Where draw the line? (on stigmatizing Trumpists)

Four legs good, two legs Better!

Hobby Lobby comes to mind. Craft and party supplies are things I spend money on. None of it gets spent at Hobby Lobby.

If I’m getting any work done, I don’t care what their leadings are either political or religious, I want good quality work for what they do. Will I be staying at any Trump hotels? Can’t afford it. I don’t think anyone should be cancelled. Like Nancy Pelosi says, people do what they do.

If someone is okay with giving money to people who are intent on overthrowing democracy in the US, I’m okay with avoiding doing business with them. I’m not “cancelling” them, I’m avoiding supporting them. I despise that word. Nobody is “cancelled” unless they are erased from all living memory.

I don’t care what people believe inside their heads (if I’m not their friend), but I sure care what they say in public, and what they do.

A significant amount of American oil comes from Saudi Arabia, a nation known for severe anti-gay laws. If one drives or flies with fuel from such a source, one is indirectly subsidizing homophobia.

I think killing them would also qualify, as would blacklisting them. However it would have to be an actual, industry-wide, no exceptions, permanent blacklisting - if you get fired from your job and a month later are working somewhere else, that job may have been canceled but you weren’t.

Honestly, I’m not sure this has happened since the McCarthy era.

And sometimes we don’t really have much of a choice, you are correct.

The world is quite connected, and there is little that we can do that doesn’t have some sort of unintended consequences down the line.

There is a reason why I drive a fuel efficient vehicle, and part of that reason is saving me money, part is helping the environment, and part is to avoid giving money to oppressive regimes.

So, while in order to have any sort of quality of life, I do have to purchase some amount of product that subsidizes things that I would rather not have subsidized, there are other, much more immediate and much more harmful things that I do avoid.

One of the things that conservatives and their ilk seem to always be caught up on is degrees of nuance, shades of grey, an entire middle that they exclude.

So, if I say that I don’t eat at Chickfillet because they gave money to homophobic groups, they can call me a hypocrite because I use oil, which indirectly subsidizes homophobia.

It’s a pretty weak argument, usually only advanced in order to deflect and avoid the entire point.

We can never eliminate all the harm that we cause by our existence, by the things that we do, but we can seek to reduce them where possible. Such a tu quoquo argument only seeks to justify not taking any responsibility for one’s own actions.

That’s why virtue-signaling is used as it is. People aren’t about to give up their oil or their literally slave made cheap goods.

You have a choice. We all have choices. We choose convenience over what’s just and we peacock noisily about because we don’t shop at Hobby Lobby! Such virtue.

Hey now, that’s an unfair characterization. Are you sure - -?

Oh, I see. Carry on, then.

It’s true though. You want to be dismissive or something for whatever reason. But look at the NBA, you can wear a social justice message on your jersey but don’t dare critique the Chinese overlords with regards to their treatment of ethnic minorities in China or actual, literal slavery. In other words, most people aren’t wanting to do anything concrete. They want to preen in front of their friends and be congratulated for doing so.

Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes said it best when he addressed the Hollywood crowd:

" It’s the last time, who cares? Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. Well, you say you’re woke but the companies you work for in China — unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?

So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg."

I don’t think this is true. I think people have issues that strike them harder than other issues. I donate to Amnesty International because I hate that political persecution and torture exists. It doesn’t mean I don’t give a shit about ethnic minorities in China. It’s impossible to bring attention to every cause. It’s impossible to be morally perfect. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t lead by example when we can. And I resent the implication that for most of us, it’s all for show. I know many of the people who do this kind of work and they really, truly care about the issues they raise. You have no idea what a person’s motive is or whether they are doing anything concrete.

And Ricky Gervaise talks constantly on social media about his animal rights activism so I’m not sure he should be casting any stones.

I will concede, the halo effect is a real thing. A lot of people get the “I just did a good thing” feeling from social media when they did literally the least they could do. I took a long break from Facebook when I felt myself fall into that trap because I don’t want to delude myself that I’m doing something when I’m really not. But voting with your dollars - that is a concrete thing.

As with most things, there are levels to this kind of question. I think Trump belongs in prison, so I certainly won’t be staying in any of his hotels. Similarly, I think every effort should be made to ensure that his political enablers (Senators, Congresspersons, big money donors etc…) pay a heavy price, be it political or financial, for their role in empowering him. And I’m saying this as a conservative.

That said, I’d draw the line at boycotting/cancelling regular Trump voters. If I find out that a restaurant I like is owned by a guy who voted for Trump twice, I’m not going to say or do anything to make him suffer for those choices. He may be misguided (at best) or immoral (at worst**) but I’m unlikely to ever know for sure exactly why he voted the way he did so I’m not going to stop patronizing his business. For one thing, I think burying our political hatchets with our neighbors is essential to the process of allowing society to move forward, and begin forgetting about Trump**. If people start “calling out” and/or boycotting regular Trump voters for their political choices, it not only makes it less likely that they’ll ever change their views (in my experience, people who feel besieged become more entrenched in their positions, not less), but it sets society up for a never-ending game of ‘tit-for-tat’ wherein retaliatory boycotts every four years become a new social norm. And I don’t think anyone wants that.

Not only that, but I don’t like this notion that one can discern everything one needs to about a person from their vote. My hypothetical restaurateur may have voted for Trump, but for all I know he may be a better person than me in a dozen different ways. He may do a lot for charity and read to the blind in his spare time. I don’t know. I’m not going to boycott his business unless I know he’s a bad person, and the simple fact that he voted for Trump twice does not, taken in isolation, constitute sufficient evidence to convict, as it were.

So, in short, boycott Trump? Absolutely. Do everything one can to ensure sycophantic, gutless, treasonous enablers like Hawley and Cruz can’t even get a job mopping floors in Target? Sign me up. Boycott his big money donors and encourage others to do likewise? 100%. But taking this campaign down to the level of ordinary Trump voters is something I can’t countenance.

** There are levels here, too. If I find out that he’s a member of the Proud Boys or something then no, I won’t be eating there anymore.

** That’s not to say we forget the lessons of his presidency.

Sometimes we do, of course, but that doesn’t mean that all of our choices have to be that way, or that the inconvenient choices we do make are not worth making.

For example, I’ve never owned a car, and I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, and I put a fair bit of effort and money into choosing sustainable and fair-trade-supporting consumption. Does that mean that none of the money I spend ever ends up supporting destructive and/or unjust practices? Of course not: as k9bfriender points out, nobody’s choices are ever 100% clean 100% of the time.

But pretending that no choice is worth making unless all choices are 100% clean 100% of the time is mere ass-covering deflection, attempting to “make the perfect the enemy of the good”, in order to have an excuse for not caring about the good at all.

Is it better, for the world and the environment, to not own a car at all than to own a fuel-efficient car? Of course it is, and I’m sure k9bfriender would agree. Is it better to own a fuel-efficient car than to own a non-fuel-efficient car? Yes, of course it is: consequently, that choice has value too.

Is it better for the world and the environment to try to mock other people’s responsible choices because they’re not 100% consistent and perfect, in order to excuse one’s own attitude of complete irresponsibility? No, that really doesn’t accomplish anything constructive at all.

Well, it has the benefit of allowing Octopus to virtue signal about how much better he is than liberals because they virtue signal and he doesn’t; does that count?

There’s no line to draw. Anyone who still supports Loser Donald at this point does not have any place in polite society.

Since he made no actual argument against it and seems to eagerly support boycotts that would have us freezing in the dark, I feel free now to play 7 21 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Donald Trump with his full approval.

Yeah, this seems fair. Anybody who in cold blood and with open eyes still thinks Trump is worth supporting is going to be very hard to find common ground with. But merely knowing that somebody voted for Trump, even twice, does not automatically imply that they support him now. (Or would if they have any idea what he’s doing. We tend to forget how astonishingly low-information many citizens, and even voters, can be; though to be fair again, plenty of them have their hands full even without political awareness.)

Nailed it.