Trump’s ideology of violence

Great stuff (again) from Ezra Klein on Trump (all emphases mine):

“Our country has to toughen up folks. We have to toughen up. These people are bringing us down. They are bringing us down. These people are so bad for our country, you have no idea.”

This is more than an aside; this is the core of Trump’s ideology. The protesters who interrupted his rally, the political correctness that kept the police from cracking their skulls, the press that takes the hippies’ side — this is why America has stopped being great. We were strong, and we were tough, and we didn’t take this kind of shit from anybody. And now we are weak, and we are scared, and we take this kind of shit from everybody.

How is a country that can’t shut down a protester going to out-negotiate the Chinese? How is a country that that is so afraid of hurt feelings going to crush ISIS?

“We better toughen up, we better smarten up, and we better stop with this political correctness because it’s driving us down the tubes,” Trump said…

Violence is scary. But violence-as-ideology is terrifying. And that’s where Trump’s campaign has gone…

As my colleague Matt Yglesias has written, Trump does have an ideology. He does have an agenda. The core of Trumpism is “a revived and unapologetic American nationalism, which will stand for American interests abroad while defending the traditional conception of the American nation at home.”

Like most nationalists, the emotional center of Trump’s ideology is an Us vs. Them argument. “These are not the people who made our country great,” Trump told the crowd in St. Louis. “We’re going to make it great again, but these are not the people. These are the people that are destroying our country.” …

The Us must somehow defeat the Them — and the stakes are high, the future of the greatest country the world has ever known depends on the outcome. This is why nationalistic, Us vs. Them appeals lend themselves so easily and naturally to violence.

This is what Trump supporters hear at his rallies. They are told that America is no longer great. They are told who to blame. They are told that the reason these losers are dragging America down is we have become too politically correct, too scared, too weak, to stop them. They are told Trump will pay their legal fees if they want to do what’s necessary. “There used to be consequences,” Trump sighs. The crowd knows what he’s asking. Make Consequences Real Again.

This is ugly, but it is coherent. What Trump is offering is an explanation and a solution; an argument and an ideology. It is dangerous, and it is violent, but it is not confusing, and it is not unclear.

And this is why Trump is something different and more dangerous in American life. He is a man with an evident appetite for suppressing dissent with violence, a man who believes America’s problem is that it’s too gentle to its dissidents. Trump is making an argument for a politics backed by force, for a security service unleashed from “political correctness,” for a country where protesting has consequences. The results are playing out before us, night after night, on our televisions.

If Trump wins and this country goes down a dark path, we will never be able to say we didn’t see it coming. We will never be able to say we weren’t warned.



Quick hits (part II)

1) We’re probably doing this peanut allergy thing all wrong.

2) Enjoyed Kevin Drum’s take on Hillary Clinton’s trust gap with young voters.

3) Future Wi-Fi may be  way more energy efficient and that’s a really good thing.

4) There’s been an interesting ongoing debate about putting limits on doctors’ hours when they are in residency.  Regardless of patient care (which obviously matters) this, too, is a really important reason for sane hours:

But there’s an important point that these studies—and the national conversation about resident work hour restrictions as a whole— are missing. A return to less restrictive duty hours would represent a big backwards step for the medical system as a whole. Eliminating these policies would lead to a system that disproportionately discriminates against women and parents—particularly mothers, who are more likely to take on primary parenting roles. Women are still vastly underrepresented in most surgical specialties and in healthcare leadership, and “weeding out” parents by removing any hope for family time won’t help things.

5) Interestingly, it may be that Americans are too religious to embrace socialism.

6) Personally, I’ve never understood the fascination that many men have with girls kissing and lesbian porn.  But it’s definitely a thing.  A potential explanation for why.

7) Dana Goldstein with a thoughtful review of two new books on the folly of mass incarceration.

8) On the positive influence of graduate student instructors in college.

9) What’s the deal with handedness anyway?  Nice explanation at 538.

10) Charles Pierce on how with Trump being Trump, it becomes too easy to forget just how nuts Ted Cruz is.  And a longer, but really interesting take on the cruelty of Cruz.

11) Drum on Hillary’s honesty problem:

It’s pretty obvious that Hillary is doing her best to tap dance around this. If you were watching, you could almost hear the gears grinding in her head. She desperately doesn’t want to give a yes-or-no answer—probably because she knows perfectly well that this isn’t a yes-or-no question—but it’s obvious Ramos isn’t going to give up. So she’s making calculations in real time about whether she can afford to provide an ambiguous answer in front of a Latino crowd on national TV, or if she should just cave in and make a Shermanesque statement.

Part of this calculation, of course, is that Bernie Sanders is standing right next to her, and she knows that Bernie will have no trouble with a Shermanesque statement. He thrives on them. And that will appeal to Latino voters. Grind, grind, grind. So eventually she gives in and flatly promises never to deport anyone without a criminal record.

Which, as we all know, is almost certainly an impossible promise to keep. And Hillary hates that. She knows what the legal and political realities are, and she hates having to pretend they don’t exist. But this year, we’re running an election where reality doesn’t matter. A big chunk of both Democratic and Republicans voters flatly don’t care if policies are realistic. They just want to know what a candidate feels.

12) Oh man do I love the story of the ardently pro-gun mom shot by her toddler.

13) Trump’s economic policy is basically mercantilism.  It may sound good if you don’t understand economics.  But, it’s dumb.

Economists persuaded governments to abandon mercantilism by demonstrating that trade barriers impose higher prices on the masses while narrowly benefiting those sheltered from competition. The United States largely dismantled its broad tariffs in the mid-20th century, opening the modern era of globalization. But some tariffs remain, providing a reminder of the costs and benefits.

Annual imports of Chinese tires increased to 46 million in 2008 from 15 million in 2004, and American tire makers shed several thousands of jobs. So the Obama administration, at the urging of workers’ unions, in 2009 imposed a Trump-like tariff beginning at 35 percent and expiring after three years.

“Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires,” President Obama said in his 2012 State of the Union address.

The measure, however, also increased the amount that Americans spent on tires by about $1.1 billion, according to calculations by Gary Clyde Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. That money, had it been spent on other things, would have supported jobs in other parts of the economy.

14) The corrupting influence of living in corrupt societies.

15) I do love the strategery of Rubio telling his supporters to vote for Kasich in Ohio.

16) Dara Lind says that Democrats should definitely not be voting for Trump.  (Sorry, I just can’t help it).

17) The awesomest article (plus cool maps) you’ll read about Daylight Savings.  Also, it has nothing to do with farmers.

18) Good take on the massive folly with the businessman president at Mount St. Mary’s university.

19) No, marriage will not fix poverty.  But it would help.

20) Damn the students at Western Washington have some pretty crazy demands.

21) Answers and questions on the difficulty and complexity of closing the gender wage gap.

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