Incivility, Panics du Jour, Priorities, and the Gospel

Incivility, Panics du Jour, Priorities, and the Gospel June 26, 2018

So this guy and his Cult are suddenly terribly, terribly concerned about Civility:

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These people

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…are just hurting so much because children are being kidnapped and traumatized at the border as hostages for Trump’s wall and are now lost in a system that has no interest in or plan for returning them to their parents Trump mocked POWs Nazis ran over and killed a woman and Trump called them “very fine people” Trump is lying that 63,000 people have been killed by immigrants in order to gin up race panic among his ignorant base a professional liar for his racist regime was asked to leave a restaurant.

Jeepers, the Second Civil War is upon us and uppity libs are gonna suffer the wrath of a “galvanized” Trump base for this crime against humanity.

There are two issues here: justice and prudence.

When it comes to justice, the fact is this: you are protected from discrimination on the basis of your race, not on the basis of your racism.  If a member of the KKK were to walk in with his robes on, a restaurant owner would have a legit right to ask him to leave.  Bad for business.  For the same reason, we allow rules like “No shirt.  No shoes.  No service” and do not let prostitutes solicit in restaurants.  Sleazy clientele drive away customers.  And a business owner has to think about her staff and the bottom line.  Is somebody who will be there to order a BLT worth the staff who have been loyal for months or years?  Here’s how the owner of the Red Hen did the prudential calculus when confronted with an open, spectacular and famous professional liar for a racist regime who job is defending the kidnap, traumatization, hostage-taking and imprisonment of toddlers:

Restaurant manager Stephanie Wilkinson told The Washington Post she received a call from her chef around 8 p.m. that the staff was concerned after Sanders arrived with her husband and six others in the 26-seat restaurant. They had been served cheese plates and the main course was being prepared.

“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,”Wilkinson, who then went to the restaurant, said. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”

Wilkinson said she told Sanders: “I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation. I said, ‘I’d like to ask you to leave.’ “

That seems like a reasonable prudential judgment to me.  I’m not sure I would have arrived at the same conclusion, but I’m certainly not going to blame her for arriving at it.  Meanwhile, what I am sure of is that Sanders’ lying, retaliatory tweet was a grave violation of ethics:

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This is textbook passive-aggression, in which she

a) lies that she was asked to leave because she works for POTUS. (Nope, you were asked to leave because the restaurant had “certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation”.  That you chose to understand that as an attack on your Mob Boss only makes clear that you the lies you tell are told for him.

b) Practice the standard Trump schtick of making accusation a form of confession: “Her actions say far more about her than about me” is, in fact, a bizarro world mirror universe statement.  Your passive-aggression against a small business shows far more about you than about her.

c) Lie through your teeth that you are treating a tiny business owner with respect while using the full might of your office to call down an angry mob on her.

C) is the most important thing from the perspective of justice, because a state official using the might of her office to gin up mobs against a business owner is whatcha call “illegal” as well as immoral.

Her dad then chimed in with an order of the normal butthurt one gets from the Party of Trump

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coupled with a side dish of pure unadulterated racism to help drive home the point that she is a professional liar who defends a racist regime for a living:

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Because Civility, doncha know.

Then, of course, Trump (who is now spitting on his oath of office and calling for the destruction of due process for refugees, as well as using the thousands of children he holds hostage in order to extort funds for his wall and agreements to leave from parents) decides to use the might of his office to destroy a business without due process for them either:

The trivial thing here is that Trump, as is his custom, lied through his teeth about the actual conditions of the restaurant.  They, in fact have glowing reviews and pass their various state inspection with flying colors. Less trivial is that this, again, demonstrates that with this regime of lies, accusation is always a form of confession and it is Trump whose Potemkin luxury fleabags are constantly violating health and safety codes 78 times in three years.  Suffice it to say that nobody has burned to death at the Red Hen.

But most serious is that a President at war with due process, who says that compliance with the Constitution is “impractical“, has also chosen to ignore due process and simply make direct and open war on a small business owner he wants to punish out of pure spite.

None of this is legal, any more than Sanders’ tweet was legal.  But it is now normal in the Kingdom of Donald–at least for the cultists sobbing about “civility”. But as is their custom the Cult of Trump are having their umpteenth Panic du Jour, not about the thousands of massive lies or the hundreds of outrages against common decency committed by this pack of nihilist predators:

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Nope.  Instead the hyperfocus is on the restaurant owner and Civility.  We are darkly warned that if people like her don’t walk on eggshells, they will Anger the Base and Galvanize Trump supporters in November.

That’s the strategy of the Right Wing Lie Machine.  While they excrete a torrent of lies and abuse, they carefully watch for occasional moment when their enemies say or do something they can have hysterics over.  Then they spend a week exaggerating it and saying “both sides are the same!  O the humanity!”

Meanwhile, decent people, trying to be good Christians fret that We Are Becoming Like Them and anguish over the fate of Poor Sarah Sanders.  What do we do?

Easy.  Recognize the BS.  Both sides are not same.  The restaurant owner made a reasonable prudential judgment.  The Regime kidnaps, traumatizes, cage and holds hostage children. Not the same.

Today’s reading seem apropos:

“Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you.


So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Mt 7:6, 12–14).

It is interesting that Jesus’ prefaces the Golden Rule with counsel to not waste time on jerks and jackasses.  “If people are too pig-headed, stupid, and selfish to listen to the gospel, then don’t beat your head against a wall.  Their loss. Shake the dust from your sandals and move on to those who will,” is his advice.

I suggest those who oppose this Cult of brutality to the weak and butthurt self-pity for itself do the same, for starters.

Forget about the galvanized Right Wing Freak Show of greed and cruelty and how you might hurt their feels if you aren’t nice.  As the Golden Rule points out, don’t go out out of the way to gratuitously hurt their feels.  Don’t put on the One Ring to defeat them and, in the process, become them.  But don’t be afraid to, as the owner of the Red Hen did, courageously rebuke their lies, cruelty and evil either.  Above all, don’t be held hostage by their threats.

Instead, galvanize their opposition and outvote these enemies of God. Don’t get galvanized by anger and mere opposition.  Be galvanized by the love and truth due to the victims of these people.  Think of them, not Trump.  Think about and hope for a system of immigration that is not insane and sadistic. but welcoming and hopeful for a new life for good people who just want to work and raise their families. Stop trembling when people who take children hostage threaten to shoot their victims if you aren’t nice to them. 90% of the GOP is already passionately in favor of taking children hostage. You’re afraid that the final 10%, who aren’t sure if that’s a problem might decide to join in cheering for that because you are so mean? Screw ’em. They still only constitute 37% of the electorate and that was in December, down from 42% the previous year. The numbers are, if anything, lower now.

They Trump Freak Show is getting concentrated, but not getting bigger. The dragon is furious because he knows his time is short.  Focus on getting out the Democratic and Independent vote to defeat this sick cult and death, not with mere vengeance, but with a real desire to do something good. Stop worrying that if you hurt the feelings of hostage-takers they might retaliate. Make them worry instead about their imminent loss of the ability to hurt anybody anymore.  Be not afraid.

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