some sort of Freddy Krueger, you can start figuring out WHY he does and says the things he does and learn to respond to it effectively. There’s a way. There’s always a way but by now, you should have figured out that nothing you are doing has worked to stop Trump. But do you stop doing things that don’t work? No. You keep doing it. Stop it.

    2. Let the Democrats in Congress give ground where they must. Trump is going to get Gorsuch, for example. All that does is restore the Court balance to where it was before Scalia died. It’s ludicrous to make this a make-or-break fight that the Democrats WILL lose. Save it for Ginsburg’s replacement, which can’t be far off.

    If you do not follow #2, Trump is going to effectively demagogue your party to death with his skills described in #1 because he was elected on the observation that Washington is broken and not following #2 will bolster his argument.

    Trump is not going to be impeached and removed from office. The GOP is not going to do it. Not for any reason known at this time. And even if Trump did something illegal, you know he’ll figure out a way to get away with it with #1.

    Want to wait until after 2018 and try it with a Democrat-controlled Congress? Good luck. You need 2/3 votes in the Senate to remove a president from office. You currently have less than 1/2 and are currently expected to LOSE more since several Democratic Senators from states Trump won are coming up for re-election. Claire McCaskill is so screwed.

    Donald Trump, barring anything unforeseen, is going to be the President of the United States for the remainder of his term, which ends in January 2019. YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS. There’s no “easy button”.

    I’m saying it all to be helpful, not mean.

  34. Yeah, I think “Unfollow” is the best option, but you’re still shutting off communication. My sister is currently posting something like 6-10 anti-Trump posts per day. My wife (who voted for Jill Stein, I think I’ve mentioned that) finally couldn’t take anymore and unfollowed her last week.

    For my part, I think it’s completely hilarious.

    I get that you’re not embarrassed by your own vote, but I’ll tell you straight up that you’ve already said on this thread that you think Trump supporters are “dumb” and that voting for Trump would be “actively hurting you”. If I knew you in real life and had an expectation of having frequent encounters with you either at work or wherever, I would NEVER tell you the truth about who I was voting for. It’s not about being ashamed of my vote, it’s that I don’t want to be told that I’m a dumb person who is trying to hurt you.

    And I don’t know why the Shy Trump Voters didn’t respond accurately to pollsters. I can tell you that I did participate in a focus group that I believe was run by the Kander campaign in 2016 and I made no bones about the fact that I was planning to vote for Trump. Whatever their motivation, we know that the STV’s were real.

    If you’re really asking me “how Obama hurt” me, you’re trying to play this small, meaningless partisan game where I’ll point to some bad Obama policies and then you’ll try to explain to me why they were actually really good things that Breitbart or Fox News or whoever tried to make look bad. And then I’ll link an article that shows why you’re wrong and then you’ll link one that says you’re right. Finally, we’ll both get bored and absolutely nothing will be achieved.

    Seriously, mashav, can we not do that tired, old bullshit here?

    How about a conversation where I instead tell you that I treated Obama very unfairly and was overly-critical. I don’t regret voting against him and I’m glad he’s out of office, but I feel like I contributed to a toxic environment that may have troubled people who disagreed with my views. Those people now may believe that this is normal for politics now, so they are continuing said toxic environment now that Trump is president. We can then start talking about how we can not have a toxic environment and maybe make things better.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to do something different besides just “RAAR, YOUR PRESIDENT SUCKS!” and “NO, YOUR PRESIDENT SUCKED WORSE! GAAAAR!”?

    I’m sick of it. I don’t want to do it. I want to talk about what’s next, not ex-presidents. How about you?

  35. Are you covered under Obamacare? Because my insurance changed very similarly to yours, but mine is employer-provided coverage, so Obama had nothing to do the price hike. Yes, it now covers older dependants, but the rest of the riders got worse, not better. There was never a pre-existing condition exclusion, maternal care was always in, but we lost allergy treatments, for example.
    My anger is aimed squarely at the insurance companies, not at Obama.
    I appreciate your answer, this exactly the sort of discussion I was hoping for.
    I really do want to understand the motivations on the other side.

  36. I don’t want to split hairs over your definition of ‘dumb’ v. ‘naive with awful consequences.’ I believe that your attitude towards Obama voters is just as patronizing and off putting as mine is toward Trump voters. You say Hillary was going to hurt you. I say Trump is going to hurt me. I see the two statements as equal in moral judgement. You see it as persecution. I get that the media has been on my side for a very long time, but remove that variable and what’s the difference between what we’ve said? Why am I still willing to admit to my vote in social settings and you aren’t?
    Please don’t assume my motivation in asking how Obama hurt you. I am no more interested in linking articles back and forth than you are. But you guys keep saying that you had reasons to vote for Trump and then refuse to tell me what those reasons were. You like that he is a fighter. I get that. That’s part of the excitement of the ‘resistance’ – normally blase liberals are suddenly fighting for stuff (I don’t approve of the riots.) But what is it that he is fighting for that you agree with?
    Because so far he is doing a lot of fighting with SNL and election numbers. I assume it’s not that sort of flailing that you like, but what? What EO of his do you like? Which Cabinet pic makes you feel better about the future?
    I am not trying to re-hash the past to score points. I want to understand what would make a rational person vote for Trump.
    We can agree that civility is a good thing and that you were unfair to Obama and I was unfair to Romney, but to move forward, I think we need to understand how we got here. And I genuinely don’t understand how someone of your intelligence votes for Trump.

  37. It’s so hard to differentiate between the mosquitoes and the gnats sometimes. Is this thing really that bad or am I just annoyed by it? Masha and I were discussing the other night the “horrible” things that we got upset about regarding Romney. “47%”. Oh, how DARE he!

    I mean, I’m not trying to throw my peers under the bus — though not terribly productive, it is nonetheless normal to attack every opposition candidate and every cabinet appointee and every judicial nominee. But that type of behavior causes quite a numbing effect. If we oppose everybody on the opposite side by default, how then do we express a sincere, elevated opposition to a truly unqualified/dangerous candidate?

    But on the other side of the coin, I have a very difficult time considering Trump a victim who has been treated unfairly. To suggest that all of his aggressive rhetoric and demeaning locker room talk is a defensive response is, as you said, insane to me and, I assume, most other liberals.

  38. No, I shouldn’t say Trump is a victim at all. However, conservatives do feel like they get bullied by the other side simply for having a different viewpoint at the individual level and at the national political level.

    If we support a candidate the other side doesn’t like, we get called “dumb” and accused of trying to harm people. I mean, if I’m a kid and I see the classroom bully, I’m going to stay quiet and invisible. I don’t want his attention. If I’m a grown-up and I see someone who I know is going to insult me and assign the worst possible motives to why I vote the way I do, I”m going to stay quiet and invisible.

    Trump, I think, is a new experience for liberals because it’s the first time ever that a high-profile Republican has ever bullied them back.

  39. Everyone is technically covered under Obamacare whether it’s employee provided or not. Plans changed in order to conform with the new law – the primary reason why “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” was BS from the very start. Obamacare has everything to do with the price hikes. Why do you think insurance companies went from opposing the law to suddenly supporting it after meeting with Obama’s administration behind closed doors? “You’re going to pass a law that forces people to sign up for coverage with our companies, and allow us to hike prices? Where do we sign up?”

  40. To add on to that –

    Personally, and I first said this when the law was being debated in 2009, I think Obamacare was passed with the possible intention of exactly what has happened. I don’t think Democrats who passed it necessarily wanted it to fail as it has with such incredible price hikes, and failure of the public exchanges. But the fact is, liberals have wanted a public option for as long as I can remember – Democrat politicians have been on record for this going back to at least HillaryCare. The public at the time of Obamacare was dead set against such an option, so what do you do? You pass a law that puts such incredible regulation and restrictions on current policies/companies that prices have to rise, and coverage has to fall in order to stay in business (remember, Health insurance companies have an average profit margin of 3.3%, which is near the bottom of any industry). Then when prices spike, and coverage falls, you blame the insurance companies themselves. “It’s not my law, it’s those dastardly bastards raking you over the coals with their obscene profits (of 3.3%). My law was meant to save you.” Then when public sentiment is so against insurance companies because of the current situation (like your opinion would support)…well, the only entity with enough power to save you is the Federal Government through a public option. Tada. Universal Healthcare. That’s one of the reason I think Democrats in congress are so upset over Clinton’s loss. They were so close to getting the public to support a public option. They just didn’t account for Donald J. Trump.

  41. I’m not in love with our blockquotes. I’m going to use italics for quotes.

    I believe that your attitude towards Obama voters is just as patronizing and off putting as mine is toward Trump voters.

    Yes, I can see that. That’s why I included this in the post::

    I spoke to a lot of Obama supporters after he was elected. You know, they were so happy and optimistic, while I thought it was the beginning of the end of the world. I kind of shit on them, I guess.

    And this:

    yes, we conservatives were very annoying and unfair when Obama was president

    I’m saying that I did things in 2008 that worsened the discourse. I invite others to examine how their words and actions might be worsening it now.

    Why am I still willing to admit to my vote in social settings and you aren’t?

    Well, there are a couple of reasons I can think of.

    1. I could be somewhat, but not really, insulting and say that it just never occurs to you that you or your side is ever wrong. To you, the other side is divided into two main groups: The Evil Ones and the Dumb Ones. Presumably, to you, one group is voting for Trump for nothing but the evulz and is out to harm people like you. On the occasion that you determine that someone on the other side isn’t Evil, you decide that it must be because they don’t know “the truth” and that they’re only accidentally on the wrong side.

    This “works” for you because it means that you never seriously have to entertain the other side’s arguments or question your own. To you, admitting your vote is easy because you genuinely cannot imagine why anyone except an evil or dumb person would vote any other way.

    2. As I said in the post, it’s my opinion that progressives make politics more personal than conservatives do. When a Clinton supporter says she’s voting for Hillary, what goes through my head is NOT “Oh, she wants to hurt me because she’s an evil harpy who hates white males or she’s stupid. I’d better set her straight on this!”

    Are there conservatives who do that? Yep, but I don’t think that’s the norm for that side. We don’t define our happiness by who’s president like those despondent people in the article Kevin shared with us. Nor do we regard policy preferences as personal attacks.

    This is why your “show me on the doll where Hillary Clinton touched you” approach to this conversation is meaningless to me. You voting for Clinton did not injure me in any way or even affect what I think of your basic decency or your intelligence. It’s not personal with me.

    I disagree with you that Clinton would have been a preferable president to Trump, but I don’t view your different opinion as some sort of threat. Conservatives overwhelmingly feel the same way. So when you say, “I’m voting for Clinton”, you can do that with very little fear of being lectured, browbeaten, criticized, or insulted. Again, we don’t because your side makes it personal. We find it’s best to discuss other topics because we don’t want to spend the entire dinner party hearing from you about we’re only opposed to Clinton because ovaries.

    That really does happen.

    You want us to answer the question about how Obama hurt us or Clinton would have hurt us because that’s how you view the world. Through the Politics is Personal Lens. I appreciate the fact that you’re trying to view the world as you imagine that we view it, but I’m telling you that you’re off-base. You’re assuming that our viewpoint is grounded in the same idea of “it matters because it hurts me personally” that you have and I’m trying to tell you it doesn’t work that way with us.

    Now, if you want reasons I voted for Trump, I’ll happily share them with you here BUT I’m going to qualify that by saying that you have to take me at my word. I predict that you’re just going to want to argue each of my reasons and if you do, then you’re not being truthful with us when you say that you just want to understand.

    I’m not going to dissemble the arguments here, but I do think you should be exposed to these reasons so you know it’s not all about evil and dumbness or fear about personal consequences.

    Here are just three reasons I could hold my nose and vote for Trump:

    1. Scalia’s empty SCOTUS seat – Really, this the main reason why I think Republicans turned out to vote. The Supreme Court is too powerful in hands of a majority of liberal activist jurists. Trump told us exactly who I was looking to fill that seat and I liked them. I did not want Garland or anyone Clinton may have nominated.

    2. Immigration Reform – I want a just and fair system that ensures that we are meeting our employment needs, bringing in immigrants who will contribute to our society rather than serve as a drain on our resources, and incentivizing people to lawfully participate in the system. However, there must be enforcement mechanisms in place. Trump made it clear that he wants enforcement, while I don’t believe that immigration reform would have gotten through Congress under a Clinton presidency for the same reason it didn’t during Obama’s. That is, we don’t believe that either one would have carried out the enforcement provisions.

    3. Foreign Policy – I agree with Trump on several things. I think NATO is obsolete and mostly worthless. I think the tension with Russia is unnecessary and dangerous and that Trump can work with Putin positively to reduce those tensions and possibly get cooperation on Syria, Iran, ISIS, and other issues where we both have possibly mutually beneficial interests. Clinton told me that she wants to bolster NATO, use economic warfare to control Russia’s behavior in areas where we have no vital interests and establish a no-fly zone in Syria. Trump was the Peace candidate. Very clear choice

    So there are three totally non-evil and articulate reasons why someone would vote for Trump that have absolutely nothing to do with hurting you.

    When you get down to it, it’s about policy, not personal impact. If you mix politics and your personal life, you get nothing but depressed.

  42. Thanks for summing up here. I have been trying to jump in but each post is more and more to digest.

    I fall somewhere between Kevin and Mashav on this. I will elaborate on my impressions soon.

  43. I’m loving the participation. This is clearly something people have been wanting to talk about!

  44. Yes, premiums rose since 2010. However, they did not go up as rapidly as they did before the ACA. Average family premiums rose “20% from 2011 to 2016” v. “up 31% from 2006 to 2011” and “up 63% from 2001 to 2006”
    Yes, deductibles also rose, but a.ours seem insanely high, and b. mine is offset, in part, by the benefits I get from having an HSA.
    http://kff.org/health-costs/press-release/average-annual-workplace-family-health-premiums-rise-modest-3-to-18142-in-2016-more-workers-enroll-in-high-deductible-plans-with-savings-option-over-past-two-years/
    In addition, lets not forget how much drug prices have done up over the same period.
    As I mentioned, my plan did not actually change that much because most of the mandated riders were already included and the only gain I can see (and I know how to read riders) is more than offset by the higher deductibles, loss of allergy coverage and higher out of pocket drug prices.
    I don’t believe that profit margin is the right way to talk about insurance companies because it ignores ROI as well as the insane stock gains (why are these stocks up over 1000% if they are doing so poorly?) they have enjoyed since the ACA passed. Here a pre-ACA article that explains what I mean about ROI better than I can – http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/03/insurance_costs_and_health-care_reform
    I agree with you that there are probably some hoping that when the ACA fails the only option will be single payer.
    Frankly, I am not against a single payer system, if we get the kind of care that Congress gets. However, the my personal opinion of the dastardly bastards is based on stuff like this – http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-aetna-obamacare-20170123-story.html

    And the replacement DJt just threw his weight behind will make the ACA look like paradise.

    Also, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1275?q=%7B Yes, i know this is not the main bill, but wtf?

  45. Sorry about the blockquotes. I assume this site does not look the same to me as it does to you. I am on my phone half the time. Also, I was not actually going for blockquotes, I am just used to using single quotes when coding.

    You say that you did things in 2008 to worsen the discourse. However, you are still doing the same things now. I am willing to admit that I have a bias towards Trump voters in 2017. I will leave it up to you to remember when was the last time you wrote “Clinton really did hate us and wanted to harm us in some way” to a Clinton voter.

    1.“you genuinely cannot imagine why anyone except an evil or dumb person would vote any other way.” How do you square that with my statements that “I want to understand what would make a rational person vote for Trump” and “I genuinely don’t understand how someone of your intelligence votes for Trump.”
    Clearly, I admit (and am able to imagine) that you are rational, intelligent *and* a Trump voter. Hence, the questions.

    2. I would postulate that you are probably right and this is less personal for those on the right because their position in society makes it hard to imagine how a mere change in the Presidency can negatively affect someone’s life. You will still be white and Christian and male tomorrow and still benefit from that (and I shudder to use the word) privilege, no matter who’s in power. Liberals define their happiness by who is President because the consequences are actually felt quite rapidly by many those on the left. For example, you are not changing your travel plans based on the new rules, but native born or naturalized citizens with weird names are. You will still get access to basic healthcare if PP is defunded, but I know people who won’t. Etc.

    “So when you say, “I’m voting for Clinton”, you can do that with very little fear of being lectured, browbeaten, criticized, or insulted.” That is not a true assessment of the reaction one gets when professing a fondness for Hillary. From personal experience, it’s no different from what you get as a Trump voter, and it comes from both sides. The Bernie bros and the Stein anti-vaxxers yell at you just as much as the right does. The common refrain is that the only reason anyone would vote *for* her is because she is a woman. Then the ‘how can you support a rapist if you claim to be a feminist?’ stuff starts. I got lots of helpful links enumerating her various crimes, the body count, pizzagate,rigged primaries, etc. There are also the Johnson people who believe you are only voting for Hillary as the lesser evil and flaunt their own inability to do so because they are ever so much more principled than you are. Literally no one allows for the possibility that someone actually likes and admires Hillary and agrees with her views. Either you are too dumb to know how evil she is, too blinded by your naive feminism to look past her ovaries, too immoral to stand up to the two party system instead of choosing the lesser of two evils or you are getting that sweet Soros/Rothchild money as part of the “global special interests.”
    It’s possible that I care less about social niceties than you do. However, there is a secret group of Hillary fans on FB started specifically to get away from the anger that any pro-Hillary post brings out. There are 4 million members.

    “I appreciate the fact that you’re trying to view the world as you imagine that we view it, but I’m telling you that you’re off-base.” I imagine you view the election in these terms because, again, you wrote that “Clinton really did hate us and wanted to harm us in some way.”

    I guess, for me, the reasons you listed do not outweigh all the Trump negatives. But I understand that that’s a personal calculus, based on how one values attacks against oneself v. attacks against other people.
    I have no intention of arguing about immigration, NATO or Russia here. There are legitimate arguments both pro and against NATO and I have some very strong opinions about Russia for personal reasons. Even on immigration, I have no issue with what you wrote, as opposed to my issues with Trump’s (and the DHS’) implementation of the rules thus far.
    Further, I understand your stance on activist jurists. But do you really consider Garland to be one of those?
    For the record, I have very few objections to Gorsuch. Yes, the Democrats are going to opposed him out of spite because of how shabbily Garland was treated. But I think that’s a really bad place to make a stand because all it will do is change the confirmation math going forward and justify the view that we are opposed to all Trump policies the way the GOP was opposed to Obama’s. You know, the “If he was for it, we had to be against it” method. Don’t get me wrong, I want Trump to fail on many, many of his undertakings. But I don’t want him to fail overall, and I don’t want the Democrats to oppose him even on positive things, out of spite, the way the GOP did in 2008.
    Which, btw, might be one of the causes of today’s animosity. That was something new, and vicious and it really divided us.

  46. No, no. I didn’t mean there was anything wrong with you using blockquotes. I just don’t like our format for them. It’s a site thing, not a mashav thing. I just wanted to explain why I was using italics in case it caused confusion.

    The “Clinton wanted to harm us” part of the conversation (this is related to a good offline conversation mashav and I had last week, for those of you who are following along) was something I was using to explain why rhetoric matters, that it has consequences in our public perceptions of each other as well as candidates. I want to make sure that isn’t taken out of context.

    If you go back to the message where I first brought it up, I made it clear that my rationale for voting for Trump was on exactly the same three points (SCOTUS, immigration reform, and foreign policy) that I cited in my previous comment. I voted for Trump on policy grounds, not personal ones.

    I just think that Clinton’s characterization of a portion of the population as “deplorable” was a horrible mistake. It sent a message to her supporters that Trump supporters are bad people and it sent a message to Trump supporters that she thinks they’re bad people and it contributed to worsening the political climate.

    At that point, we got bogged down in defining how many Trump supporters she was really talking about. The point is that we need to change the way we speak to each other in this country and unfortunately, the president is setting a horrible example.

    Am I blameless? No, not at all. When I say things that are harmful, I want to be questioned about it and given the chance to clarify it.

    What is most important to me is for people to know that I have friends, family members, co-workers, and others in my life who are important to me and that many of these people disagree with me on politics. I do not hate progressives and I don’t want them to hate me either. But we do disagree about what sort of country we want this to be and we have to figure it out.

    Let’s just all just resolve to be fair, to listen, and try to understand. We’re going to fuck it up from time to time, me most of all, but I think this is one of those times in history that we are going to be sorry as a society if we don’t give cooler heads the opportunity to prevail.

  47. Average family premiums rose “20% from 2011 to 2016” v. “up 31% from 2006 to 2011” and “up 63% from 2001 to 2006”

    That’s a fascinating cherry picked statistic you’ve chosen there. Guess how much premiums went up in Arizona from 2016 to 2017? Go ahead, guess. Ok, I’ll tell you. 116%. One year, 116%. I’m pretty sure that’s more than “20% from 2011 to 2016”. I know for a fact mine went up more than 300% from 2011-2016 and now only offers plans like the one I outlined above. And there are many institutions and studies saying that is going to accelerate across the country. The only reason Obamacare didn’t spike before now is because the guy that signed it was also allowing numerous provisions to not take affect. Gosh, I wonder why (see: Presidential Elections, and how not to piss off constituents).

    As far as the HSA you’re so fond of, you must be pretty bad at math. If I’m paying more for premiums now than I was prior to Obamacare (I am), AND I have an HSA to put my own money into to help cover the stupidly high deductible my current plan has, am I saving money now vs prior to Obamacare?

    Let’s use some nice round numbers – $3,000 in premiums in 2008 for 100% coverage (which is actually more than I was paying, but we’ll use it), vs $7,000 in premiums in 2016 (which is actually less than I paid, but we’ll use it), and $5,000 going into an HSA, that I spent all of in 2016 and then some because I had a child go into the hospital for surgery. So 2008 total health insurance and healthcare costs – $3,000. 2016 premium and healthcare costs not including anything out of pocket that wasn’t in my HSA – $12,000. My actual out of pocket was closer to $19,000 in 2016.

    Yay, Obamacare.

  48. Ho boy. Big topic.

    TL/DR : Everyones annoying, we’re acting out because we’re genuinely scared.

    Now I’m a bit of an outlier, as the reason I hang around on these types of blogs is to get the other sides perspective. But I’ll have a go at answering the questions.

    Firstly, yes, you were this annoying. I’m sure you all think they’re valid complaints, but Birtherism? Valerie Jarrett being the first unelected POTUS. Michelles birthday party. Rush’s ‘hope he fails’. Republican obstructionism. He’s a Marxist, a Saul Alinsky devotee, a secret Muslim and he’s indoctrinating our children. The Tea Party protests. He’s soft on Terror/bombing too many terrorists. Benghazi. Death Panels. Taking away guns (Trump actually said he heard Obama talking about an executive order to do exactly that).

    Why Trump is different is because of the man. Yes I may be a liberal snowflake, but I did have to have a conversation with my daughter about why Americans seemed to like this guy so much who was horrible to women. She wanted to know why if what he did was wrong, that so many people were cheering for him. She was sad.

    He wasn’t like other conservatives. Usually we’d go through their speeches pointing out the dog whistles and smugly proclaim that we’d figured out your coded speak. Trump just came right out and said Mexicans were rapists. Again, another conversation with my daughter about how that’s not okay. (I get how I’m coming across here, but, hey, they’re conversations we need to have now)

    There’s a huge amount of frustration. The man blatantly lies, and his supporters don’t mind. It’s not like they actually believe what he says, but “He’s Trump, what are you going to do? The guy lies his ass off all the time.”
    Trump changed the rules without consulting us. So we can just make stuff up now? I wish someone had told us! We could have claimed that the minimum wage cured erectile dysfunction and Campaign Finance is directly responsible for all Adam Sandler films. Gee I wish you’d have told us about this ‘alternative facts’ loophole.

    Why we’re more annoying now, it because it’s emotional. We’re frustrated, disgusted and quite frankly scared. I had an intellectual problem with Romney’s economic plan. I didn’t think it was the right way to go, but I assumed that Romney did. With Trump – it’s all based on punishing the people that he hates.

    Side note – I think there may be a whole bunch of people on your side that you don’t know about. And they’re fucking scary. Now I know that none of you guys are ‘alt-righters’, and you don;t think you’re on their side – but those guys think you’re on the same side. A friend of mine was retweeted by Breitbart, and him and his family (including a new baby, who they named and shared pictures of) were threatened. They sent stuff physically to his house. A Trans friend of mine was beat up by a gang who shouted ‘MAGA MAGA’ while they did it. And this was in New Zealand.
    After Brexit, a lot of my more tanned mates just stopped taking the tube at night because it got too dangerous. If someone doesn’t want to talk to a Trump supporter – it may be because they’re unsure of what type of Trump supporter they’re talking to.

    As a non-American, I’m seeing this as different too. Obama vs McCain was interesting in terms of your politics, and maybe some middle east stuff. But Trump? He’s talking about taking out NATO, taking on China and can anyone honestly say that they’re 100% sure he won’t nuke someone in the next 4 years. Suddenly US politics has gone from something we’re interested in, to something that might massively affect us. Maybe that’s paranoia, but it is how the rest of the world is feeling, and how the rest of the world is feeling is a thing.

    I’m not sure if I have answered your question. But I guess the summary is that it isn’t about politics. It’s more like if you said you were a massive fan of Satan, because he got things done. I get where you’re coming from politically, but Satan? Really?

  49. Everything you say makes perfect sense to m. It’s also consistent with the “yes, it’s worse now because Trump REALLY IS the worst thing that could have happened and I know we say that about other Republicans and it’s driving us crazy that it’s really happening now and you won’t listen to us and we’re sorry about that but we are being sincere so please stop him before it’s too late” message that we’re seeing on this thread.

    I mean, Bush Derangement Syndrome was a thing, but is there a Trump version? I don’t think so, unless it involves being able to excuse the bad behavior and the falsehoods.

    As for the violence aspect, I think it needs a post of its own. I’m not personally hearing much about it in the US, but I wonder if it is starting to emerge in other countries where there just isn’t a suitable candidate to carry those emotions forward?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: