THE YEAR OF THE LIBERAL: Lessons in loathing around the world!

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2016

Interlude—Trailer parks, bigots and us:
What the heck are we the humans secretly actually like?

On the front page of today's New York Times, we receive one gruesome example. It involves the assassination of a fourth-grader, a ten year old boy.

From Kabul, Mashal and Shah did the front-page report. Their report starts like this:
MASHAL AND SHAH (2/3/16): The Afghan government declared Wasil Ahmad a hero for leading a militia’s defense against a Taliban siege last year, parading him in front of cameras in a borrowed police uniform too big for him. On Monday, the Taliban triumphantly announced that they had assassinated him with two bullets to the head.

Wasil Ahmad was 10 years old.

He was gunned down in Tirin Kot city, the capital of southern Oruzgan Province,
just a few months after leaving militia life and enrolling in school as a fourth grader.

Wasil’s story is a painful example of how child combatants continue to be a part of life in Afghanistan, both in the ranks of pro-government forces and among the Taliban insurgents.
We the humans are capable of tremendous hatred and loathing. That loathing will be expressed in different ways depending on local norms.

In this country, we rarely assassinate fourth graders. That said, we thought of that front-page report, which we'd already read, when we read a letter about the Iowa caucuses in that same New York Times.

The Times published six letters about the caucuses. This letter sits at the top of the pile:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (2/3/16): It really doesn’t matter that Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump in the Iowa caucuses on Monday night. What matters is that the majority of Republican voters in Iowa threw their support to one of two candidates whose main campaign themes are meanspiritedness and bigotry.

Though this week’s talk will be all about Mr. Trump’s loss, it should really be about America’s loss, and about confronting head on the racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia— not to mention callous indifference to poverty and suffering—that have become the calling cards of these politicians, and that are sadly embraced (or, at the very least, overlooked) by far too many Americans.
The writer unloosed his R-, B-, X- and I-bombs as he discussed the values and motives of "far too many Americans," otherwise known as Those People. The writer seems to be discussing "the majority of Republican voters in Iowa."

At the New York Times letters desk, some editor thought this was the first letter you should read in a group of six letters today. Those letters carry this headline:

"Analyzing the Iowa Caucus Results"

The writer was quick to drop his bombs on the heads of a wide range of Others. According to many experts and scholars, this is something we the liberals now increasingly do.

For that reason, these experts are increasingly describing the year just past, 2015, as the journalistic "Year of The Liberal." Some of these scholars even refer to 2015 as the year of liberal loathing.

When they do, they seem to have this phenomenon in mind.

Was 2015 really a year of liberal hatred and loathing? With great reluctance, we'll admit that we can almost see these famous scholars' point.

As another example of the problem, consider the conduct described by Connie Schultz in her new syndicated column, seen here at The National Memo. Schultz, a former Pulitzer winner, complains about this recent language from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

“Thanks to Trump, the entire Palin clan is now back in the spotlight they so crave. Come July, Republican National Convention organizers should house the whole dysfunctional family at a trailer park in Ashtabula.”

Schultz starts her column by describing her maternal grandmother and great-grandmother, each of whom lived in trailer homes in Ashtabula County. "I wanted you to know a little bit about my grandmothers," she writes, "so that you might better understand my outrage over" that recent column, whose language we've posted above.

We strongly recommend Schultz's beautiful column. As a professional courtesy, she doesn't name the writer who extended the long-running portrait by us the liberals of Them The Others, who we regard as "white trash."

What does any of this have to do with that murdered fourth-grader? Absolutely nothing at all! It's obvious that the motives and values of us the liberals are beyond reproach!

That said:

Yesterday, in Part 8 of this report, we noted the recent comments by Spike Lee, a person we regard as good, decent, funny and smart. Are we the liberals now involved in a culture of hatred and loathing, as so many scholars are saying? For today, we'll simply repost what Lee, a good smart person, was quoted saying in Monday's New York Times:
BUCKLEY (2/1/16): There seems to be no common ground right now. Every time Obama talks about guns, sales spike.

LEE: Or there's a mass shooting. After San Bernardino, they went up.

It's called scare tactics. I don't think anything good comes out of people using fear, whether it be Mussolini or Hitler.

Trump too.
What's his motto? ''Make America great again''? Those are code words. It's like, all right, let's put the blacks back in their place where they used to be. You know what, why not go all the way? Let's bomb churches, let's bring back Bull Connor, let's have water cannons, let's have German shepherds. You might as well. They want to rewind the clock. It's not just black folks; women too. Let's rewind when white men were in control.
According to Lee, Those People want to bomb black churches all over again! We're so old that we can remember when four good and decent school-aged girls were killed in one such bombing.

Are we the liberals adopting a culture of liberal hatred and loathing? According to a raft of scholars, this cultural drift is one of the markers which made last year, 2015, the journalistic "Year of the Liberal."

Here at THE HOWLER, we have only two more days to explain this difficult sociological concept. Next Monday, we open a sprawling new pavilion with a whole new type of content.

Spike Lee has always struck us as good, smart, decent, funny, sane. So, we'll guess, is the person who wrote that letter to the New York Times. Also the author of the piece which extending the pleasing imagery of those poor white trash.

That said, the behavior of us the humans is determined, around the world, by what local culture allows. Have we the liberals begun to drift toward a culture of hatred and loathing?

When we hear scholars making that claim, we can almost see their point! Tomorrow, who the heck are those fiendish Trump voters? Also this:

Does the question even make sense?

Tomorrow: Videotape of Trump voters!

42 comments:

  1. I think the problem occurs when we criticize people for who they are instead of what they have done. Somerby seems to be arguing that we should have hands off when Trump calls Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, that we should not complain about such remarks. I think his point should be that saying a bigoted thing doesn't make Trump a bigot in his essence. It means he has said something mistaken, something he might not have said had he understood the complex problem of immigration. We can call him wrong without branding him with an adjective in his person. That approach leaves room for change. Saying that someone is a bigot does not. Liberals should be about change. That means we need to learn to leave the door open to it.

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    1. You are totally full of shit. Ignorance of immigration complexity has nothing to do with calling all immigrants from one nation rapists.
      Racism does.

      Delete
    2. I think 10:11's point is we don't know if Trump is a racist, but we know he said those things to woo racists to vote for him.
      He has to. He's running in the Republican primary.

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    3. What part of "It means he has said something mistaken, something he might not have said had he understood the complex problem of immigration" did you not read @ 11:37?

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    4. I doubt many, if any Trump voters support bombing black churches.

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    5. That may be true.
      Now, not using their tax money to support their fellow citizens because some of the beneficiaries might be black? You betcha!

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    6. Lee was not suggesting Trump voters want to bomb black churches. Only people like Bob, who conveniently forget their own lessons about Al Gore inventing the internet, suggest he implied that. Lee was noting that in wanting to roll the clock back to a time "America was great" you roll it back to a time when such nasty things were happening in "America the Great."

      This is why Somerby's premise in his first post on this topic, that the reporter erred in not asking Lee who he meant, demonstrates how senile this sad blog has become.

      Delete
    7. @3:24, I think some people resent the idea of supporting other people's children regardless of their color. Especially when the parents themselves take no responsibility.

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    8. How, in the name of gutting the Voting Rights Act, can anyone still believe the GOP doesn't woo bigots?

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  2. It is probably wrong to confuse what occurs on the internet with what is going on in real life. I don't see any more hate and loathing in my daily life than there has ever been. I do see the internet and the media as a magnifying glass for whatever garbage someone thinks will sell papers or generate ad clicks.

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    1. Hate speech and cat videos.

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  3. Note the irony of unfairly demonizing a minority person, while accusing him of bigotry. Instapundit explains why the mainstream media must present Cruz as evil:

    The MSM of course funnels all Republicans into two binary categories, evil and stupid:

    Calvin Coolidge: Stupid.
    Herbert Hoover: Evil.
    Eisenhower: Stupid.* (* No really, despite having then-recently won a minor bit of overseas unpleasantness called World War II due to his organizational genius, Ike was seen as quite dim)
    Nixon: Eeeeeeeviiiiiilllll.
    Ford: Stupid.
    Reagan: Stupid and evil.
    GHWB: (Tough for the MSM to decide. Two guesses as to which template they used for Quayle.)
    GWB: Stupid. (The MSM had Cheney to project their evil upon.)


    Cruz is undoubtedly brilliant, so the MSM portrays him as evil.

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    1. This is a very silly analysis.

      David in Cal: Stupid and evil.

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    2. D in C, shallow, ridiculously simplistic and dumb.

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    3. When has anyone ever said that Ike was stupid? Or Ford? Or Nixon "evil."

      You know who's stupid don't you? Instapundit.

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    4. So, the evil of Cheney was really the evil of the MSM "projected" onto him?

      David in CA confirms his deceitful character just as back when the fabled 1800s woman of the streets was called a two-bit whore and she hit her accuser with a bag of quarters.

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    5. everything is relative David, I'm sure to you Cruz is brilliant, but to most of us he's not bright and it's pretty plain to see.

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    6. Senator Cruz - brilliantly exploiting ignorance and fear.

      "Said Cruz: “My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise. We are assured it is a military training exercise."

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    7. so...obama goes to harvard law and is on law review and he's brilliant...and cruz goes to harvard law and is on law review and "he's not bright and it's pretty plain to see." hmmm.. i guess we know who the asses are.

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  4. I think this point about the lack of symmetry between the left and right is pretty interesting because it suggests the complaints against the candidates on right are not a simple matter of name-calling -- there are real differences, ones that matter.

    http://www.samefacts.com/2016/01/everything-else/trump-and-sanders/

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  5. From Connie Schultz:

    "Mocking [the white underclass] will never bring us closer to understanding them, but it will surely reveal us, and we will not benefit from the exposure."

    Posted knowing there will soon come a troll to explain why that's wrong.

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    1. I believe trailer trash was a term used by the boys in the Clinton War Room back when it was PC to denounce both mobile home residents and women who claimed encounters with Bill Clinton.

      Delete
    2. Wonder if Connie Shultz extols this:

      "Trump suggested, there might be a spot for Palin in his Cabinet. Last September, Palin told CNN she wants to be secretary of energy.

      "I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby — oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the Earth for mankind's use instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations."

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    3. Well, there is such a thing as trailer trash, but it's not accurate or helpful to describe all GOP voters in the Midwest as such.

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    4. I think the only thing so described in the column was Palin & Family. I am sure veryone in an Ashtabula trailer park could noet be helpfully or accurately described as Schultz's granny and great granny, either.

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  6. link is http://www.nationalmemo.com/here-we-go-again-trash-talking-the-working-class/

    Liberalism has pretty much run out of good ideas. They've pretty much run out of other people's money to spend. So, they define themselves primarily as opponents to some sort of bad guys: trailer trash, conservatives, climate deniers, racists, etc.

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    1. There goes DinC, putting down mobile home residents by lumping them with some truly despicable people he defends.

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    2. D in C - you seem to love Cruz based on his alleged high level of intelligence. Are you saying that he is not an extremist and a demagogue? Do you disagree that it would be a disaster if he was elected? Will we be better off abolishing the IRS, installing a VAT, abolishing the estate tax, reneging on the Iran deal, carpet bombing Isis, having a bunch of new Scalias on the Supreme Court? You like his appeal to religious fundamentalists and his ploy with the machine gun? The so-called liberal media if anything has been way too soft on him.

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  7. For the record. Lee did not say "Those People want to bomb black churches all over again!" Those words were put in his mouth by a guy old enough to have spent sixteen years explaining the evils of saying Al Gore said "he invented the internet."

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  8. I don't feel good reading Connie's column. She wants me to have positive notions about her grandmother, but her grandmother abandoned her child, and her great grandmother raised a woman that would abandon her child. This makes me more inclined to stereotype people that live in trailer parks.

    Also why would you sell a house and 20 acres and move to a trailer park. Just to be closer to church? That's nutty and likely not true. And a poor decision.

    Connie is really pushing readers to have negative notions of trailer park people.

    Connie spent a short amount of time visiting a trailer park, let's see how she likes living there as a permanent residence. Trailer parks are not where the working class live. The working class live in many different types of locations, but avoid living in trailer parks, which are filled with people not working. Trailer parks are incredibly depressing, full of sad, lost, and angry people. People need upbeat accommodations, we need to provide the needy with much better living environments than trailer parks and housing projects.

    What's that odd part about how her grandmothers told stories that put some undefined ambitions in her heart? Connie, how about a little less ambition and a little more action. Writing about how a mom who has no ideas beyond her little trailer park is proud that her son has the american flag painted on his face, that's sad. That mom needs you to explain things, not promote her xenophobic born nationalism.

    Connie is clueless.

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    Replies
    1. Anon @ 7:43 has never spent any time in a trailer park.Anon @ 7:43 has probably never done a hard day's work either.

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  9. Well, we covered Spike Lee pretty much yesterday. Bob is of course ignoring some of the ugly things in Trump's past, the Central Park Five Case in particular, the expose The Daily Howler as either selectively or poorly informed.
    Can we really believe Bob doesn't understand the feelings that are drugged up in informed Black people when Republicans start on their rents about the good old days? If not, he is a stupid, stupid man.
    Afghanistan is a massive, ridiculous by partisan disaster for the United States. How dearly we could have used "The Daily Howler" of old in examining how it has been covered. But he was alas stuck in his own rut of uncontrolled hatred of Rachel Maddow, and sort of forgot about the was the press covers important issues.

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    1. Yes. Must repeat the Spike quote twice in the Year of Bob Loathing. Must falsely characterize it as well. We can believe that Bob doesn't understand AND is Stupid. Just like a liberal for you. Class A dumb. And nobody much likes him.

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  10. It used to be liberals championed the underclass. Now they despise them. Can you imagine how some would denigrate the likes of the Joad family (from the Grapes of Wrath) today. It's really sad how some liberals have become such suck up/kick down types.

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    1. Not really, though the utter disinterest in poor or working class whites is embarrassing. Beyond that, they are victims of a medialand, where you learn the importance of The Academy Awards but not the people who live next store.

      Delete
  11. It is far easier to recognize destructive tribalism in other cultures than it is to recognize our own destructive tribalism. "We don't see the world as it is. We see the world as we are." (attributed to Anais Nin?)
    Each tribe believes they see the world clearly and the other tribe is dangerously deluded, stupid or evil.
    Tribal divisions work to the benefit of Empire which benefits both political parties and their financial elite donors.
    Unless we find common ground in our common humanity we shall all perish from the face of the earth.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is far easier to recognize destructive tribalism in other cultures than it is to recognize our own destructive tribalism. "We don't see the world as it is. We see the world as we are." (attributed to Anais Nin?)
    Each tribe believes they see the world clearly and the other tribe is dangerously deluded, stupid or evil.
    Tribal divisions work to the benefit of Empire which benefits both political parties and their financial elite donors.
    Unless we find common ground in our common humanity we shall all perish from the face of the earth.

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    Replies
    1. Even if we don't perish our intellectual culture will melt, and then where will we all be

      Delete
    2. Nin was quoting from the Talmud:

      “We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.”— Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani, as quoted in the Talmudic tractate Berakhot (55b.)"

      Delete
  13. "In this country, we rarely assassinate fourth graders. That said, we thought of that front-page report, which we'd already read"

    You better speak out, you better decry
    You better find out Bob's telling you why

    Liberalism reminds him of Taliban.

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