Where draw the line? (on stigmatizing Trumpists)

I think a certain amount of cancel culture is ok: why should I continue supporting someone financially whose expressed views I find repugnant? Especially when I have easy choices to support someone whose views I admire? But where draw the line?

Obviously I don’t want to send money Trump’s way, or anyone’s who expresses fascist views openly. But these people have enablers. Are they off the hook? I don’t think so.

But these enablers have enablers, too. And those enabler-enablers have their own enablers. Finally, I hope, I reach the sixth or seventh concentric circle of enabler, someone who befriends someone who supports someone who contributes to the political campaign of someone who works for someone who enables someone who enables someone who is an actual racist-KKK member-MAGA lunatic. Do I cut them dead, too? I’m definitely OK with cutting dead the first three or four concentric circles.

I’d suggest no canceling at all, since this sort of behavior is drawing deeper lines into unofficial civil war behavior, where it becomes all the more blue vs. red. But if you must cancel, then I’d argue no more than the first or second layer. It would be a bit absurd to cancel the gas station that provided gasoline for a Trumper to drive to the Capitol to protest.

Yes, we leave that absurdity to Christian gas stations that refuse to provide gasoline for a gay couple to drive to their wedding because it ‘’‘violates their beliefs’’’.

Substitute providers and what’s provided at you whim.

No canceling at all? You mean, I should stay in a Trump hotel whenever I travel? I think I’ll have to cancel you.

You don’t have to - there would always be numerous other hotels in the vicinity of a Trump hotel.

To quote another mentally deficient president, “You’re either with us or you are with the terrorists”.

I draw a distinction between knowing, unknowing, and apathetic “enablers”.

Presume, for the sake of example, that Walmart has low low prices because they murder children and eat their brains to gain the children’s deal-making strength. In this doubtlessly true scenario, there are three categories of walmart shoppers.

  1. “I shop at Walmart specifically because they murder children. I hate children! Down with children!”

  2. “Wait, what? Are you crazy? There’s no way that’s true. And your tinfoil hat looks dorky; you should stop wearing it.”

  3. “Oh, the kid-eating thing? Yeah, well, those kids are outside of my monkeysphere, and honestly I can’t see past those low low prices. I’m not saying the prices are worth it or anything, but, what were we talking about again?”

Persons who are deliberately supporting the atrocity probably should be shunned. People who have no awareness of what they’re “supporting” shouldn’t be held accountable (though you can try and inform them if you want). People in the third category, it could go either way depending on how pissed off you are.

How about that gas station that watched as they filled glass bottles with gasoline while they were on their way to the Capitol?

I’m not sure I follow. By choosing to not stay at a Trump branded property, I am participating in cancel culture, am I not?

Enablers can be individuals, like lawmakers or pundits. You can refuse to support their brand, refuse to buy their products, and stop listening to their podcasts (so they don’t get ad revenue off of you). But enablers can also be corporate or institutional organizations. Corporate gets difficult to trace because companies are owned by other entities, or get sold, or have several major investors, and then you can’t tell who owns what.

The other side talks about “2nd amendment options” and you are wringing your hands about a completely legitimate, peaceful way to express your discomfort?

Forcing others to act morally by threatening to take you business elsewhere is a very democratic, peaceful way of handling conflict. Forcing others to distance themselves from a violent coup attempt by taking your business elsewhere is hardly the worst option.

Boycotting South Africa was one of the driving forces behind ending apartheid. Public outrage led to Weinstein’s firing. Not because it was moral, but because the studios knew they couldn’t sell movies with his name attached to them. Draw the line as far as you can reach.

Honestly, I feel sorry and sad for them more than anything else. They’ve been fed so many lies and have been living in a fantasy world for 4 or more years.

How do you come back from something like that?

Interesting question. If consistently applied it would be interesting to see where folks got their oil and cheap trinkets. Skipping a Trump hotel and buying the products of slave labor ought to be karmic balanced.

Depends. If I don’t know about someone’s views, I can’t object to them. If however they insist on wearing MAGA caps in their store, or put Trump signs in their windows, I’m sure as hell not going to give them any money.
Where I live any store that did that wouldn’t last long, so it has never come up.
I also don’t patronize businesses who splatter their Christianity all over everything. They obviously don’t want my business, so I’m happy to oblige.

There’s no way, sadly, to take a stand on every single issue, without virtually removing yourself from society (see The Good Place for a humorous take on this, when they realize that the complexity of consumer choices makes it impossible for a modern human to earn enough points for the Good Place.)

Most people pick a handful of issues and make their stand. I can see why Trump would be a particularly salient issue at this time.

It’s funny, but I have some jobs that I need a contractor for, with several interested in putting in bids, and I’m thinking of getting into a casual political conversation with them, perhaps even posing as a MAGA-nut myself, just to see who I’m giving my money to. Not big jobs–installing kitchen cabinets is the biggest, installing new window treatments the smallest–but I don’t want to give another cent to MAGA people.

Someone who still supports Trump after all he has done in the last four years, and especially what he has done in the last three months, is a lost cause. They have elected to join a cult and ignore all factual information in conformance to an ideal that stands for racism, bigotry, destructive and pointless international conflict while alienating strategic allies of many decades standing, and encouraging people to engage in self-destructive behavior in contradiction to scientific and medical experts in dealing with a deadly pandemic.


I wonder if there is (or could be) an organization that vets various people and businesses in a fair, systematic way for their closeness to Trump. I can’t really do all the work myself, certainly not efficiently. I’d imagine a report might read “Third-circle enabler–this company is run by a person who donated __$$ to a hard-right Congressperson who voted against impeachment 1/13/2021 and has defended that congressperson’s vote on Twitter 17 times since then.” That, for example, would be enough for me to withdraw any money I was putting in this person’s pocket.

They made a choice to feed on those lies. Which is why they should be held accountable.
You don’t come back from that without losing face and hopefully some soul-searching and appropriate humility.

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which.”