Self-governing watch: Two letters about our liberal protesters!


Goofus and Gallant speak out:
Is it possible?

Is it possible that we the liberals just swung the state of Ohio for Candidate Trump?

Sadly enough, we'd say it is possible. First, though, consider a pair of letters in today's New York Times.

These letters concern the heroic liberal fighters who heroically have been interrupting Candidate Trump's campaign events. In our view, the letters were written by Goofus and Gallant.

The Times published Goofus first:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (3/15/16): Re “Trump Cancels Chicago Rally Amid a Melee” (front page, March 12):

It is highly hypocritical for Donald Trump, after canceling his rally, to tell people to go “in peace” when he has done nothing but foment violence and hatred since the beginning of his campaign. He has not only tried to deny protesters their rights but has also encouraged his supporters to react violently to people who disagree with them. It is just a matter of time, sadly, before someone is seriously hurt at one of these events.

This is not the presidential campaign that most Americans want to see. It is embarrassing, and, worse, very frightening.
That letter presents our straight tribal line. In that letter, "protesters" have appeared at Trump's events. Full stop, except for this:

Trump has denied them the rights.

That's the paradigm / porridge you'll be served at many pseudo-liberal sites. But uh-oh! Right below that letter, a second letter appeared.

This one was written by Gallant:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (3/15/16): While deploring Donald Trump’s provocative language, we must also forcefully condemn the anti-Trump protesters who made it impossible for him to speak at a campaign event in Chicago on Friday. There is a distinction between a public space like a sidewalk or park where all may demonstrate, and an auditorium rented by a candidate to meet with his supporters without the threat of disruption.

Mr. Trump has made outrageous statements; the anti-Trump protesters have engaged in outrageous conduct. His words may offend, but their actions threaten the orderly conduct of our elections.
Goofus only imagines one person or group doing something wrong. Gallant knows how to describe a world which contains competing bits of misconduct.

(Pause for members of our tribe to complain about "moral equivalence." It's one of the very few plays our modern tribe seems to know.)

Ignore specifics about Chicago and instead ask yourself this: When people keep interrupting campaign speeches, sometimes by actually rushing the stage, are they accurately and completely described as "protesters," full stop?

We ask that for an obvious reason. Many voters, including some in Ohio, aren't going to see it that way. To the extent that we insist on ignoring their legitimate perspective and complaints, we're dumbing ourselves way down.

That said, our tribe is very dumb, despite the praise we ten to shower on ourselves for our manifest brilliance. Again, we suggest that you watch this videotape from 2015. It features the 22-year-old college student who rushed the stage in Dayton this weekend, forcing Trump's security forces to scramble.

That videotape is embarrassing; you should watch the full six minutes. There's no reason why college kids should be intellectual or political giants. But that videotape, and that student's behavior, could imaginably swing the state of Ohio tonight.

If you don't understand how that could happen, you're simply not ready, at this point in time, to be playing this life-and-death game.

On balance, our liberal tribe is just extremely dumb at this point in time. Adult intellectual leadership is almost wholly missing. We've put our teenagers in charge.

A key part of our dumbness is this:

We're strongly unable to see our dumbness. Since Friday, our multimillionaire corporate cable stars have been feeding us the tribal porridge which will keep us that way.

If you rush the stage and/or interrupt, are you a "protester" full stop? We're being encouraged to think that the answer is yes. But then, our corporate minders think we're dumb.

We seldom prove them wrong.


  1. How are these protests going to swing the state of Ohio tonight, considering both sides are tribal?
    Will the tribal lefties switch to voting for the Republican because of these protests?
    Will the tribal righties switch to voting for the Democrat because of theses protests?
    I thought the whole point of "tribalism" is it just hardens the tribalist beliefs. If so, your concern about how these protests will swing the Ohio state election tonight is just concern trolling.

  2. Indeed, let's imagine that Trump supporters were interrupting Bernie and Hillary a dozen times during their speeches, and one even tried to rush the stage during a Clinton rally. What would many liberals be saying? Surely it would be proof of what we already know: that Trump supporters are fascists etc.

    1. You mean like bringing guns to town halls regarding the ACA?
      Surely it would prove what we already know: the corporate-owned media is in the bag for Conservatives.

    2. I have no idea what "many liberals" would be saying since I can't read minds in general, and certainly not the minds of strawmen.

      But myself and the "liberals" I know think the guy who rushed Trump on stage was a dumbass.

    3. Poor Somerby. Still mining "letters to editor" for proof of "our dumbness."

    4. Mining implies work.

  3. One of the inherent problems with protesting is the obvious need to protest.
    As in "the peasants are revolting."
    Disagree-ability is a pitfall of every good demonstration.
    It is the mature soul that knows they have power in protest when they call attention to differences while not creating more.
    It's really all you can do aside from outright rioting.
    It's the immature protester (stage-rushing genius) that revels in the attention, yet stumbles in the fray.
    I've been to protests since the 60's (bow ye rookies) and it was ever thus.
    My rules: 1) show up, 2) be nice, 3) don't get drawn into nonsense, 4) recover with beer.
    Hasn't failed me yet.

  4. We liberals are so dumb we can't even swing Ohio for Trump. But Bob is so smart he can blame OUR Team for all those other states Donald J. (Don't go calling him The Donald) Trump won yesterday.