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Let's Not Be Quick To Judge

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The news on NPR this morning included that in many workplaces, tension was mounting over political differences among the employees.  Perhaps because a college is largely stratified in such a way that people of wildly different political opinions are rarely thrown together to the point of arguments arising, here at our institution things have not got out of hand.  We academics love to argue, certainly, but we've also learned, over the years, to avoid being unnecessarily harsh in our political criticism.

At the outset, of course, when the GOP was still working on selecting their candidate, I was so certain that Trump patently did not have the credentials to be given the nomination that I ignored the entire primary season, except to entertain myself with ridicule for the GOP field.  At that time, all Republicans, their candidates for nomination, and the horses they rode in on were all equal recipients of my scorn.

But now, as you know, everyone has his back against the wall: many Democrats and liberals, who bought into the anti-Hillary propaganda funded by the Koch brothers, and other conservative die-hards of the My Party, Right or Wrong persuasion.  Hillary Clinton is too friendly towards Wall Street for the comfort of many liberals, certainly for the comfort of those who supported Bernie Sanders.  Bernie wanted to reduce Income Inequality, which is something that is apparently not a priority with Hillary Clinton.  Clinton wants less gun violence, better education and health care, she wants to put limits on what sorts of tricks Business pulls on the population and the environment, but she appears not to be interested in Income Equality per se.  If I were a conservative, this would be great news for me.

Meanwhile, Trump does not offer any specifics to fiscal conservatives.  He promises drastically reducing certain sorts of Government services, but it is difficult to be confident about his ability to do so without any hints about how he would proceed.  But he's a businessman, and he does not want to give away his strategy at this point, for fear of precipitating pre-emptive moves from his targets.  He pretends to be a populist, and most low-income conservatives are buying into it, but thus far he has not shown any actions in support of workers, or the small businessman.  This is the problem with Competition: it's each man for himself.

Trump has certainly, however, shown support for racism and prejudice, and lots of Republicans seem to be saying: Now, that's what I REALLY like!  But others seem to be less enthusiastic.  After several decades of waning racism (during which we were all tricked into making friends among those of other races!), in many quarters it must feel uncomfortable being overtly racist.

There are many conservatives who will vote for Trump next week who will do so extremely reluctantly.  Many decent people among our friends will do so (i.e., vote Trump), not because they have adopted Trump's values, but because of party loyalty, and residual suspicion of Clinton's motives.  Because of the power of the financial resources of the far Right: the Koch Brothers, and others who are too clever to get their names into the media, in addition to shallow idiots trying their best to support the conservative cause, there have to be some very clever people working alongside them, but more subtly.  Despite the missteps of the Fox Newsniks, there is a certain amount of headway they have made, which make things very difficult for Hillary Clinton.  At this time, particularly, it is probably not worth the cost to turn our hostility against everyone who displays a Trump sign on their lawn; some of them really have no alternative, at least in their own minds.  The more hostility we encourage this season, the worse the emotional and psychological and social damage we will have to endure for years to come.  Whether Hillary Clinton wins or loses, we're going to have to stockpile tons of Prozac to survive the rest of this decade.  And alienating all our conservative friends is not going to help.  It's time to give up aggravating those whose politics are odds with ours, just to make us feel better; it's going to make us feel worse very soon.  Just my opinion.

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This post first appeared on I Could Be TOTALLY Wrong, But ..., please read the originial post: here

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Let's Not Be Quick To Judge

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