Liberal Schadenfreude

IMO, this video (and [many] comment threads) exemplify one of the more significant ways Trump brilliantly (smartly?) plays both sides. He makes himself easy an easy mark for liberals to point fingers (“dumb”, “orange”, “racist”, “deplorable”, etc.), which the liberals are reliably quick to do.

His base (and many conservatives) who have tolerated decades of feeling brow-beaten and villified by “elitist” and “holier-than-thou” liberals who won the “culture war” (and the associated “liberal media” outlets) are quick to empathize with Trump. Even if they don’t agree with his policies or positions on issues, those sterile, cerebral beliefs are easily overridden and deprioritized by the emotional intensity of their empathy and shared hatred of being ridiculed and deemed as “not okay” by people claiming to “be better” in a variety of ways.

In this way, Trump plays liberals’ own anger and vitriol deuces wild, galvanizing not only his base, but also conservatives who might otherwise not support him. If he wins again this year, it’s going to be significantly due to the same reasons he won last time: our own behavior and lack of empathy for our brothers and sisters across the aisle.

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Are we NOT supposed to call out politicians for deplorable racist fascism?

This isn’t “brilliance” on Trump’s part because his behavior is not part of any grand Machiavellian strategy. It’s just who he is. It’s who he has always been.

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The overeager willingness of some to see what clearly isn’t there is rather concerning…

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This is perhaps a better and more subtle exposition of the points I think you are trying to make.

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ouran-HS-host-club-haruhi-mad

If you think being a bully is “smart” then you really need to rethink what smart means. it doesn’t take much intelligence to be a narcissistic, bullying asshole. He’s not remotely smart or clever, playing some high level chess here. He’s a failure of a businessman who just happened to fail up cause his daddy was rich. He’s also currently the American president which has sent the country into a fucking tailspin thanks to his policies and riling up of the far right wing of the GOP (which is a good chunk of the now, and has basically taken over the power within the party).

Moreover, his rhetoric is DANGEROUS. He’s already set up concentration camps and killed over 200,000 Americans due to his disastrous policies that have stripped independence from one of our key health institutions. He’s now egging on racists who have already killed people and might now show up in force at the polls this election.

Stop acting like this is some god damn reality TV show. Lives are at stake. He’s dangerous to our democracy and it’s time we all take this shit seriously.

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I am so sick of this narrative that reduces America to conservatives and liberals who are mean to them for no reason, and ignores everyone else, like children the conservatives have eagerly been putting in god damn concentration camps and blacks the police have been shooting with impunity. Those are the things you’re and faulting people for calling “not okay” and waving off as “cerebral beliefs”.

America had segregation within living memory, and no, those attitudes have not disappeared. Pretending it is all purely an artifact of liberals not giving enough respect is a false narrative, one calculated to invite us to ignore all the other groups being hurt right now. It can go to idea hell.

And as it happens it’s one that invites bad strategy too, because you don’t win elections by trying to win over conservatives. You win them by offering something to people who otherwise wouldn’t vote. The more voters inspired to turn out, the less likely Republicans are to win, and you do not get that by peddling to people who are planning to vote Republican until they die.

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Super interesting, thanks! Very insightful and heady stuff, especially in describing the link between cultural and socioeconomic aspects of meritocracy and credentialism which likely generate the types of emotional responses I was hypothesizing. I was focused more on the simple emotions of what I see in online forums like this, but it’s even more relevant to keep the broader cultural situation in mind.

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You’re welcome. Michael Sandel is always worth reading or listening to, and should always be taken seriously.

(@Mindysan33 and @chenille - without contradicting any of the sentiments in your comments, I strongly commend the Guardian link I posted, to you. Michael Sandel does describe in more depth the general issue which @Pseudothink raised, albeit clumsily perhaps. None of it excuses Trump one iota, but it may help understand how many of the people who vote for him feel. We need to understand some of that even if we do not have any sympathy with how they express their feelings in their votes, or other attitudes.)

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I say this with all due respect and empathy to our brothers and sisters across the aisle, our fellow humans and Americans: anyone who supports Donald Trump can go fuck themselves, whether they do so because they’re genuinely terrible, or because their precious feelings are hurt because liberals were mean to them once. They can well and truly get fucked.

In my opinion, if Trump wins this time around, it will be in no small part because not enough people in this country were willing to tell MAGA chuds to fuck the hell off.

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because clearly and unambiguously supporting policies intended to the benefit of almost all americans is obviously elitist bullshit when compared to clearly and unambiguously supporting policies that are to the detriment almost all americans. now that you’ve brought it to my attention it’s obvious.

so are you saying we could get middle america back if liberals and progressives start supporting destructive policies the harm the majority just like republicans?

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The problem isn’t the article. The problem is the insulting comments about our community and the lack of care about the destruction of our country, especially the targeting of vulnerable groups by right wing militias. it would be fucking nice if this was more than an intellectual exercise to some, given what’s happening. Treating this like a reality TV spectacle is not helping.

The world is collapsing and some people are stroking their fucking chins about how interesting it all is and how clever they are to see the 10,000 foot view. :woman_shrugging: It’s so disheartening and frightening.

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I agree. I wanted to say “accidental brilliance”, but I do think it’s who he is, and I think he’s also aware that it serves him strategically as well, so I think it’s somewhere on some sort of accident/brilliant spectrum.

I think it’s definitely important to call out politicians and anyone for odious behavior. Lying, racism, misogyny, corruption, whatever. But most liberals seem to view “calling out” not as a civil process, but as an excuse to brow-beat and vilify them. Then, in the same breath, we implicitly or explicitly include anyone who associates with or supports them in the same insulting (and often inaccurate and overly generalized) judgementalism. This is the problem I’m talking about.

This behavior changes nobody’s mind, demonstrates no empathy or attempt at empathy, and is actually proven to be counter-productive by serving to further entrench them in their own beliefs/attitudes (refer to the “Backfire Effect”, which we learned about here three years ago. Treating our opposition like this only serves to temporarily (and uselessly) vent our own emotions, while at the same time generating intense emotional response which entrenches and galvanizes our opposition against our own position. It feels great to us, which is why we do it and why these type of media and comment threads are so popular (not to mention monetizable), and at the same time this is totally passive behavior, seems counterproductive to our claimed agenda of change, and thus makes no sense to me.

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Message boards are passive by their nature. Going out and voting now that’s action.

I voted. Have you?

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Somehow, just based on your comment history, I seriously doubt that “we” have the same agenda in mind.

You didn’t ask me, but I’m currently waiting on my ballot to arrive and once it does I’m taking it directly to the local court house in person.

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I know.

And he’s 6’ 3” - 175lbs - has luxurious hair - graduated first in his class - was going to play pro baseball- has a warm caring personality- is a billionaire- a self made man -

And is totally not losing the election and desperate. Such a catch!

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Yeah, as has been pointed out, Trump is basically a dumb AI - he does semi-random things (in line with his predispositions), and when he gets positive reinforcement, he does more of that (and variations of it).

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I couldn’t disagree more. Part of the “change” that we should strive for is booting these fascist fuckers out of polite society. There isn’t some grand mystery here to be solved that will turn them into decent people–we know what Trump is offering them, and we know what he’ll do if given more power.

How many oh-so-thoughtful thinkpieces have we seen in the last four years with liberal reporters going out into the hinterlands to truly understand the Trump voter in their natural habitat? Are we really at a loss about what is truly motivating these voters at this point?

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You realize this video isn’t made by liberals, but Conservative Republicans?

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So we’re supposed to call out Trump as the racist misogynist incompetent criminal fascist he is but without sounding judgmental about it. Got it.

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