Monday, October 29, 2018

The Question Of Trump’s Responsibility, If Any, For Recent US Violence

Ok, Trump didn’t pull the trigger.

But as president, i.e. by virtue of the office, he or any president is the flashpoint, the apotheosis, the apogee, if you like, of partisan estrangement.

Therefore, it’s incumbent on any president to calm waters, not go out of his way to roil things, not to cheer on violence, to set a calm tone since he does set a tone.

Therefore, of course while Trump isn’t to blame for what Bowers did, he is to blame precisely for stirring things up, for exacerbating division coupled with cheering on violence, and thus creating the environment in which these acts happen.

I don’t like this argument. 

It’s so that it would be better if Trump, when he has, doesn’t cheer on violence as in saying he likes Gianforte’s body slamming the reporter. And there were instances of him saying unfortunate things of that kind during the campaign. But, really, how many instances of that kind of talk have there been since November 8, 2016? What are they?

And as to what he says, it’s in his nature to fight back and to come on strong doing so. So given the unprecedented attack on him manifest in the militarily phrased  “resistance,” in the claim of his illegitimacy, in the felt need among many to bring Trump down by virtually any means, in those excusing Antifa, in the left’s practice and politics of vilification, in the  mainstream’s steady drumbeat opposition to Trump, in its incessant and obsessive harping and criticizing of him whatever he does, in the media’s twisting of facts and stories in trying to get him at every turn, I think it utterly pious not to give him his head in counter attack. 

This especially so when those opposed to him play their over the top part in the outrageous ginning up of partisan bitterness. Take for recent example, the D and others’ near to mass insanity in the attempt to beat back th confirmation of Kavanaugh including so easily going and going along with the story journalistically and politically that he’d spiked drinks and then ran trains on girls who drank thereof and got stupefied therefrom. 

And how does anyone isolate the things Trump has said that contribute to the toxicity within which these spates of violence occur from other things he’s said that don’t and what others in opposition to him are saying that apparently don’t?  

And how does anyone make out the concrete nexus between what he says and the  actions of those who are crazy so that a case can be made for Trump’s culpability?

And how does anyone distinguish among our moment’s toxicity and and the tone, strife and bitterness of previous times in which even worse acts and mass acts of violence took place?

So in sum, as I think about it now, I reject this argument. 

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