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The motivation behind dehumanization, misogyny and cruelty

Most ethical Americans were shocked by Donald Trump’s recent assertion that electing Roy Moore, an alleged pedophile and selective Constitutional law enforcer was better than electing a liberal Democrat.

I’m comfortable being a liberal Democrat. I’ve been a liberal Democrat since I was 18. Is it perfect? No. But being a liberal Democrat appeals to the rational scientist in me. During the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt’s said:

“Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, do something else.”

That is a succinct summary of the scientific method. But the desire to do something for me is rooted in the motivation to live in a better world than the one I was born into, one where more people benefit from nature’s bounty over time.

That is probably what sets liberal Democrats apart from conservative Republicans- the motivation to live in a more bountiful world with happier people, not one that is free from stress or conflict. Perfection is not attainable. And there is more virtue in the act of overcoming evil than by eliminating it.

Ok, enough of my personal philosophy. I’m sure that many liberal Democrats approach their politics in many different ways.

But what Trump was implying the other day was that it’s preferable to vote for a child molester than a Democrat. That in someway, being a Democrat is worse than undressing a 14 year old and forcing her to touch you. We’re not talking about show and tell among pre-pubescent. We’re talking about a 30 year old man taking advantage of a 14 year old girl for his own sexual pleasure.

That’s better than being a Democrat?

What exactly is it they think Democrats are anyway? I know we’ve been the subject of smear campaigns and Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones. But what is it they think we’re going to do with all that power if we get it?

One of the Republicans (can’t remember which one) supporting Moore insists that we want to open the borders, confiscate guns and have abortion on demand. I’m a feminist and a liberal Democrat and pro-choice, the trifecta, and even I don’t believe in these things as they are laid out here, without restraint or regulation or not in accordance with the constitution.

Let’s take abortion for example. I don’t believe abortion is acceptable after the point of viability unless there is a medical reason to have one. I’m sorry, I just don’t. It’s my “screaming infant at the side of the road test”. If a child can be born alive and breathing and able to cry, then aborting it would be equivalent to abandoning an infant at the side of the road. Decent people don’t do such things. So, no, if you wait too long, like 22-24 weeks, you shouldn’t be able to get an abortion. Let a committee of experts make that call like they do in Scandinavian countries, the most women friendly countries in the world, and save abortions after 22 weeks for fetuses that are severely deformed or a female that is in danger of serious health consequences and don’t make it an ordeal for them.

I digress again.

My point is that for many liberals, our positions have some logical consistency behind them. That applies to gun violence (domestic violence perpetrators shouldn’t be able to buy a gun. And if they’ve attempted to strangle their victims in the past, they REALLY shouldn’t get one). We shouldn’t let a lot of people into our country. Let’s start with curbing the number of H1B visas for IT and Research. They are depressing wages and killing the futures of American sciencists. If you absolutely need someone from China or India and they are that valuable to your bottom line, then give them a fucking green card. Don’t make their lives miserable.

I digress again. {{sigh}}

My point, and I was getting to it, is that there is something about liberal Democrats that has nothing to do with our politics that Republicans are very afraid of. It’s our humanity. The minute they see that what we stand for are all these people who want opportunities to share the bounty, they find us a threat to their own bottom line.

It explains a lot, especially sexual harassment in the workplace. If you’re a guy raised yo expect to achieve certain career goals and you have to compete, it’s a good idea to eliminate as many rivals as you can on the way to the corner office. Harassing your female colleagues has tremendous short term potential because victims, up to 80% of them, leave the workplace within 2 years. In workplaces where there are strictly enforceable anti harrassment rules, getting rid of female competitors takes the form of implicit bias. Everyone knows that women aren’t as smart as men, are less capable, not as ambitious. Or if ambitious, unpleasant to work with or not aggressive enough or <fill in the blank>. They get talked over during meetings, their projects are reassigned to men, they don’t get promotions. Over time, it takes its toll.

The purpose of cruelty, misogyny and dehumanization is discussed at length in this brilliant essay in The New Yorker. There is an audio link to it if you’re busy cooking turkey and need something to listen to. But basically what Donald Trump was saying to Alabama was this: those liberal Democrats are human beings representing other human beings and they’re going to take something away from you.

The problem with that scenario is that most Alabamans don’t have anything to take. They live in a very poor state where the remnants of white antebellum culture persist. That is the fruit of the English Cavalier and Indentured Servants culture. (Albion’s Seeds is a pretty good book. Yes, I actually read all my recommendations.) It’s outlived it’s usefulness in this century and this Democracy. But it lingers in Alabama where the remnants of the slaveowners force the poor and deprived to compete against each other for artificially scarce resources. And why is that? It’s because if a regular rank and file Alabaman starts identifying with the out groups, the plantation owner’s stuff is at risk.

This is the message that Donald is sending. Don’t vote for Doug Jones because then all the stuff my class is sitting on to the detriment of everyone else, poor school children, sick people, working class people living pay check to pay check, will have a huge spotlight directed at it and Donald Trump doesn’t want to have to share with those people in terms of higher wages etc.

So better a child molester than a decent anti-bully.

Got it.

Tweet du Jour

I’m still laughing.

(Hope the cat made it)

Happy Thanksgiving!🍁🦃🍽