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What Finally Allowed Me To Understand The GOP

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Been awhile since I've made a post on the forums, but I think this is an important conversation.

 

Also, this is exactly what the title says. A lens from which the actions of the GOP make sense. A frame that allows someone to reliable predict what conservatives are going to do. I spent a lot of time thinking about it. And admittedly, the simplicity of it was what kept me away from accepting it. I thought (hoped) it was more complicated, but I don't think it is. But again, let me be clear the following isn't an accusation against anyone.

 

So before I start I don't want anyone to think I'm explicitly accusing anyone of anything. I'm making this post to share what made me finally understand conservatives. What, for me, put to rest all the contradictions the GOP engages in.

 

To put it another way, I literally did not understand conservative actions at all until I framed it in this way. Their actions didn't make sense, no explanation either felt complete or accurate. Especially not what the GOP said about itself. 

 

So to skip to the juicy bit:

 

Conservatives work towards making a society where rich, white, straight, men can do whatever they want with no consequences. If you are only 3 of those 4 things then the system will be easier on you so long as you play ball. If you are only 2 or less of these things then unless you really play ball you're going to suffer for those "above" you.

 

And this is not an accusation against anyone or saying that conservatives do this intentionally, think "well is this person a straight rich white guy? If they are a poor black straight man then I'm going to be a dick for no reason."

 

Most of this, I think, is done through "Feel". Time and time again political scientists find that political alignment is more like competitive sports teams than logical, frank weighing of beliefs. So if you're a conservative you watch conservative news, listen to conservative shows, talk to your conservative friends, and view things through your long-standing conservative worldview, then you will just pick up on this stuff by second-nature.

 

It explains why conservatives barely talked about Jason Miller, who (allegedly) slipped a sex worker he got pregnant an abortion pill without her knowledge. The pill was effective and she had a miscarriage or more accurately, an unwanted unassisted abortion.

 

 

 I thought, "I can't wait to see them turn on this guy. I mean he forced an abortion on someone without their knowledge, that HAS to be like a conservative mother's worse nightmare right? That abortion was so desensitized that a man felt like they could just give a woman one whenever they felt it was necessary? Even a semi-credible action like that would surpass the 'on our side' advantage he has right?"

 

Nope, instead it was the usual cries of "Fake News!" and "Lying Woman".

 

But, what was Jason Miller? A Rich, White, Straight, Man who was ALSO helping Trump (who I will get to because he cements this entire idea) so under this frame he can't be in the wrong, and if he's not in the wrong, that means this didn't happen, because the Liberal News lies. Or at least, that what you would need to believe in order to both accept this behavior AND reconcile the fact that in your perfect system he wouldn't face a single consequence.

 

You see this time and time and time again. The conservative's society is where Rich, White, Straight, Men can't be touched by the legal system, who's stories of abuse and exploitation either don't get told (because why bring it up if we're not going to do anything about it anyways) or don't get believed (or more likely just buried after a round of mental gymnastics).

 

This is why conservatives are (in my experience online) very dismissive of anyone arguing with them. Why so many of their talking points are either accusations, attempts to shut down the conversation (Guns don't kill people, people kill people), or just straight up insults. Because they shouldn't even have to put up with this shit in the first place. If you're against them or outside of the two "good" groups (4 attributes or 3) then your anger and hurt are positives. You don't need to be listened to and the only reason to talk to you is either to get you upset or make you look dumb (dumb to conservatives anyways, who are the only people who matter because they're the only ones who should be in charge of things). And that may sound unfair, but Ben Shapiro had an entire book where he starts off saying that the only reason you should talk to a leftist is so you can publicly humiliate them and "DESTROY" them.

 

And I now realize this had been the case before 2016, but they were more subtle about it.

 

Now, the following is more biased, but I'm not sure I have it in me to be able to describe the next part without putting in some bias.

 

Why 2016? Because that's when, finally, they got a sign that they didn't have to be subtle any more. That they could openly hate their neighbors, that they could be as mean and cruel as they wanted to, that Rich, White, Straight, Men were back in control and now, finally, they can act like there are no consequences to their actions.

 

The election of Donal Trump.

 

What was Donald Trump? A very (perceived to be) rich, very white, definelty straight, man. Not just that, he could be cruel and no one would stop him. He could "Grab them by the pussy" and still become the president. He could have a long string of people accuse him of sexual assault and he never got in trouble. He even put it best in his own words: he could shoot someone on 5th avenue and not lose any votes. 

 

He was the sign that the system was in place a sign to conservatives that they've suffered enough pretending to play politics. We don't need to hide the language anymore, we don't need to hide our hate anymore, or even pretend it's a small part of the conservative party.

 

This is why the GOP base fanatically loves Trump: he is the avatar of their system. Proof that the system works, that someone like Trump can exist AND become president. And if he fails, conservatism fails. Again, this is mostly done through "feel" along with being sucked into the conservative's world. This is taking years of crossing lines, being saturated in conservative culture, and watching as it seems your guy can't lose time and time again. Even if one didn't believe the conspiracy theories that were spreading through conservative culture, they still had a wild effect of bringing out the worse instincts in the GOP base.

 

Which brings us to January 6th. The thing the stuck out to me the most about the 6th (besides the obvious) was how all these people thought they could go in, set up (what looked to be) a functioning noose outside congress, break in, annul an election, and then just go back to work the following week. How some of them were wearing their WORK IDS on them. Because they truly thought they wouldn't face any consequences.

 

And to be honest, why wouldn't they? Especially looking through this frame. Trump's presidency was nothing but crime after crime after crime after scandal after scandal after scandal and it never came to anything. Except an impeachment that didn't remove him from office and losing an election...not lost. Stolen! By radical LEFTISTS, well they can't tell us what to do. Clearly, Rich, White, Straight, Men can't get into trouble and if we do something for THE Rich, White, Straight, Man then WE can't get into trouble.

 

And look where we are today.

 

Now, if you manage to get this far, thank you, seriously. But I want to hammer something home: I think on some level I knew this already, but I wasn't prepared for just how simple the answer was, how cynical it was. But I have yet to hear any better explanation.

 

Something that can explain both the Jason Miller story, the fanaticism of Trump Supporters, why so many GOP members fell into Qanon so quickly and easily (because it allowed them to hold onto this worldview), and why GOP leadership seems to be helping Trump at every turn they can, even though it's so clearly a bad idea (Remember how so many of the GOP went from blasting Trump to becoming supporters once he won the nomination?). I genuinely hope that a better, more hopeful answer is out there, but I don't think there is.

 

Now, one thing I want to mention right away is that "rich" is really the most heavily weighted thing. Rich paves over a lot for Republicans. Which is why if you are poor or even middle class you really need to be all 3 or play ball (Candace Owens comes to mind) in order to benefit from the inherently unfair advantages that the GOP wants to manifest. Or at least, that's how they behave. It could all be explained by something else, and if that something else makes things "click" into place more, if it explains more, then I'll have no problem admitting this was a wrong observation.

 

But honestly....I doubt that there is.

 

I welcome any civil conversation about the topic. 

 

TLDR: Conservatives want to make a society where Rich, White, Straight, Men can do whatever they want with no consequences.

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Why are you lumping conservatives into one monolith? If you ask liberals what they want the answer will be different from state-to-state, county-to-county, city-to-city, even house-to-house. Conservatives are no different.  Some people don't even know what they want, or what they want changes on the time of day and whether or not it's raining outside. Or maybe they don't want anything and all their beliefs are reactionary.

Edited by Im_Unemployed (see edit history)

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On 11/9/2021 at 7:09 PM, Im_Unemployed said:

Why are you lumping conservatives into one monolith? If you ask liberals what they want the answer will be different from state-to-state, county-to-county, city-to-city, even house-to-house. Conservatives are no different.  Some people don't even know what they want, or what they want changes on the time of day and whether or not it's raining outside. Or they maybe they don't want anything and all their beliefs are reactionary.

Honestly?

 

The 2018 primary. That was the Republican party's chance to prove Trump and fascism isn't what the GOP was.

 

But instead, almost everyone who criticized Trump and said "that's not who we are" lost and people who acted like Trump, behaved like Trump, advocated the policies of Trump, won.

 

And beyond that, during the 2020 election it was clear that anyone you are describing was at least comfortable with voting for Trump. Or at least wanted Trump over Biden. Even if they didn't like it, they were fine with it. Because they ALSO (as a group) want to make a society where Rich, White, Straight, Men can't face consequences.

 

Someone who was this aggressive, caustic, criminal, cruel, and demanding of "loyalty" above service would never make it far in Democrat circles.

 

One doesn't get to wash their hands of the person they elected to be their leader if they did nothing to stop them.

 

I would not be lumping them all in together IF a significant number of them said "we are absolutely not comfortable with supporting THIS president. So in protest we are withholding our vote."

 

Also side note: Trump is absolutely a fascist. If Trump isn't a fascist, Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco weren't fascists. 

 

PS: The Lincoln Project also doesn't absolve anyone who voted for Trump in 2020. And the polling showed nearly all Republicans who voted for Trump in 2016 also voted for him in 2020.

Edited by dashofweak (see edit history)

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On 11/9/2021 at 7:26 PM, dashofweak said:

 

 

On 11/9/2021 at 7:26 PM, dashofweak said:

Someone who was this aggressive, caustic, criminal, cruel, and demanding of "loyalty" above service would never make it far in Democrat circles.

 

I THINK the only person who comes close is Micheal Bloomberg. But he's so obviously a massively powerful democrat from the 2000s who almost everyone in the Den base hates that again, didn't get far. Spent millions upon millions for attention and the payoff was comically little.

 

Plus he was a republican for a time. So the only person who comes close is a former republican turned democrat so he could become mayor.

Edited by dashofweak (see edit history)

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On 11/9/2021 at 8:26 PM, dashofweak said:

 

Also side note: Trump is absolutely a fascist. If Trump isn't a fascist, Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco weren't fascists. 

 

 I found a pretty good article that mulls over this issue after the capitol riots. Many pundits don't seem to think that Trump falls into the traditional defenition of the word. 

https://www.vox.com/22225472/fascism-definition-trump-fascist-examples

 

>We should reserve the term “fascism” for leaders or movements that are not merely authoritarian. Fascists were revolutionaries, they aspired to control the state, economy and society (totalitarian vs authoritarian), had large, organized mass movements behind them (which included institutionalized paramilitaries alongside control of the military as well as extensive secret police and intelligence services) and of course came to power after democracy had largely failed. So to my mind Trump (and the Republican party) remain better characterized as pseudo-authoritarian rather than fascist — both because of their particular features/characteristics and because for all its weaknesses and flaws, American democracy (at least thus far) has not deteriorated to the point where constraining institutions no longer operate.

 

If you examine Trump in a broader sense then you'll notice that he fits rather snugly into the populist peg. Given that trust in the government is at an all time low, it doesn't take much to explain why people would support an political outsider with radical ideas and common man bluster. 

 

 

Edited by Im_Unemployed
On mobile (see edit history)

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On 11/9/2021 at 8:26 PM, dashofweak said:

Someone who was this aggressive, caustic, criminal, cruel, and demanding of "loyalty" above service would never make it far in Democrat circles.

Oh come now, that's half of all politicians in existence except that they are better at hiding it. Cumo sexually assaulted his underlyings and tried to cover up piles of dead elderly. You could say his career is over now that the cat is out of the bag, but you don't know what kind of person he was outside of the public eye.

 

The appeal of Trump is that his frankness actually makes him appear more trustworthy than a soft-spoken career politician spin doctor, which ties back into populism.

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On 11/9/2021 at 8:07 PM, Im_Unemployed said:

 I found a pretty good article that mulls over this issue after the capitol riots. Many pundits don't seem to think that Trump falls into the traditional defenition of the word. 

https://www.vox.com/22225472/fascism-definition-trump-fascist-examples

 

>We should reserve the term “fascism” for leaders or movements that are not merely authoritarian. Fascists were revolutionaries, they aspired to control the state, economy and society (totalitarian vs authoritarian), had large, organized mass movements behind them (which included institutionalized paramilitaries alongside control of the military as well as extensive secret police and intelligence services) and of course came to power after democracy had largely failed. So to my mind Trump (and the Republican party) remain better characterized as pseudo-authoritarian rather than fascist — both because of their particular features/characteristics and because for all its weaknesses and flaws, American democracy (at least thus far) has not deteriorated to the point where constraining institutions no longer operate.

 

If examine Trump in a border sense then you'll notice that he fits rather snugly into the populist peg. Given that trust in the government is at an all time low, it doesn't take much to explain why people would support an political outsider with radical ideas and common man bluster. 

 

 

A. All of this still doesn't address the main point, even if Trump wasn't a fascist.

 

B. Trump is absolutely a fascist.

 

Ever read "The Anatomy of Fascism" by Robert Paxton?

 

Because I have, twice in fact, and Trump checks like, every box. It's why I said if Trump isn't a fascist Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco aren't fascist. All of these leaders line up perfectly to the definition.

 

I COULD go through all the attributes, but I would mostly be copying the book. And if you disagree with Paxton's point that means you think you know fascism better than someone who pays his bills through research about this exact topic.

 

Unlike Shapiro, the man isn't a propagandist, but a scholar. So also don't claim this book is "leftist propoganda" because then I'll know for sure you aren't interacting in good faith. But instead trying to performanatively "own" me. 

Edited by dashofweak (see edit history)

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On 11/9/2021 at 9:24 PM, dashofweak said:

A. All of this still doesn't address the main point, even if Trump wasn't a fascist.

 

B. Trump is absolutely a fascist.

 

Ever read "The Anatomy of Fascism" by Robert Paxton?

 

Because I have, twice in fact, and Trump checks like, every box. It's why I said if Trump isn't a fascist Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco aren't fascist. All of these leaders line up perfectly to the definition.

 

I COULD go through all the attributes, but I would mostly be copying the book. And if you disagree with Paxton's point that means you think you know fascism better than someone who pays his bills through research about this exact topic.

One pundit writes an article on why Trump is a facist, another pundit writes an article on why he isn't. A layperson reads the professional viewpoint that he finds most agreeable and then appeals to its authority. Many such cases.  

 

I think you are framing this whole thing entirely wrong. The classical hard logic of "If X is Y then Z" can't be definitively applied to soft political science, which is a sum of infinitely granular and nebulous parts. 

Edited by Im_Unemployed (see edit history)

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On 11/9/2021 at 8:17 PM, Im_Unemployed said:

Oh come now, that's half of all politicians in existence except that they are better at hiding it. Cumo sexually assaulted his underlyings and tried to cover up piles of dead elderly. You could say his career is over now that the cat is out of the bag, but you don't know what kind of person he was outside of the public eye.

 

The appeal of Trump is that his frankness actually makes him appear more trustworthy than a soft-spoken career politician spin doctor, which ties back into populism.

Dude

 

The guy had a hotel that people were openly bribing him in. He mocked a disabled reporter on camera. "Grab them by the pussy".

 

We're talking a problem of degree not of kind. And you bring up an excellent point with Cumo because remember how most mainstream democrats came to his total defense without question, said that the women reporting the assaults liars, and how Cumo, despite all of that, is still an influential figure in the democratic party?

 

No?

 

That's because that's not how it went down. There was an investigation and def some dodgy answers from major politicians before that investigation was completed. But that doesn't come close to the amount of leeway or even praise that Trump received for his bad behavior.

 

AND let's not forget just how often the GOP seems to spawn sex criminals now that you've brought it up. Gaetz, Juliani, Trump, Kavanaugh, Roy Moore, or hey, Herman Cain before he died of a virus that he thought couldn't hurt him. The GOP really seems to have a problem with sexual predators.

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On 11/9/2021 at 8:58 PM, Im_Unemployed said:

One pundit writes an article on why Trump is a facist, another pundit writes an article on why he isn't. A layperson reads the professional viewpoint that he finds most agreeable and then appeals to its authority. Many such cases.  

 

I think you are framing this whole thing entirely wrong. The classical hard logic of "If X is Y then Z" can't be definitively applied to soft political science, which is a sum of infinitely granular and nebulous parts. 

 

You know what the funny thing is?

 

I responded to your post before, figuring I was right, but also figured, "Hey, let's read the article, see what the man has to say.

 

 

And literally one of the FIRST PARAGRAPHS cites Robert Paxton:

 

659374474_robertpaxtonscreenshot.thumb.jpg.10b33e69d4e351c371de71302d3168e0.jpg

 

So the author that you just called a "Pundit" is literally saying on the Vox article that YOU provided AND said made some good points about the topic of fascism has the literal author that I cite for my views on fascism agreeing with me.

 

AND from that same article:

 

1024611762_DescribeTrumpasfascist.thumb.jpg.486a98b8c7217e2b96a441dd4c583195.jpg

 

So even the author doesn't have a problem with me calling Trump a fascist.

 

AND the sheer fact that this is matter of honest debate is a problem in of itself because it meant Trump engaged in a lot of behavior we know leads to authoritarian governments.

 

AND I've yet to hear you cite a source besides this one about where YOU are getting your beliefs of fascism from.

 

AND none of this disproves what I'm saying. In fact, you dodging the question SO MUCH and trying to get stuck in the mud with this kind of thing kinda tells me you'd like to talk about anything other than the GOP being a vehicle for manifesting a white supremacist country with the wealthiest on top.

 

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On 11/9/2021 at 10:10 PM, dashofweak said:

You know what the funny thing is?

 

I responded to your post before, figuring I was right, but also figured, "Hey, let's read the article, see what the man has to say.

 

 

And literally one of the FIRST PARAGRAPHS cites Robert Paxton:

 

659374474_robertpaxtonscreenshot.thumb.jpg.10b33e69d4e351c371de71302d3168e0.jpg

 

So the author that you just called a "Pundit" is literally saying on the Vox article that YOU provided AND said made some good points about the topic of fascism has the literal author that I cite for my views on fascism agreeing with me.

 

AND from that same article:

 

1024611762_DescribeTrumpasfascist.thumb.jpg.486a98b8c7217e2b96a441dd4c583195.jpg

 

So even the author doesn't have a problem with me calling Trump a fascist.

 


No.
 

On 11/9/2021 at 9:58 PM, Im_Unemployed said:

One pundit writes an article on why Trump is a facist, another pundit writes an article on why he isn't. A layperson reads the professional viewpoint that he finds most agreeable and then appeals to its authority. Many such cases.

 


This is an abstract example. Pundit A and Pundit B can be Paxton and any of the other people that article quoted. The Author having no issue with calling Trump a facist isn't a problem because the whole point of the article is the subject of debate and whether or not the definition fits.

But lets say that I agree, Trump is a facist. Somehow this means that all conservative flows empty into the same unified delta of White Supremacy.  Like I said before, political science is soft and has no rule set or axioms that could construct such brief and blanket answer, especially regarding tens of millions of people. 

Edited by Im_Unemployed (see edit history)

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If you ask me, there are 3 reasons why trump was elected over clinton.

  1. Clinton's green deal made the coal miners union workers fell abandoned which propagated even further into other fields which lost her large swaths of the east coast.
  2. The sanders voters abstaining from the vote because they felt betrayed by the party because of some technical shenanigans I no longer remember exactly what they were about, I just remember hearing pakman and the "Amazing Atheist" (t.j. kirk) talking about it a lot.
  3. The whole thing with the clinton emails being blown out of proportions, do you really think a clown like trump was any different? I bet he sent hundreds of classified emails from personal accounts.

The russian political ad targeting intervention was the straw that broke the camel's back (in addition for them being responsible for the leak about clinton's emails)

also about fascism - it is a badly defined term:

 

Edited by kerdios (see edit history)

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On 11/9/2021 at 10:00 PM, dashofweak said:

Dude

 

The guy had a hotel that people were openly bribing him in. He mocked a disabled reporter on camera. "Grab them by the pussy".

 

We're talking a problem of degree not of kind. And you bring up an excellent point with Cumo because remember how most mainstream democrats came to his total defense without question, said that the women reporting the assaults liars, and how Cumo, despite all of that, is still an influential figure in the democratic party?

 

No?

 

That's because that's not how it went down. There was an investigation and def some dodgy answers from major politicians before that investigation was completed. But that doesn't come close to the amount of leeway or even praise that Trump received for his bad behavior.

This goes back to my point about frankness and distrust in politicians. Trump is different from from the career politicians because, for better or worse, he is out in the open and wears his personality on a sleeve when the norm is to play kabuki theater until your hand is caught in the cookie jar.

 

Also, yeah you can tie all sorts of corruption to Trump, but constantly crucifying of the guy with every sin known to man cuts both ways: people against Trump will simply shrug off any false or over-hyped accusation( remember the Mueller report?), and his supporters would remember all the false accusations and dismiss the substantial ones as the boy that cried wolf.

On 11/9/2021 at 10:00 PM, dashofweak said:

AND let's not forget just how often the GOP seems to spawn sex criminals now that you've brought it up. Gaetz, Juliani, Trump, Kavanaugh, Roy Moore, or hey, Herman Cain before he died of a virus that he thought couldn't hurt him. The GOP really seems to have a problem with sexual predators.

OK now this a dumb generalization. Feel free to quantify the Ds and Rs
https://apnews.com/article/sexual-misconduct-metoo-a3377d14856e4f4fb584509963a7a223

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On 11/9/2021 at 9:52 PM, Im_Unemployed said:

 


No.
 

Very convincing

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This seems like a lot of work just to reach "they want to hurt people that aren't them". If that's all you wanted to know, you could have just asked them. A large amount will just say it out loud.

Edited by Shaddy (see edit history)

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On 11/10/2021 at 12:17 AM, dashofweak said:

Very convincing

 

On 11/9/2021 at 10:52 PM, Im_Unemployed said:

No.

This is an abstract example. Pundit A and Pundit B can be Paxton and any of the other people that article quoted. The Author having no issue with calling Trump a facist isn't a problem because the whole point of the article is the subject of debate and whether or not the definition fits.

 

Well, I thought so.

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On 11/10/2021 at 3:46 AM, Shaddy said:

This seems like a lot of work just to reach "they want to hurt people that aren't them". If that's all you wanted to know, you could have just asked them. A large amount will just say it out loud.

 

I heard they also eat babies and many profess to such things.

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On 11/10/2021 at 8:04 AM, Im_Unemployed said:

 

Well, I thought so.

You didn't address any of the three points I made towards the end. Some crucial points. Big one. Ones that, if I thought were wrong or questioned my credibility, I would want to address right away.

 

Instead you want to get bogged down in the tiny technical stuff, trying as hard as you can to not talk about how the GOP is a vehicle for manifesting a white supremacist system with the very wealthy on top.

 

That seems like something much more worth talking about AND is actually very relevant to the entire point of this thread. Rather than the semantics argument you so desperately want to have instead.

 

What is very telling is the things you DON'T respond to, at all.

 

Almost like you really really don't want to talk about them. Instead you're more interested in a rhetorical shell game. 

 

Why is that?

 

With that in mind, let me ask for a 2nd time: what is YOUR source for what fascism is. So far all you've posted is people talking about if Trump is fascist or not instead of what you would consider fascism to be.

 

Edited by dashofweak (see edit history)

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On 11/10/2021 at 2:46 AM, Shaddy said:

This seems like a lot of work just to reach "they want to hurt people that aren't them". If that's all you wanted to know, you could have just asked them. A large amount will just say it out loud.

 

It's important because it describes who gets hurt, who does the hurting, and what behavior is tolerated and from whom. Plus, this is a frame I find more predictably applies to GOP behavior.

 

You can plug in many different political parties and beliefs into "they want to hurt people who aren't them".

 

But I'm very specifically talking about the GOP and why they appear to be such blatant hypocrites and liars to the outsider.

 

A fact that Mr. Unemployed seems to want to really not talk about for....some reason.

 

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On 11/10/2021 at 2:46 AM, Shaddy said:

This seems like a lot of work just to reach "they want to hurt people that aren't them". If that's all you wanted to know, you could have just asked them. A large amount will just say it out loud.

 

To give a more concrete explanation:

 

Notice the difference in how the GOP talks about Joe Biden and Barack Obama

 

Like, the GOP won't even say "fuck Joe Biden" out loud, they have to call him Brandon or some shit.

 

But Obama?

 

Muslim, not born in America, outrage after outrage, dolls depicting him getting linched.

 

Why?

 

Because Joe Biden would do well under their system, since he's a White, Straight, Rich, Man

 

But Obama just had one missing and that changed what they felt comfortable saying.

 

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