Butler University Course to Teach “Strategies of Resistance” against Trumpism

Even the Daily Mail is reporting on a course at Butler University that explores the election of Donald Trump and strategies for resistance. It is ironic that the article (and the conservative blog posts it is based on) views the offering of such a course as somehow against the spirit of inclusivity. If I may (in the spirit of inclusivity) offer a Star Trek analogy on Star Wars day, the inclusive United Federation of Planets has to develop strategies of resistance against the Borg, because the Borg wants to assimilate everyone else and impose a monolithic existence on everyone. The only way to defend inclusivity is to resist those who attack it. There is nothing ironic or self-contradictory about doing so.

Butler University was founded by an abolitionist who admitted people of all skin colors and genders to the university, and so the very creation of Butler University is a “strategy of resistance” against the ideology that Donald Trump and his supporters represent. It is a particularly good “strategy of resistance,” I’d say, as it is still going strong after more than a century and a half, and training students in ways that they can keep resisting discrimination, hatred, violence, and injustice in its varied forms. And I am proud to be a participant in that heritage and that effort.

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  • http://nwrickert.wordpress.com/ Neil Rickert

    I’ll just say that I applaud this.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Governor Holcomb, to the phone! Governor Holcomb! This is Vice-President Pence. Yes; the Dems are at it again, acting more stupidly than ever. shutitdown.wav

    I will just say, if the state legislature aren’t c*cks, they will find some way to level the playing field here. I suggest a tax on private universities, their faculty, and their customers, or at least a requirement they register as political action committees if engaging in political activity.

  • Michael Wilson

    I don’t think the bad press on conservative blogs or the daily mail will have much effect. No one that can afford $36k a year to send their kid to Butler voted for Trump.

    • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

      No; quite a lot did. The richest precincts in the country I’ve looked at (e.g., Mission Hills, Kansas, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) were generally split evenly between Trump and Clinton (they went at least 60% for Romney, though).

      Of course, it is true that rich Trump voters generally tended to be less well-educated than typical rich people. But even a lot of rich college-educated voters went for Trump.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        And support for Trump predominates in Indiana and many other parts of the Midwest, where most of Butler’s students come from.

        • Michael Wilson

          Well the press may well hurt enrollment, but as I mentioned above, and based on the conversations I’ve heard from businesspeople and bankers in my hotel job, the one percents enthusiasim for Trump is pretty low, so I’m not sure that somebody having hate Trump 101 in some far corner of the university is going to have lot of impact on families sending kids to your business school.

      • Michael Wilson

        I stand corrected. I do believe I’m correct though in thinking hid most enthusiastic support is from the lower income rungs of the GOP. In the primaries the wealthier GOP voters favored Kasich and Rubio. But at election time Trump won nearly all GOP voters which skews wealthy.

  • John MacDonald

    Anakin would have voted for Trump:

    PADME: You really don’t like politicians, do you?
    ANAKIN: I like two or three, but I’m not really sure about one of them. I don’t think the system works.
    PADME: How would you have it work?
    ANAKIN: We need a system where the politicians sit down and discuss the problems, agree what’s in the best interests of all the people, and then do it.
    PADME: That is exactly what we do. The trouble is that people don’t always agree.
    ANAKIN: Then they should be made to.
    PADME: By whom? Who’s going to make them?
    ANAKIN: I don’t know. Someone.
    PADME: You?
    ANAKIN: Of course not me.
    PADME: But someone.
    ANAKIN: Someone wise.
    PADME: That sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship to me.
    ANAKIN: Well, if it works…

    Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

    • John MacDonald

      People forget that Trump sold himself as being more wise than everyone else:
      – “I know more about Isis than the Generals.”
      -“The administration was foolish for broadcasting our plans for dealing with the enemy before hand.”
      – Obamacare was a disaster.
      -Politicians are all words who accomplish nothing.
      -etc.

      • Gary

        I guess you never dealt with a real estate agent or a used car salesman. I want a two bedroom one bath house under $200K. The agent shows you a three bedroom two bath house for $400K, but it’s “cute as a bug’s ear!” Used car salesman shows you a pristine car with only 5,000 miles on it, owned by a little old lady from Pasadena, and always kept in a garage. But was underwater for two days while in a Louisiana hurricane. Honest, no. Gets the job done, yes. Kind of like getting a lawyer. You want a lawyer representing you, that tells the truth all the time (probably couldn’t find one anyway)? Or you want a lawyer that’s a SOB, that cuts you the best deal available, even if you don’t like him personally. I don’t want a nice guy representing me. I want a SOB. Jesus would have made a terrible politician. He’d have us either crucified upside down, or thrown to the lions. Religion and politics do not mix. Reality bites.

        • John MacDonald

          Unless when my guy is strutting his feathers and being a badass inspires others to do the same, and we end up in WW3. lol

          In general, I agree though. I personally like Trump.

          • Gary

            WW3 not as likely with ISIS, Iran, nor N. Korea. Much more likely back in the 60’s. They are problems, but not WW3 potential. Russia is more interested in building their empire back up, and $$. Putin can’t control his empire and financial dealings, if they are radioactive dust. WW3 scary talk by Demo’s is typical exaggeration. Not that there couldn’t be a nuclear exchange initialed in South Korea, or the Middle East. However, if there was – a SOB as president would vaporize the aggressor. A Jesus clone as president, would turn the other cheek, and negotiate a new paper treaty, to eliminate nukes and chemical weapons, as effective as the past treaties with Iran and Syria. And North Korea and Syria know we now have a SOB as president.

          • John MacDonald

            The problem is that some of these leaders may have an apocalyptic worldview and believe that their actions will bring about the end times. Trump’s arrogance may give them the nudge they need to do something catastrophically stupid. Or Trump might do something catastrophically stupid of his own accord for just these reasons.

          • Gary

            Localized events. Not WW3. But I don’t want to minimize it. Anyway you look at it, 7000 nukes with intercontinental capability to a handful with limited range…anti-ballistic capability to no capability. The capability to vaporize an entire nation resides with only two superpowers. The limitation is our own reluctance to use it. That is something to worry the people (not leaders) of North Korea and Iran, more than the people of the United States.

          • John MacDonald

            Gary said “Localized events”

            Wouldn’t that still be horrific?

          • Gary

            Of course. But not WW3. Not apocalyptic. Unless you are worried about localized apocalypse, like world wide versus localized, Noah’s flood! Very biblical. If you are worried about localized apocalypse, you just have to look at Syria.

            What’s the difference – nuke or non-nuke explosives, when you get right down to it. Our current situation probable means we should not have eliminated Pershing Missiles with tactical nukes under Regan (which btw was scheduled to go into South Korea back in the 70’s.)
            Or more effectively, the good old neutron bomb. Very effective.

          • John MacDonald

            So as a rule of thumb you prefer a “pre emptive strike” over getting bogged down in endless “diplomacy?”

          • Gary

            I prefer nothing of the sort. I prefer non-engagement. If I were president, I would pull out of both NATO and South Korea. The positioning of U.S.troops at the DMZ has always been as a sacrificial goat. If N. Korea strikes, it guarantees massive U.S. Troop loses, which in turn guarantees a massive retaliatory strike by the U.S. Against North Korea. It is total insanity. However, if you are going to have insanity, I would prefer our side have a nice set of tactical nukes on Pershing missiles, and a nice neutron bomb for North Korea’s leader’s location. Instead of sending a bunch of ineffective cruise missiles into hardened structures, where the real rats are hiding, but will thus escape. That’s when you need a REALLY BIG SOB as president.

          • John MacDonald

            And “collateral damage?”

          • Gary

            You apparently didn’t catch the military strategy for the DMZ. The ONLY reason we have troops along the DMZ is to provide them as “collateral damage” to an all out North Korea attack of the south. There is no way the number of U.S. Troops at the DMZ with conventional weapons could prevent a North Korean attack. They would be overwhelmed and killed. This is the strategy. By that loss, we could then respond massively – and still be politically correct. If “collateral damage” were to occur, I would prefer it be someone other than us. As I said – reality bites.

          • John MacDonald

            Interesting.

            What do you think is the main reason people don’t want to use nuclear bombs?

          • Gary

            What do you think? Obviously for me, if we use them, we’re afraid everyone else will want them and use them. Of course, even if we don’t use them, everyone still wants them now. I.e. Iran, North Korea, etc.
            Everyone thinks Trump is crazy. Maybe he is. But if Pakistan, Israel, India, North Korea, etc have nukes already…what exactly would be wrong if Japan has nukes? I guarantee you one historical fact…North Korea would be scared to the max if Japan had nukes. They hate each other’s guts. Then they can protect themselves, instead of expecting the U.S. To protect them.
            Time to think out of the box. Status Quo has not worked.
            What do you think?

          • John MacDonald

            There hasn’t been a nuclear bomb used by one country against another country in a very long time. Doesn’t that fact alone suggest maybe we are doing something right?

          • Gary

            Only recently has minor, third world countries attained that capability. And so far, our policies have not prevented them from attaining them. It is now a new world. You prefer to wait till North Korea acquires 1000 nuke warheads, with 1000 intercontinental missiles, for delivery to the U.S.? Or do you think North Korea will only build one for parades? Or, do you think a treaty like the one we have with Iran will prevent Borth Korea from building nukes, just because they like us so much? I would like to hear your solution!

          • John MacDonald

            Above you said “WW3 not as likely with ISIS, Iran, nor N. Korea”

            Are you changing your position on the threat of North Korea now? I’m just trying to understand what you are arguing.

          • Gary

            I’d like to know what you are arguing for? Is this a badgering session? You wouldn’t happen to be a lawyer, with a lot of time on your hands, would you?

          • John MacDonald

            It’s just an exchange of ideas.

          • Neko

            You wrote:

            Everyone thinks Trump is crazy.

            No. They think he’s massively ignorant, a compulsive liar, narcissistic, corrupt, racist and misogynistic, and a dictator-wannabe. For starters.

          • Neko

            You wrote:

            What’s the difference – nuke or non-nuke explosives, when you get right down to it.

            Now you’re just trolling.

          • Neko

            Because the options were a Jesus clone and an SOB. Thank you, Professor.

          • Gary

            You’re welcome.

          • Neko

            How’s the weather inside that Xbox?

          • Neko

            I’ve lost all respect for you. Sad.

        • Neko

          Trump is a charlatan and a disaster. You’ve got to be kidding.

  • Gary

    I’d be ok with this under the following conditions:

    1. The first part of the class should cover ““Strategies of Resistance” against George Washington, and his ilk. Considering they will cover “nativism”, might as well start with what our cultural takeover did to the Native Americans. And suggest what their approach should have been. I would like to hear the professor’s suggestions. She should include this song to start the class off (I’d suggest all students stand and hold hands while singing it, if they like) – it was a hot item of resistance back in the 60’s.

    https://youtu.be/bTqV1pnQoos

    2. The class is carefully monitored, to not discriminate against the freedom of speech of students that attend, and disagree. Example – if a student is a supporter of Trump – he/she better not get an “F”, simply for the position he holds. Work yes, stance no.

    3. The teacher, as part of the stated “resistance”, had better not advocate the clear violence, and suppression of free speech, as demonstrated by UC Berkeley. If so, the professor should be fired.

    Other than that – go for it. I hope it won’t just be a “feel good”, democrats and Barnie supporters, clambake. I’m all for free speech. As long as it applies to everyone.

    • John MacDonald

      Weren’t the Native Americans “conquered?” Should we look back in History and return land to every people that have ever been conquered? lol

      • Gary

        That’s why I said someplace, “Reality bites”.

        Reality doesn’t match up with moral high ground.

        You can resist. But, as I heard someplace, “Resistance is futile”.

        Politics and religion reflect the song. Not only were Native Americans conquered. They were humiliated. Their children were adopted out to Christian homes, to sanitize their Native American culture – in the name of giving them a better life. At least we could recognize the bad things we did. But nobody is going to give anything back to anyone. I’m not giving my house back to the Kumeyaay.

        • John MacDonald

          As a meaningful symbolic gesture, I think everyone who is anti-Trump should give back their homes to Native Americans to demonstrate they really do have “the moral high ground,” and not just a “holier than thou” attitude.

          • John MacDonald

            I just tried it. The guy said: “Thanks, but I don’t want the stress of a mortgage.”

      • Gary

        Turns out, the professor teaching the Butler class wrote a book about music and women’s rights/protest songs. So all the more reason to also use Buffy’s song. Unless she’s got something against Native Americans, as well as Trump. Maybe she just wants to have a narrow view of resistance, only on Trumpism, to satisfy her personal needs. Seems like it should be more generalized, and inclusive :-)

        • John MacDonald

          There’s nothing wrong with teaching a specialized course. A course on Aristotle’s Prior Analytics doesn’t need to address Aristotle’s ethics. If the professor wanted to address every instance of needing to stand up for the little guy, it would be a massive, and ill-conceived, undertaking.

          • Gary

            It’s interesting though. Aristotle is dead. Trump is alive. I am just wondering. Has a class slamming a current sitting president ever get taught in a U.S. College? Did any college teach a derogatory class against Nixon or Johnson during the Vietnam War in the U.S.? Maybe in Saigon. Or in extension classes for no credit at Berkeley? I don’t know.

          • John MacDonald

            I think the didactic approach would be to outline the arguments “for Trump” that his supporters are presenting, and the arguments “against Trump” that his detractors are presenting, and let the students decide for themselves in essays and debate. When it comes to politics, it’s rarely as Black and White as “Trump is the Devil,” or “Trump is the Messiah.” We always need to check our assumptions, because otherwise we get things like liberal Supreme Court Justices always voting one way, and conservative Supreme Court Justices always voting the other way.

          • Gary

            That would be an excellent way to rule the class. Open debate from both sides. Sticks and stones are not allowed. Pass/fail for grades. Otherwise, you might see the liberals get all A’s, and conservatives get all C’s. F’s would not be politically correct.

          • John MacDonald

            Rubrics that can detect the nuances of the students’ abilities are preferable to pass/fail. What criteria would “pass/fail” show?

          • Gary

            They get credit for the class, or they don’t. That’s the purpose of taking the class. If you get an “A” or a “C”, in a Trumpism bashing resistance class, do you think it would help or hurt your chances for getting a degree, or getting a job. Not! If you got an “A” or a “C” in a physics class, it might help getting a job. Not so in a Trump bashing class, unless you want to get a journalism job with MSNBC!

          • John MacDonald

            “A” means the student has exceeded the criteria standard you have constructed
            “B” means the student has done a fine job of consistently meeting the criteria standard
            “C” means the student has not met, but is approaching the criteria standard
            “D” means the student has failed to meet the criteria standard and may need remediation

            For instance, when a professor is making a judgement as to what grade a student gets on a narrative piece of writing that the student has submitted for a creative writing class, the professor applies a rubric judging such things as effective use by the student of such things as:

            Ideas—the main message
            Organization—the internal structure of the piece
            Voice—the personal tone and flavor of the author’s message
            Word Choice—the vocabulary a writer chooses to convey meaning
            Sentence Fluency—the rhythm and flow of the language
            Conventions—the mechanical correctness

            So, for instance, if the student demonstrates creative and colourful use of sensory and emotive language appropriate to a student at that grade level, the student would probably receive a “B” for word choice from the professor.

          • Gary

            John, I appreciate your interest. But I really think we have more interesting things to do than talk about grading systems. For some reason, this is like a cat chasing a mouse into multiple holes, with no real results.

          • John MacDonald

            What? You brought up how the course should be graded! lol

          • Gary

            But I didn’t expect a master’s thesis on grading!

          • John MacDonald

            Whatever the issue (in this case, grading), I’m always “all in.” I only breathe the coldest, thinnest air from atop the highest peaks. And I wield an interrogative pronoun like a Katana. lol

          • Gary

            “Katana” should be the name of the first medium range nuclear ballistic missile for Japan. Time to pick up the slack from the U.S.. Maybe the natives on Okinawa will finally get their Island back. Perfect position for a launch site.

          • John MacDonald

            You remind me a little of Nelson from this episode of The Simpsons lol : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IUxK_0WLbg

          • Gary

            Actually, during the Falklands War, quite a few whales got torpedoed by the British, since they were deathly afraid of the Argentine diesel submarine floating around the area. Since the water was relatively shallow between the islands, the British sonar couldn’t tell the difference between a sub and a whale. Reality bites. You still haven’t given your opinion of any alternatives. But that’s OK. Much like Obama, the approach is to, gee, let’s do nothing, and the problem will go away. Or we totally trust North Korea, like we do Iran. Let’s sign a useless treaty, like we did with Syria’s chemical weapons. Lollipop land.

          • John MacDonald
          • Gary

            In case you can’t find Superman,
            Your Survival Kit – Government Issue:
            https://youtu.be/F5qqfsQGYus

  • Neko

    In solidarity!