From Facebook, Two Comments Of The Day: The Election

Police form a line to contain protesters outside a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday, June 2, 2016, in San Jose, Calif.  A group of protesters attacked  Trump supporters who were leaving the presidential candidate's rally in San Jose on Thursday night. A dozen or more people were punched, at least one person was pelted with an egg and Trump hats grabbed from supporters were set on fire on the ground. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Two regular commenters,  johnburger2013 and Alexander Cheezem, cross-posted their Facebook essays about the election on Ethics Alarms. Both are worthy Comment of the Day.

First, from johnburger2013:

A  Facebook friend told me to let this go. However, I can’t, especially after reading countless postings about the end to the US as we know it. This post is most particularly directed at the person accusing me of white-male-entitled-complacency, who has never had to worry about storm troopers kicking in my front door.

Trump won. Clinton lost. This has been a long, painful, contentious election cycle, extraordinarily dividing the nation into bitter, blinded hemispheres with unbelievable and unnecessary bloodletting.

Yet, take heart. The US republic will survive. Will Trump be a good president? Who knows? Nobody. Got that? Nobody. Time will tell.

Give some credit to the citizenry. The US, for all of its past and present errors, has tried to live up to its mission to form a ‘more perfect’ union. It has constantly tried to right the ship and steer it away from the rocks. Hopefully, the thousand cuts inflicted by this election will heal and the nation will find itself stronger. I have read that a broken bone is stronger when it heals. Hope springs eternal.

To those lamenting and wailing that your candidate lost: Stop it. Please. For the sake of the nation. Just stop it. Trump’s presidency does not, and will not, lead to mass incarceration, deportation, or the building of ovens. The US is nowhere near where the Weimar Republic was in the 1920s. Nor is it anywhere close to pre-Mussolini Italy, pre-Franco Spain, pre-Chavez Venezuela, or pre-Morales Bolivia. And no, Trump’s presidency will not, under any circumstances, be a catalyst for religious reactionaries calling for pregnant women to be chained to the stove.

More particularly, stop hurling Nazi memes around. Nazi Germany led to unspeakable evil, targeting Jews for extermination. Do not, under any circumstances, diminish what Jews suffered under Nazi genocide by claiming that Trump and his supporters are one clothing store away from brown shirts. Do not tell me that my ‘white-privilege complacency’ blinds me to the realities of Kristallnacht. It is insulting and cruel. I am from the Cleveland, Ohio, area, which had a large survivor community. I saw the fear. I heard the stories survivors endured. Worst of all, I saw the despair in the eyes of ordinary people targeted because of their religion. I don’t need to experience first-hand what happened at Treblinka or Auschwitz to know that that is pure, unbridled evil.

Furthermore, I saw that Kristallnacht has been trending on Facebook, and, ironically, began on November 9, 1938. Believe, me, I do not support Donald Trump – I think he will be a terrible president (I hope I am wrong). However, I am disheartened and saddened that fellow citizens cannot put aside partisan differences. Reading Facebook postings comparing Trump to Hitler, and his supporters to the Schutzstaffel, is morally offensive, especially having known people who suffered through Nazi genocide, people forever scarred by the horror they lived and having to relive it every single moment they look at numbers brutally carved into their skin

Trump’s victory absolutely does not mean that minorities will be hauled back to plantations in chains, or marriages recently upheld will be obliterated.

As for Trump and his supporters: Drop the “Clinton-is-a-criminal” stuff. Your candidate won. Stop gloating. It is immature and unbecoming of the republic. Your candidate will take the highest executive office in the land. Demand that your candidate govern with the dignity, respect, and vision that office requires. Demand that he stop saying stupid things. Demand that he develop a filter and impulse control expected of the office.

Disagree over policy. Disagree over ideas. Disagree all you want about Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush or Obama, but they behaved in the manner called for by the Office of the President of the United States of America.

The US is a great place to live because of the liberties enshrined and guaranteed and protected by the Constitution. If we, as citizens, hold to true to those values, the nation will be a better place.

Now Alexander Cheezem’s Comment of the Day, on the theme of accountability, an Ethics Alarms favorite. I’ll have a brief comment at the end:

For the record, my first reaction to learning the results of the Presidential election was simply to be sick. I’m still nauseous. My first *emotional* reaction was fury.And no, not at Trump and his supporters. My fury was reserved for Clinton and the Democratic Party.

They had two responsibilities this year, and they bombed both of them. The first? To nominate a strong candidate capable of earning support from both “sides” and helping to heal the divides that have been created over the course of Obama’s presidency. The second? To put the welfare of the country — and the democratic process — ahead of their own petty games and self-interests.

They failed miserably on both counts. Hillary was one of the single least popular, and thus weakest, candidates in history — only Trump even comes close — and their conduct was openly corrupt to an extent that even I find hard to truly believe.

If they’d actually cared about this country more than their political games, they would have viewed things like *being under an active FBI investigation* as disqualifying. They didn’t.

If they’d been willing to put the democratic process ahead of their poltitical games… you know, I’m not even sure where to start, but the tipping point for me was when Hillary didn’t even wait a full day from when Debbie Wasserman Schultz was outed from her position as party chair for trying to rig the primaries in Hillary’s favor to hire her on to her campaign. More recently, there’s the Donna Brazile/CNN thing… which was also about trying to rig the election (or at least the debates).

So no, I don’t blame the Republicans for this fiasco. I blame the people who are supposed to hold the Republicans in check.


I’m back. I was especially grateful for Alexander’s post, as I was gearing up to post a similar themed essay. On November 8, 2012, seriously nauseated by hearing Rush Limbaugh announce that Obama was re-elected because “There’s no way to win when the other side is about giving away free stuff” and Mark Levin was calling the “low information” American Voter an idiot and worse, I wrote post called “Accountability Check: Blame Yourselves, Conservatives.”

This one would have used “progressives” instead of “conservatives,” and the details would have been different. The ethics message, however, would have been the same. The post concluded:

“The fact remains, however, that Democrats would not be in power if the Republicans had been competent, honest, dedicated, trustworthy, and responsible. I don’t want to hear Newt Gingrich, Mark Levin, Rush and Laura Ingraham impugn the American people for being hesitant to trust this crowd again—not until they demonstrate that they recognize and acknowledge their own failings, and accept their fair share of accountability for the disaster that is growing before our eyes.”

Just change the names, my friends.

Just change the names.

32 thoughts on “From Facebook, Two Comments Of The Day: The Election


        The superintendent said she is not sure why students seem to think this behavior is suddenly acceptable. There’s been no major changes at the school and this has not been an issue in the past

        Well I’m stumped. Can’t think why this inexplicable event happened.

        You said it yourself.
        ” I am confident that even at this difficult time in our nation’s history, reeling from the serial incompetence of the Bush and Obama administrations, the United States could survive a Trump Presidency as a nation.

        We could not, however survive it as a culture.”

        Too early to tell, but the signs aren’t good. A temporary, localised phenomenon, or just the beginning? The many similar stories from high schools NOT just in the Deep South, but all over the nation – and even internationally – means the phenomenon is real, not just a glitch or unrepresentative blip.

        • And did Trump transform the rioters into assholes? How about the rioting illegals telling CNN that people have to die? Or the millions signing a petition calling for electors to violate their pledges. How about the private school principle who made the kids sing “We shall overcome” in response to the election?

          These people were ALREADY assholes. Just like those students.

          • ” And did Trump transform the rioters into assholes? How about the rioting illegals telling CNN that people have to die? ”

            Which rationalisations are those? I forget the numbers.

            Agree that these were already assholes. But that’s accepted behaviour now. Presidential even.

            I wonder where the new bound on accepted behaviour will be set now the old one has fallen.

  1. At this point it looks like the only people with less self-control than Trump are the ones who are sobbing, seeking safe spaces, or creating chaos. I’d be grateful for a little more self-control and a little less self-agitation. But, it’s in the interest of the press to escalate, so it probably won’t happen.

    • Being fair, they’re getting some encouragement…

      “Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States has emboldened white supremacists to target Hillary Clinton supporters and others with online harassment.
      The neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer published a list of more than 50 Twitter users who had expressed fear about the outcome of the 2016 election, urging its readers to “punish” them with a barrage of tweets that would drive them to suicide.”
      “You can troll these people and definitely get some of them to kill themselves,” wrote the Daily Stormer’s publisher, Andrew Anglin.”

      I’m sometimes amazed at how nonviolent the US is. Nazis using Tweets as a weapon? Still, anything intended to cause multiple deaths, if it can’t be dealt with by the law, can easily be dealt with by more direct means. Yet you don’t.

      I don’t get it, frankly.

  2. You won’t finding me disagreeing.

    But before, the assholes were chained in the bonds of political correctness, which for all its faults, ensured a relatively civil society.

    The rusty wire that holds the cork that keeps the anger in
    Gives way, and suddenly, it’s day again.

    • Political correctness is an especially sinister form of assholery, because it removes rights and individuality and autonomy in the name of civility. If I have to choose, I’ll take free speech vulgarians…but we shouldn’t have to choose.

        • Great, appeal to bias. Nice. Do you process anything written here? A blatant unethical rationalization—you wouldn’t support the death penalty if your SON was a serial killer…you wouldn’t want punishment for drug dealing if your BROTHER was going to jail…yeah, people usually sacrifice principle for family loyalty. That doesn’t invlaidate the principle, It does invalidate the judgement of people who make that argument.

          Basic civility versus rioting…bullying vs. Killing people. Wow. Tough choices.

          • The point being, children should not be exposed to that kind of vulgarity.
            And if you have empathy you will know that what hurts you for your children hurts all parents and their children.

            I disavow and condemn violence and property damage committed in protest. It is wrong. Even if I am sympathetic to the cause, those things are wrong.

            Where has human kindness and empathy gone?

            • What are you blathering about? Now appealing to emotion is your game? The question is who is accountable for rude conduct and bullying and making those parties accountable. Empathy is not an excuse to blame others for conduct they neither commanded nor controlled, nor does it justify irrational terror. Ok, children should not be exposed. If the idea is to lay it all on Donald Trump, that’s so dishonest it’s choke-worthy. Watch the TV and commercials that Hillary’s loyal donors in Hollywood give us. Look at the invective used by both sides. Who is tweeting all the death threats to Trump now?

              Children who hear their parents denigrated on late night talk shows and Comedy Central and a million other places because they dare to oppose illegal aliens getting benefits and kisses for breaking the law…and they strike back and lash out. Where’s the empathy for them?

              Mark it down as one more out of a million reasons Trump won. The hypocrisy, the double-standards, the empathy for the favored few, the “Tolerance” for some and not others, the officially sanctioned discrimination, bigotry and a thumb on the scales…all of it. Yeah, there are bound to be some excessive acting out now that the chains feel like they are about to come off. Yes, it’s wrong.But don’t blame the one who loosened the chains.

              • Rationalisation. Please have a look at your list of excuses again. I often do.

                I could be wrong, but the tone of your writing suggests an uncharacteristic emotional involvement. Hey, it happens, to me too of course.

                When the pendulum swings back, both you and I are going to be all out NOT excusing the violence and incidents like this from the Left this time.

                  • I’m sorry Jack, for not being clear, I abhor violence and property damage and vulgarity, cruelty and bullying whether it comes from left or right. I’m not scolding either side, I’m lamenting the lack of empathy and human kindness that the country as whole is displaying. I don’t blame Trump or Clinton or Obama. I think this societal virus may have taken root in Social Media, where any idea is given a platform, good, bad, ridiculous or treacherous though it may be. The mind-numbing proliferation of fake and quasi-news sites and memes and sites, blogs and pages to feed the confirmation bias and find like-minded souls to nurture and defend those ideas….24 hours a day, 7 days a week. it used to be folks had to go places to commiserate with cronies, now you can find anyone to prop up your delusions any time, day or night. It is unhealthy. It is hurting our children.

      • ” Political correctness is an especially sinister form of assholery, because it removes rights and individuality and autonomy in the name of civility. ”

        Not necessarily. The new political correctness, likely to be far more rigid than the old one, is that you can’t call the KKK and its ilk “deplorable” without fellow-travellers getting butthurt.

        Yes, I know, not all Trump supporters are bigots. I know quite a few, and not a single one of them is any more bigoted than I am, and I try really hard not to be.

        Ok, thinking on it, there are a handful of FB commenters who qualify, but none of them friends. A few ultra rightists amongst my friends, but even there not rabidly xenophobic. I tend to encourage *actual* diversity of opinion, not the common Leftist variety, which is stifling in its conformity.

        The problem is that I don’t have a 2 year vetting procedure in place to see where we are. That’s a problem, as there are far more nazis et al amongst Trump supporters than there are ISIS amongst muslims. At a guess, maybe 1 in 3. 25% voted Trump, so on the order of 8% of Americans are xenophobes, bigots, racists – Deplorables if you like – about the same proportion as those who believe the Earth is flat. Unrepresentative. Fringe. But by no means a tiny minority. And vocal, as they have every right to be. We’re no longer allowed to criticise them though, it seems.

        Not in a literal sense yet, and I strongly doubt it could ever get that way, things would fall apart long before then.

        • Come on. What’s the max number of KKK votes Trump got? The total number of Klan members is estimated at most at 5000. There are more members of NAMBLA than that, and I bet their Hillary votes cancelled out Trump’s KKK votes. Gee, why weren’t Clinton supporters identified with men who like little boys? My guess is that the news media wouldn’t actively support THAT smear. Fringe groups have no impact on mainstream politics, but the NYT wants Trump to disavow every one that trie to get ink by endorsing him. I know you know that that’s a well-worn Big Lie tactic. So condemn it.

          • ” Gee, why weren’t Clinton supporters identified with men who like little boys?”

            You obviously didn’t see the adverts run by McCrory supporters in NC. They were. Much of those ads recycled from the Texas campaign.

            The numbers show they may have been counterproductive though.

    • BTW, I wasn’t going to share this video even though I kinow Jack and others will howl with laughter because, well, I didn’t think it proper to inject another funny video into the discussion here. BUT, after watching it twice more, I’ve decided to post it here. There’s a key line in the 8 minute film. See if you can pick it out. Then see if it applies to this discussion in a, perhaps, metaphorical sense.

      Enjoy The Gunfighter…

    • Can’t do it.

      First, I have never heard Trump make a racist statement, and I don’t believe he is a racist. The Truther stuff did not assert that blacks are inferior, and he did the same thing to Ted Cruz. Nor has he ever made a xenophobic statement. This is just a Big Lie. His wife in an immigrant. He has never denigrated immigrants. Obama was elected while opposing gay marriage, and after denigrating Christian gun owners. No one demanded that he retract those statements when he was elected. Nor was Obama made to disavow the endorsements of people like Farakhan, Jesse Jackson, the New Black Panthers, various Sixties terrorists, sexual predator Bill Clinton or Al Sharpton, among others. Obama had plenty of extremists in his camp and staff: you are subjectively making a distinction between good extremist and bad extremists, based on what extremes you like. Do late term abortion on demand advocates qualify as extremists? Of course. Was Obama ever asked to disavow them? Never.

      “No one associated with a hate group or any form of extremism”…whose definitions are we accepting? The Left, for 8 years, termed any opposition hate if it could. Any extremism? TheLeft thinks saluting the flag and wanting to enforce laws is extremism.

      I hope you can do better than this.

      • Others here may offer examples of what they consider racist comments and racial bias by Trump. I offer only this…

        Of course, Jack, we could quibble about this till the cows come home.
        But that’s not my focus here. The following is what really matters to me because, unless Trump disavows these past associations, I fear this country will tear itself apart in ways you have yet to imagine.

        (From the link to the petition)
        “During your campaign, you denigrated people because of their race, their religion, their ethnicity, their gender, their disability, and more.”

        “Now, haters of all stripes – from white nationalists to anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT extremists – are celebrating your victory.”

        “You must distance yourself from them.”

        “You have pledged to be a president for “all Americans” and to “bind the wounds of division” in our country.”

        “If you mean what you say, you must do two things.”

        “First, you must publicly disavow all forms of bigotry.”

        “Second, you must assure the country that no one associated with a hate group or any form of extremism will have a position, a voice or influence in your administration.”

        “The campaign is over. If President-elect Trump wants to be a president for “all Americans,” he must publicly reject hate and bigotry.”

        I don’t think this is too much to ask of Donald Trump. Do you?

        • Addendum… I follow groups of every ilk on Twitter. Check out for my reasoning that Trump needs to address the nation on this matter.

          Bottom line is you may be technically correct that Trump hasn’t made any racist remarks, although I think that’s up for debate. But, for the good of the country, and all ethics considerations aside (yes, I think that Obama also made many remarks that may be considered racist) Trump needs to put some salve on this open wound.

  3. This, if true, goes beyond mere assholery.

    A substitute physical education teacher at Bret Harte Preparatory Middle School at 9301 S. Hoover Street in South Los Angeles was recorded telling students that their parents would be deported – one day after Trump was elected.

    “If you were born here, then your parents gotta go and they gonna leave you behind. You’ll be in foster care,” according to the recording made by one of the 6th-grade students.

    They said he was a long-term substitute teacher at Bret Harte.

    At one point on the recording, a child asked the teacher a question.

    Student: “How are they going to find me?”
    Teacher: “I got your phone numbers, your address, your mama’s address, your daddy’s address. It’s all in the system, sweetie. And when they come and there’s an illegal, they gotta go!”

    • The real significance of this election’s aftermath is that it may show to all what the right wing media has been saying all along: the progressives have nurtured some truly terrible people, masquerading as compassionate, but really mean-spirited, corrupt and ruthless. I’m even surprised. But the ugliness started coming out after Comey’s letter—that was its significance to me. Hillary could have shrugged and said, “Ok, a few more e-mails. Let him do his job.” Instead, the Democrats tried to destroy him—for keeping a promise to Congress. Who wants to be part of a group dominated by people like this? Then the DNC chair is caught cheating, says she’s proud of it, and keeps her job.

      These are bad people. Now, after an election result they didn’t see coming, the mask is off. They are so ugly, and they don’t even know it.

      • “.. the progressives have nurtured some truly terrible people, masquerading as compassionate, but really mean-spirited, corrupt and ruthless. ”

        You mean like the religious right does? Yes, I’m sure you’re correct. The progressives may even be worse, as often the religious right glories in hatred, not concealing it. The Westboro Baptists being an obvious and extreme example, the FRC, NOM etc keeping the mask on for now.

        Both convinced of their own moral rectitude. Neither even remotely self critical or with an ounce of compassion for the Other.

        I try not to be like that. I don’t always succeed. Ah spit.

        As for the teacher – while this isn’t just redolent of the 30s, but reeks of them, the worst thing is that she may have just been telling the truth. That is indeed what is going to happen to these children, born in the USA. I see that Trump is only going to deport 3 million, not 11 million now. That’s… Logistically feasible.

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