Women’s March Ethics: Now THAT’S Ad Hominem!


Ashley Judd, indulging her inner Trump.

I often have to correct commenters on Ethics Alarms who accuse me of engaging in the argument fallacy of ad hominem after I pronounced them jerks, fools, or idiots based on their comments. (I shouldn’t do that, but sometimes I can’t help myself, and if it stops me from going crazy from all the stuff I have to  read every day to decide what gets published, we all benefit. well, I do, at least.) No, I explain, with more or less patience, that’s not ad hominem. It would be ad hominem if I wrote, “Your argument can be safely ignored because you are an idiot.” Then I would be using an author’s presumed character, intelligence or acumen to discredit his or her opinion. That’s unfair and illogical. An argument derives its value and persuasiveness from its contents, not its messenger. It would also be an ad hominem attack if I responded to a comment with a stream of vile insults.

If, however, I read a comment, determine it to be based on bad facts, bias, poor reasoning and faulty logic, I may justly conclude that only a dolt would express such an opinion in public, and say so, as in, “You are a dolt.” That is a diagnosis—an insulting one, to be sure, but still just a diagnosis.

Now, thanks to actress Ashley Judd’s performance today at the Washington, D.C. version of “The Women’s March,” I can use her as an illustration of what an ad hominem attack is, and why it should be avoided.

Judd read a poem by an angry 19-year-old, that contained the lines..

“I am a nasty women.’I’m not as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheeto dust…I’m not as nasty as your own daughter being your favorite sex symbol, your wet dreams infused with your own genes…”

Stay classy, Ashley.

You see, mocking someone’s appearance—it is a cardinal sin if it is a woman’s appearance that is being mocked, of course, adding hypocrisy to the mix—is pure, unadulterated ad hominem. It is also gratuitous meanness that has no communication value other than to say, “I hate you.” “I hate you” is not an argument. In fact, “I hate you” is a statement of bias. I can’t trust the assessment of an individual regarding what another individual says or believes if the critical individual hates him.

Additionally, the denigration is pure tit for tat, Rationalization 7.  That’s Donald Trump’s favorite rationalization. Stooping to Trump’s favorite method of debate, name-calling, isn’t persuasive or helpful. I’m sure it feels good, though. I guess that’s enough for Ashley and all the protesting women who clapped and cheered.


See, now that isn’t ad hominem, because by behaving like this, Judd undermines the whole protest. And that’s just plain stupid.

Is Judd speaking in public about the President of the United States while saying “your wet dreams [are] infused with your own genes” more or less uncivil than Trump speaking in private about grabbing women by the pussy? No contest. None. At the moment of vocalization, Judd’s words are far, far more uncivil. Trump would not ever say what he said to Billy Bush, not knowing that he was being recorded, to a rally of 250,000. (I think.) Even he has more couth than that. Judd does not. Because they cheered her, the women on the mall do not.

Fine. That tells me all I need to know. Trump and Judd, and her fans all deserve each other, and neither has the moral or ethical high ground. One large group of angry ideologues seeking to lash back at a President for his uncivil statements by being as unethical as he is isn’t worth my time or respect.  I don’t care about their protest. Nobody should. Arguably lowering the level of discourse further was Madonna, who talked of wanting to blow up the White House. When all a demonstration does is engage in primal scream therapy, and wrap itself in anger, insults and rhetorical excess, it isn’t a respectable or ethical protest. It is grandstanding.

For the benefit of Ashley Judd and others, I am finally adding the Ethics Alarms 12 Question Protest Ethics Check List to the permanent resources in the far left margin. It is right under “The Apology Scale.”

12 Question Protest Ethics Check List

Protesters, no matter what they are protesting, have an ethical duty to ask themselves these ten questions before they stop traffic, jam networks, take over buildings or otherwise make life miserable for people who have little or nothing to do with what is being protested

1. Is this protest just and necessary?

2. Is the primary motive for the protest personal, selfish, or narrow?

3. Is the means of protest appropriate to the objective?

4. Is there a significant chance that it will achieve an ethical objective or contribute to doing so?

5. What will this protest cost, and who will have to pay the bill?

6. Will the individuals or organizations that are the targets of the protest also be the ones who will most powerfully feel its effects?

7. Will innocent people be adversely affected by this action? (If so, how many?)

8. Is there a significant possibility that anyone will be hurt or harmed? (if so, how seriously? How many people?)

9. Are you and your group prepared to take full responsibility for the consequences of the protest?

10. Would an objective person feel that the protest is fair, reasonable, and proportional to its goal?

11. What is the likelihood that the protest will be remembered as important, coherent, useful, effective and influential?

12. Could the same resources, energy and time be more productively used toward achieving the same goals, or better ones?

I have posted various versions of the Checklist before, on the way to the final iteration above. The most frequent objection has been that almost no protests or demonstrations meet the standards articulated.

That is correct. Almost no protests do, because almost all protests are unethical, and do more harm than good.

48 thoughts on “Women’s March Ethics: Now THAT’S Ad Hominem!

  1. Hopefully, some of the women in attendance were turned off by the extreme vulgarity of Ashley Judd and Madonna the nutcase. Probably many of them showed up because there were a lot of famous people there including the cheeto muncher Michael Moore.

    • I learned in college that a third to a half or more of those who went to demonstrations and protests were just there to be part of the action, party, meet people, hang out. Then there are the troublemakers who will protest anything.

  2. Now I’m wondering about how I dismiss other people’s arguments. If they’re (the arguments) stupid and pointless is it ad hominem? If the argument is stupid does it not follow that the person making it is stupid? At least on that topic at that time. Can I then disregard everything that person says about that topic as suspect because he/she/it made a stupid remark?

    • I think people often confuse ignorance or misinformation with stupidity. Ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge or education, and it can be cured with education as can misinformation. We are all ignorant or misinformed in certain areas. Stupidity or being a moron or idiot, is the lack of capacity for knowledge, and it is not curable. You can be highly intelligent and rational and still be ignorant or misinformed.

      Better to leave words like stupid, moron and idiot out of rational discussions because those are not words that elevate a discussion.

      • Ignorance is something that non-stupid people recognize in themselves and seek to fix. Unlike stupidity, ignorance is correctable, and if one chooses not to correct it, one is stupid.

        Describing some statements and conduct as stupid/moronic/cretinous/idiotic/dumb/ is invaluable, and cannot be PC’d out of usage. For example, what is Madonna’s statement yesterday that she considered blowing up the White House? Everything about that statement is idiotic. A non-idiot does not say that. It isn’t ignorant: if Madonna is ignorant, it is by choice (which is a stupid. choice.) It’s stupid, and in many ways. How does one describe some of Donald Trump’s tweets, like the one in response to Meryl Streep? There is no upside to such a tweet, and there is nothing in the tweet that makes it woreth tweeting. It hurts him, gets people angry, undermines his Presidency, and gives his opponents ammunition. It’s not an ignorant act, and it isn’t based on misinformation. It is inexcusable. It is stupid, and needs to be called so as loudly as possible.

        I have banned commenters under the Stupid Rule.It usually works like this: Somebody make a terrible ethics argument, misstating ethical principles and relying on fallacies and rationalizations. I explain, or someone does, what is wrong with the comment. They reply with the same set of fallacies and rationalizations, and discount the explanation with more of the same. Once this occurs over and over again, it is clear that the individual just has a conclusion that they want to beat like a drum, and that nothing will dissuade them. Now, that’s OK, if one is smart enough to shut up about it. repeating something that has been debunked over and over, however, is either trolling, which I detest, or proof of stupidity. It isn’t ignorance by definition.

        I recently banned a commenter here mid-comment. I was countering what I regarded as insulting and badly conceived arguments, but not planning on banning him, until I hit a statement late in the post about the Russians “hacking the election.” He had commented on posts here specifically about the dishonesty and bias behind media use of that phrase, and why it was by definition false. Many other sources have explained in great detail why that is a false characterization: it isn’t a hard concept to grasp.

        And I decided, on the spot: in this open colloquium, I don’t want to have to constantly be distracted by people who just repeat partisan mantras and talking points in defiance of facts. I won’t. Go Truther, Birther, racist, tell me that the Holocaust didn’t happen or that George Zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin because he was black, seeking to kill him, that Bush lied and people died, that Mike Brown had his hands up and cried “Don’t shoot!”, that same sex marriage threatens civilization, that Gore won the Presidency in 2000, that the United States is a centuries old Capitalist plot to loot the rest of the world, or that Donald Trump is Hitler, you’re an idiot, at least when you visit my corner of the web, and you’re not welcome any more.

        • RE: Your last paragraph and the policy it outlines.
          I, and many others I would think, appreciate this.
          AND your baseball posts. That’s right never-baseball fanatics! I read every one of them, and wish there were more!

  3. I am all for the idea behind the protest, but I really think we needed someone like MLK, Jr. or Gandhi to be the voice, not celebrities. Unfortunately, in this day and age, those people seem to be in short supply. Also unfortunately, it is the extremes (of both camps) that make the news. You can disagree without being disrespectful. You can protest without violence.

    Jack, you can reason someone out of a bad argument but you will never bully, shame or berate them from it. As my mom used to say, “You catch more flies with sugar than vinegar.” Remember that not everyone who comments has had the same educational opportunities and experiences you have. The view may be a lot different from their perspective.

    I’m still looking for the bridge builders in the sea of wall makers.

    • Great comment, Lisa. Thanks.

      Funny, I was thinking exactly the same thing about MLK. Absent a serious and eloquent voice to frame the protest, its just a mob of incoherence and emotion. Madonna shouting “Fuck you!” just isn’t “I had a dream.”

    • “[Y]ou can reason someone out of a bad argument but you will never bully, shame or berate them from it.”

      You sure can FORCE them to PAY for it, though. Go ahead: explain why all taxpayers MUST accept and allow what’s taken from them to be spent so that someones besides themselves can have low-cost abortions.

      Repeating what I said a few minutes earlier in another thread:
      Some ideas are so bad that people who promote them are punch-worthy. Translation: I have no objection to ad hominem attacks, because (1) such attacks are so often inherent anyway via euphemistically non-ad hominem attacks, which is to say, many attackers are liars, (2) they generally point most accurately to the attacker’s value judgment of the idea they reject, and (3) they reflect the attacker’s basic decency of being honest.

      So, Madonna: Go fuck yourself with an oversized cat’s-dick dildo, you overcompensated slut. Stick it in your mouth, up your nose, and up your ass, too. Sideways. With tons of Cheeto dust. Yes, I have a dream…

      • I’m impressed, Lucky. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen this side of you, before. However, I’ve got to tell you, it really isn’t your style. Sarcasm is more your style, and you SO often hit the mark with it. Still…

        • I am sorry, d_d – I really am. I entered my password and clicked to log in before deleting that completely unnecessary last paragraph – then logged out immediately, stepped away from the keyboard, and set to work on fixing my mind on other things. I had made my points; no exemplification was necessary. It sucks to be the target of an ad hominem attack, but it sucks more (for the attacker) when an attack like that is all one has to argue with.

          I did remember that I had typed that paragraph at the end of my comment. Re-reading it (that “exemplification” of an ad hominem attack, that is), I can say now that it reflected anger, but also hatred, that I have sustained against Madonna since her earliest days of fame. I was not reacting solely and merely to her recent speech. That grudge I hold against her is part of my overall grudge-holding ways, which I have generally used with great success to escape (mostly) “a former self.” Of course, “All have sinned…” is too conveniently and perilously close to “Everybody does it.”

          Maybe what I was actually attempting to articulate, in some parabolic way, was my position on a “men’s rights” issue. Maybe the medicines I use – at least, those I use which are the same medicines used by women – are only, say, 77% as effective in men as they are in women. Hence, my Tourette’s-like outbursts…so, yeah. I am all for medication effectiveness equality. We men are nastier and fiercer, always. If only Madonna would concede that. (She probably doesn’t deserve the Cheeto dust.)

          • No apology needed, at least not to me. It was just a side of you I’d never seen before, and my first thought was “You go, Lucky”.

      • “You sure can FORCE them to PAY for it, though. Go ahead: explain why all taxpayers MUST accept and allow what’s taken from them to be spent so that someones besides themselves can have low-cost abortions.”

        I honestly do not understand the thinking behind this, from pro-choicers. I can understand (but disagree) with the “keep your laws off my body” line of thinking; I can understand (but disagree) with the “it’s a woman’s and only a woman choice (to kill her child)” line of thinking; I can understand (but disagree) with “bodily autonomy” line of thinking.

        But, of the many logically inconsistent lines of thinking related to pro-choice ideology, I do not, and don’t know that I will ever understand how someone can have the expectation that I (and people like me), who will never ever benefit from, and is vehemently, full-throatedly, whole-heartedly, opposed to a procedure that I believe takes a life, should have to subsidize a much-more-often-than-not non-lifethreatening, optional procedure, that almost always stems from regret for a personal decision made with free will. Why does the line stop with low-cost abortions? Seriously, why aren’t lung-cancer treatments subsidized by tax payers? What aren’t car payments subsidized for low income households? Why aren’t my contact lenses? I didn’t choose to have 20/400 eyesight; at one point in my life, I was a low-income household; and it IS a medical condition…whats the difference?

        • I’m fairly certain most people who favor subsidized abortions would also favor subsidizing those things, but as I’m not one of them, I can’t say for sure.

    • There is no one like MLK or Ghandi today because there was no one like MLK or Ghandi at the time, even MLK or Ghandi, who were seen by about half the people as “troublemakers” who needed to shut up and stop causing trouble.

      Hindsight has made them near-universally regarded saints, but that is not how they were seen by all at the time, and if we keep waiting for people who fit the image we’ve constructed of those heroes, we’ll ignore the ones that are already among us.

      (That said, I’ll agree those heroes are certainly not Madonna or Ashley Judd.)

      • Not sure comfortable is the right word. More excitable? More inclined to feel justified in their anger? More worked up? Happier because they have what they might think of as an excuse to behave like thugs. More like a mob?

  4. (Sigh) My wife is NOT going to be happy: she likes Ashley Judd in movies, that being our favorite form of family entertainment.

    See, along with many ordinary Americans, I keep a list of those I will not support with my dollars:

    Liam Neeson comes out against Americans having guns after making millions portraying characters who solve their problems using… guns.

    Matt Damon also spoke out against guns (Jason Bourne! for Pete’s sake) and slanders most of the people who pay his bills, calling total gun confiscation a great idea.

    Julia Roberts got nasty about conservatives and ‘fly over country’ Americans.

    Meryl Streep, where do I start on that hot mess?

    Still waiting on many so called stars who promised to leave the country if we dared to elect Trump.

    And so on…

    Now Ashley has joined their ranks of those I refuse to support.

    • I looked up Ashley Judd’s views and all I can say is Eww

      But she had to pull a really public stunt to make my radar. Go live your life and believe what you will, support the candidates you like… but give me the same consideration. THIS is where progressives fail.

      My son asked me what difference my little dollars make when I decide on this sort of choice. Those dollars are my responsibility, however few or many they are, I am accountable. I also believe the recent hate spewing out of Hollywood is inspiring many others like me to do the same. Witness the total flop the recent gun control propaganda movie ‘Ms. Sloane’ has become.

  5. Sadly, it’s time we stopped romanticizing protesters. Protesting had a good run. But hipsters have ruined protesting, just like they’ve ruined activism, philanthropy, and tolerance. Protests used to be a last resort for people whose voices were being actively oppressed by the government and ignored by the media. Now it’s the opposite; a bunch of rich kids from the Bay Area can decide to fly to Washington for the weekend, get drunk, throw parties, march and sing along with like-minded drunks, eat at nice restaurants, take lots of selfies, and hopefully get their names in the paper, since the corporate media will be on hand to lionize them and exaggerate their importance.

    You don’t even need a legitimate grievance to take to the streets, scream obscenities, and start dumpster fires. A guy getting elected whom you didn’t vote for is enough.

    • Great comment, Isaac. That pretty well sums it up, the differences between the protests of the ’60’s and ’70’s and today.

      • Not sure, dd. I’m afraid most of the Vietnam War protests involved people terrified of getting killed in the war. That would certainly include me, Although I never protested, I’ve always had very mixed feelings and a lot of guilt about my generation’s war. I guess I chickened out.

        • OB, I, too, protested the war, but after the fact. My personal beliefs are not open for discussion, at least not as they applied to this war. Part of those beliefs, however, are that you have nothing to feel guilty about. Not you nor anybody else who did or did not protest.

      • These comments are wildly ignorant of history. Take out the reference to “selfies,” and you can find pretty much the exact same things were said about the protests of the 60s and 70s at the time.

        • Who cares, other than people who are more concerned with ‘narratives’ than reality, what “was said?” Should we not rather be concerned with what is actually true?

          Were there LOTS of stupid, self-centered, egotistical smackheads protesting in the 60’s? I think that’s a given. Of course people talked about them.

          But were there actually oppressive laws against people groups in the civil rights era, that would justify protests in the streets? Yes. Now? Nope. A Republican got elected, that’s it.
          Was there a draft going on in the 60s? How about now?

          I have no doubt that there were thousands upon thousands of morons at protests in the 60s, but they didn’t make up near 100% of everyone out there. They were hangers-on. Now it’s ALL hangers-on. These protests aren’t even an homage to the civil rights demonstrations of the likes of Dr. King. They are a mockery.

    • A girl in my college during the Vietnam War took herself and a bunch of friends to DC to protest the war … in her father’s chauffeured limo. “To the the revolution, James!”

      Also see Jack’s comments above regarding the demographics of a protest. Your point is very well made, Isaac. They’ve always been media events. Did you notice the video of the riots showed more photographers than rioters. I’d say each guy breaking a window had twenty photographers surrounding him.

    • The hipsters haven’t ruined tolerance. They’ve just abandoned it.

      I expect to see tolerance make a comeback in the next 4 to 8 years.


  6. “have an ethical duty to ask themselves these ten questions before they stop traffic, jam networks, take over buildings or otherwise make life miserable”.

    I don’t know Jack. This sentence seems more like a description of a riot than of a protest. I don’t know if you can come up with rules for an ethical riot or not and I don’t believe that was your intent. I mostly like the questions you have, but also think that you should probably define protest a bit differently.

    • Occupy Wall Street fits that description. So did the anti-war demonstration that closed my college for almost a month. I live in DC, whee pointless marches make people late for work. “Make life miserable” for others is pretty inclusive. A protest that doesn’t affact anyone in any significant way is by definition benign, and doesn’t involve an ethical calculation.

  7. The “unfollow” button is definitely my friend today, and I think it may well become my best friend over the next few years. I read/listened to plenty of nonsense from the other side since President Trump’s surprise victory over Hillary, but the garbage posted in the last not even 72 hours makes me think a lot less of a lot of people. You can tell people’s true colors by how they act when they win, but you can tell more of their colors by how they act when they lose, and what I am seeing disgusts me.

    I am at best a reluctant Trump supporter. I did not support him during the primaries. I spoke out against him at some length this time last year, when it looked like one of 16 other GOP candidates might be able to knock him out of the running. However, I am also a Republican, a conservative, and someone who believes in honor and is strongly against corruption. The sole real alternative to him was none of these things, that became increasingly apparent during the debates and as stuff a lot more damaging than a few frat-boy conversations that weren’t supposed to be recorded emerged, and that’s why McConnell, Ryan, Cruz, and enough other conservatives to make up a majority of the US outside far left California, decided to “come home” on election day.

    Did it come as a shock to wake up to the fact? Absolutely. It wasn’t what was supposed to happen. It wasn’t what the polls had led us to believe would happen. It was the biggest election upset since Truman held up that newspaper that said “Dewey Defeats Truman” when he didn’t.

    Was it consequential? You bet the farm it was consequential. There was a lot riding on this election, including this nation’s standing in this world, the future of Obamacare, and the biggest prize of all, the SCOTUS majority. By the way, you can thank Obama for that last one, a less arrogant and more politically skilled President would have struck a deal that would have filled that seat before Easter.

    Given the fact that it came as a shock and the consequences were great, a certain amount of charity needs to be allowed for disappointment, adjustment, and processing. However, two months and change is more than enough time for intelligent, realistic, practical people to tee themselves up to the facts. Those facts are that the GOP holds full control of 25 states and partial control of 20 more, both houses of Congress are now GOP, and Donald Trump is now the 45th President of these United States. What is more, this race was not close. This was not 17 years ago, when the entire election hinged on a few hundred votes in a single state. Three pivotal states were somewhat close, but the spread was tens of thousands of votes in each, as confirmed by recounts. What is still more, all of this was done in complete compliance with the Constitution and all relevant statutes, and those statutes are all accessible to anyone who wants to read them. No, I don’t need you to lend me your copy, maybe you should hang onto it and reread the part about how elections are conducted. The part about the electoral college isn’t new and shouldn’t come as a surprise. Nothing will change it except an amendment or a SCOTUS decision. Neither is happening any time soon, and neither is happening any time not so soon either.

    Those disappointed with the results have not chosen to tee themselves up to the facts in the time allowed, however. Instead they demanded recounts that did not change vote totals by any appreciable amount, tried to entice electors to violate their oaths of office, which resulted in Hillary losing more electors than Trump, and either took to the streets to trash whatever they could lay hands on or fell sobbing into “safe spaces” with crayons and Play-Doh. This nation couldn’t even honor its veterans without four policemen on every block, both sides, backed by Homeland Security officers with tac vests and long arms and actual soldiers from the National Guard, like NYC had become Belfast in the 1980s and the vets were the Orange Order, hated symbols of oppression.

    They also took to social media to spew all the hate and anger they could muster, and not a few threats. Some took a break for Christmas, but a lot just kept right on spewing. Eventually it took on a tone of more than just disappointment, hope things would not be so bad, and other normal feelings that go with processing an electoral loss. It took on a tone of outright defiance. “Not My President,” “Build a Wall Around Trump,” “No Cops, No Borders, Down With Law and Order.” Too many disappointed people started buying into irresponsible statements like Michael Moore’s promise to “make them move the swearing in behind closed doors, if it happens at all.” Well, the inauguration went forward, in full view of the public, complete with parade, although a planned flyover by military aircraft did not happen due to poor weather, but while it went forward the idiots who bought into this rhetoric created chaos in the capital well away from the official events. Thankfully it only resulted in a few smashed windows, a few burned cars and about 6 policemen with minor injuries. It should not even have come to that. I have zero sympathy for the 200+ thugs who were arrested in this riot, and I hope the courts throw the book at them.

    Yesterday America’s cities were full of still more disappointed folks who are not teed up to the facts, and who have no more goals than the idiots who occupied public space in 2011, to accomplish nothing beyond making a mess and inconveniencing others, and who had nothing to offer beyond Michael Moore ripping up a newspaper, Ashley Judd reading a poem, using the term loosely, about presidential incest, and Madonna saying she had thought about blowing up the White House and telling the President to “suck a dick,” which spoken by anyone else, to anyone else, in any other setting, would be a homophobic insult and cause to demand the speaker’s head on a platter. Not quite MLK saying “I have a dream.”

    It’s time someone said what a lot of us ordinary, law-abiding folks are thinking: Enough is enough, and this is too much. You grandstanding idiots better think this through. The new president is in place, and no matter how much you shriek, he isn’t going anyplace. He has the votes to do pretty much as he pleases, and you can thank your man Harry Reid for that. This is not revolutionary France, where the people are going to rush the Bastille and march the king to the guillotine. This is not Russia collapsing in 1917, where the ruling class is going to be dragged from their palaces and shot. This is not Ireland in 1922, where those opposed to the government are going to assassinate and bomb it into giving up the ghost. The military and police know a thing or two about terrorism here, and if you try to rush the platform or anything like that, it is going to end badly.

    Putting the question of that kind of craziness aside since it represents outlying activity, I just have to repeat that enough is enough. If you continue with protests, vandalism, disruption and troublemaking you are disrespecting this nation, disrespecting the process, and disrespecting your neighbors and fellow citizens. Life needs to move on, this nation needs to move on, and you need to move on. Politics here works on a set cycle, and you lost this time out. The next cycle is 2018 for Congress and 2020 for President. I suggest you start preparing for those cycles. You are also abusing the right to peacefully protest. The right is to peaceably assemble and petition for a redress of grievances. The elected officials have heard your grievances, since you have made them known again and again, and will act on them or not. The right does not extend to disruption of business or services, nor creating chaos and endangering the public safety, and it does not extend to doing so frequently, peacefully or not.

    Those of us who are of a mind other than you may not be able to force you to be quiet or cease posting endless variations on the same opinion, but we can walk away, we can unfollow, we can drop you or block you. It shouldn’t come down to anyone making a choice between their friend or their beliefs, but it also shouldn’t come down to choosing between a friend or reasonable peace of mind.

    The final inning of this game has been played, the last word of this story has been written, the curtain has come down on this act of the play. Move. On.

    P.S. Just as a final note, I don’t doubt for a minute that if this election had gone the other way, and we were beginning the first term of the first female president, you’d be saying everything to me that I have just said to you. Today dissent is patriotic, but until noon this past Friday it was racist, and I don’t doubt that if it had been Hillary taking the oath then, you would now be telling me dissent was sexist. Hypocrites.

  8. E.J. Dionne opinion piece headline: “The Women’s March was a stand against complacency.” (Which I misread as “a stand against competency.”) Well that explains it E.J. Authentic Frontier Gibberish.

  9. Re Ashley Judd: Oh my. Another actor to boycott. And I liked her, too. Her behavior and audience and impact should, I think, be couched and analyzed in the same way that Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens’ idiocy was: “He’s called the ‘Rocket Man’ not the ‘Rocket Scientist,'”

    A good point, especially as because in American the ‘stars’ — of Hollywood, Wall Street. the design community, New York society — have become our aristocracy, a la the UK of old. We revere them, excuse them. Like the old UK aristocracy, with NO REASON WHATSOEVER. We love to love them, and so give them a power they do not deserve and have not earned.

    When will we wise up? Our longstanding love affair with the UK, for example, is a part of me, I will admit, especially through literature and other arts and Winston Churchill, e.g., that only occasionally I do deride myself for loving the very culture we in America rebelled against. I will say that the heroism of the British people during WWII is one reason to love them: but there are so many reasons not to!

    Even Churchill, a true hero of the 20th century and perhaps the most heroic of that century, was an imperialist to his very toes: a holdover from Victorian and Edwardian hegemony over probably 30% of the civilized world. But we gloss over this, because Churchill was in fact a hero.

    I bring this up as just one example of how public figures affect opinion. In the US it might be actors, columnists, musicians, etc. Just because we like them — within their professions and purview — doesn’t mean that they can or should hold sway over our own beliefs. Who sees this dichotomy? Few, I guess, unless or until there is a general and public rejection of the beliefs people like Ashley Judd espouse.

    Going back to bed now. Just too depressing.

  10. Judd has always been a moron. I think it’s important to put Madonna’s words in context; directly after saying she had thought about blowing up the White House, she also said it wouldn’t do any good and we shouldn’t give in to rage. Of course, saying that at all was still irresponsible, and she “gave into rage” several times during her speech, so pretty incoherent stuff there.

    There was a march in my hometown of Fresno. I didn’t go, but my best friend and a good half my Facebook friends did, and from what I saw there was nothing like this there. I’m all on board for better tactics at these protests.

  11. I was not on board with all of what came off the stage as I stood there. I’m sure the organizers didn’t know exactly what was going to come out of everyone. Missed Madonna, as we were already moving out of range, and I was surprised she was there and not in England. I was not there yelling anti-Trump stuff. I actually didn’t chant much (Jack knows a quiet Becky is *weird*). But I listened and watched. With that many people, you cannot have homogeneous thought/intent. But this current crop of government is not normal. And I got off my suburban white girl butt to not normalize it AND because what’s normal for me is still inaccessible to people who aren’t just like me. I didn’t make a sign, but I did carry an ACLU one- dissent is patriotic (and I brought it home and recycled it). Because if they are to be believed (big if), they want to harm certain groups in this country and roll back some things that I don’t want rolled back. And there’s a random comment, but since it seemed like no one else was there, I figured I’d type it.

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