by Michael Krieger
If you vote
for Trump, then you the voter, you, not Donald
Trump, are standing at the border like Nazis
going 'you here, you here'.
on MSNBC last week
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in
the process he does not become a monster. And if
you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss
will gaze back into you.
With each passing day,
Trump's hardcore supporters and
detractors become more deeply entrenched in their respective corners
and grow more hysterical.
With every turn of the
news cycle, we see two groups increasingly and equally convinced
that only they and their allies can save the nation from total ruin.
As someone who isn't a cheerleader for any politician or political
party, it's fascinating to watch.
It's also made me
consider where to draw the line when it comes to political
action or commentary.
First off, we need to understand that an increasingly
centralized, corrupt and unaccountable
government making decisions for 325 million people will
be inherently and systemically abusive toward the citizenry.
To confront this reality
we need resistance, but it can't be the superficial, purely partisan
Superficial resistance is what you see from establishment
Democrats and MSNBC, peddling the fairytale that Trump
the person is the problem, not the system itself. In contrast,
genuine resistance is admitting and confronting our root problems
which are deeply engrained and systemic.
It means coming to terms
with the fact we're largely living in an imperial, executive-driven
government structure as opposed to a Constitutional Republic.
Congress doesn't even bother to seriously weigh in on war and
military operations anymore, essentially outsourcing its most
awesome responsibility to whoever happens to be president.
Trump the man isn't our
huge problem; excessive, secret and unaccountable government power
We need to admit that whoever happens to be elevated to the
presidency will invariably abuse such misplaced power. Obama's
terrible policies were deserving of intense criticism as are
Trump's, but thinking that merely switching out the president is
going to magically fix our problems is deranged.
This is why I have no
patience for "the resistance" to-date, which focuses all its energy
and passion on Trump the man, versus they imperial leviathan he
happens to be in charge of at this moment in time.
Obsessing about Trump the man has caused many of his high profile
detractors to become overly hysterical, myopic and downright
A perfect example of this occurred last Friday when
Donny Deutsch, an advertising guy and pundit, explicitly
instructed people to consider Trump voters Nazis...
On Friday's edition of
'Morning Joe,' MSNBC contributor and ad executive Donny
Deutsch suggested a new political "jiu-jitsu" tactic for
the Democrats in 2018 and 2020.
"This can no longer be
about who Trump is, it has to be about who we are,"
Deutsch said about the next elections.
"We can no longer say
Trump's the bad guy. If you vote for Trump, you're the
bad guy." "If you vote for Trump, you're the bad guy,"
"If you vote for Trump,
you are ripping children from parents' arms."
"What the Democrats have
to do is make the next election a referendum, not on not
who Trump is, but on who you are," he suggested.
"If you vote for Trump,
then you, the voter, you, not Donald Trump, are standing
at the border, like Nazis," he also said.
"If you vote, you can no
longer separate yourself" from the "evilness of Donald
What Deutsch manages to do is take an already existing obsessive
focus on Trump the individual and move it in an even more
counterproductive and mindless direction.
Blaming Trump the man
apparently isn't superficial enough for him, so he encourages you to
demonize the voter. You know the average person who's intentionality
given two awful candidates to choose from every four years. They're
the real problem according to him.
Moreover, he doesn't just
want you to blame Trump voters, he wants you to consider them Nazis.
This is the sort of clown
they put on political television.
The fact that such nonsense so seamlessly flowed from his mouth
demonstrates a total lack of capacity for reason. According to this
logic, every Obama voter should be seen as a reckless imperialist
murderer directly responsible for the destruction of Libya and the
emergence of slave markets there.
Feel free to use this
sort of logic, but you won't like where it leads.
Even worse for Deutsch, blaming voters is a surefire way to achieve
Trump supporters expressed outrage over what Deutsch said, and I'm
sympathetic to that.
What he said was ludicrous, dangerous and
petty. That said, many of those same people got equally bent out of
shape over the fact Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant by its owners.
On this front I disagree,
and think it's important to draw a distinction between what Deutch
said and what the owner of the Red Hen restaurant did.
Of course, I'm not arguing "anything goes" when it comes to
government officials and bureaucrats, but kicking Sanders out of a
restaurant is a non-violent political statement specifically
directed at someone who voluntarily works for government.
Standing up to and making
government officials uncomfortable is part of our political
heritage. We should also never forget how uncomfortable our
unaccountable and overbearing government makes us feel all the time.
Finally, the action may herald the beginning of a new sort of
activism based on grassroots action as opposed to the superficial,
nonsensical and completely phony resistance promulgated by cable
television pundits and washed up corporate Democrats such as
Nancy Pelosi and Chucky Schumer.
Obama wasn't the problem,
Trump isn't the problem, and one slice of
desperate, irritated voters isn't the problem either...
If we want to start
blaming voters then we should look in the mirror, because all of us
allowed this to happen. Demonizing and dehumanizing our neighbors
because they voted differently might feel good, but it won't get us
However, giving government officials a hard time for doing terrible
things is a reasonable tactic, irrespective of which party happens
to be in power.
They work for us, and if
they're screwing us over (which is at least 95% of the time) we
shouldn't just bow down and accept it...