Sunday, September 24, 2017

President Troll

Deplorable
So this weekend, the most powerful person on Earth did the following.

> Saw parts of his nation devastated by weather-based disasters that are exacerbated by climate change that he, personally, denies to the extent that he's caused his country to become the world's pariah

> Continued to play Countdown to Wrestlemania with the leader of a country that probably has nuclear weapons, and might not be aware that this is all a show for the marks

> Took back an invitation for a picture opportunity visit to one of the most popular basketball players on the planet, after said player stated that he wasn't going, then

> Declared that the peaceful exercise of free speech by NFL players who aren't particularly thrilled with being part of a racial demographic that keeps getting killed by police officers who never, ever get prosecuted for their crimes is a firing offense.

(Deep breath.)

First, the obvious. Free speech isn't free if, by exercising it, you no longer get to make a living. Where people get tripped up is to believe that what the athletes are saying and doing (trying to get police to stop killing people because of their skin color) is equivalent speech to what the other side is doing (propagating a system in which things like people getting killed because of their skin color is just something that happens and keeps happening because yay cops).

You have the right to free speech in this country. You don't have the right to cry fire in a crowded theater, organize with the objective to commit criminal acts, or intimidate others into not speaking because what you say is *designed* to stop the speech of others.

I realize this is all Too Long Don't Read, and that noting any degree of nuance is no sale.

I realize that reading is, on its face, something we don't do, along with thinking, or confronting the people in our lives who act as if reading or thinking or not tolerating hate speech makes you a Big Nerd and No Fun and Chill Already Dude, Trump's Funny.

It's pointless to point out that the President of the United States might be the most unfit person in the country to hold the office. It's also pointless to get him to try to change his behavior for any significant period of time, because the only way to get that to happen is to keep him in front of an audience of sane people at all times. And sane people do not want to be in his presence, because being in the presence of an insane person is upsetting and contagious.

Rather, it's time to look to the people who might not be way too far beyond the event horizon. It's time to work on the people who enable him. Every single person at his rallies, every single person in his political party (and yes, it's his political party; on policy matters, he's right in the pocket of the untrue things they believe), and every single media person who has gone for false equivalency or covered this train wreck because hey, ratings money whatever.

It doesn't matter what he says, because he'll say anything.

It doesn't matter what he does, because he'll do anything.

You can't talk away crazy, and you can't listen to it without possibly also going crazy.

What you can do is try to quarantine the disease, and punish those who would choose to spread it for financial gain. Or tolerate it because they like Show, and Trump gives you that.

Those people need to start answering for this 24/7/365 shitshow. Those people need to understand the damage they are causing, need to start having their professional and personal opportunities curtailed, need to come to understand that decisions matter, and that personal nihilism has consequences.

Namely, that sane people who don't use free speech to ruin the world aren't going to put up with their nonsense, or choose to work or associate with them.

And no, this isn't optional for the sane, because if they don't... they are condoning it.

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