tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
[personal profile] tim
This article is important:

"This is not going to be a free and fair exchange of ideas. This is going to be a fight. If you have not absorbed that fact yet, you are already losing."


And I want to talk about false equivalences between Trump and Obama, or between Trump and Clinton.

We could have a free and fair exchange of ideas with Obama. That's why he pardoned Chelsea Manning. He's someone I have serious political disagreements with. That's why he didn't pardon Leonard Peltier. Still, he is a person who uses facts and reason to draw conclusions, and operates based on the rule of law.

We could have a free and fair exchange of ideas with Clinton. That's why she changed her way of talking about racial justice from "All Lives Matter" to acknowledgment of systemic inequality after she met with Black Lives Matter activists. She's someone I have serious political disagreements with. That's why she continued to talk about law and order and in favor of building up the military-industrial complex. Still, she is a person who uses facts and reason to draw conclusions, and operates based on the rule of law.

Trump operates based on power, domination, and violence, not a free and fair exchange of ideas. We've seen how he models with that with respect to women's bodies, his business relationships, and reporters who criticize him. His words and actions are the words and actions of a fascist, a totalitarian, an authoritarian.

People say to assume good faith, so within the scope of this post, I'm going to assume that people saying things like, "Some people thought Obama was the antichrist, and that's just the same as some people thinking Trump is a fascist", or things like, "It would be partisan to not meet with Trump when we would meet with Clinton" sincerely believe that.

You're still allowed to conclude, based on the evidence available to you, that Trump is a fascist: that his words and actions meet the definition of fascism. One definition of fascism is "an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization." Words have meaning; it's okay to be part of a shared understanding of what words mean even though no word has "objective" meaning and language is subjective.

You're still allowed to conclude, based on the evidence available to you, that when one party is a fascist party, it is neither morally nor tactically wrong to be partisan. If resisting fascism makes me partisan, then I am partisan. I don't see what's wrong with that. Being partisan means I have beliefs. I don't see what's wrong with holding moral and ethical precepts.

Even if some people say that vaccines are dangerous, you're still allowed to vaccinate your children against polio if you believe those people are wrong.

Equating disagreement within an aspirationally democratic framework with disagreement about whether democracy is worth aspiring to is the epitome of a false equivalence. When the person expressing these thoughts believes them, it means they need to think harder and more critically. When the person expressing these thoughts does not believe them, that's called propaganda: information distributed not to express a person's point of view but to influence action.

We may be in a post-truth world, but that does not mean your own thinking needs to be post-truth. We need every bit of your intellect and discernment right now. You do not need to set your own intellect on fire to keep fascists warm.
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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

March 2017

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