Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Intel CEO leaves American Manufacturing Council (intel.com)
285 points by RandVal30142 on Aug 15, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 371 comments



Major companies that still have representatives in the council: GM, Blackrock, BCG, Walmart, Boeing, Pepsi, IBM, GE, Dow, Dell, Whirlpool, Ford, Johnson&Johnson, Lockheed Martin, US Steel, 3M, Corning

Everyone who has left: Uber(Travel Ban and #DeleteUber), Disney(Paris withdrawal), Tesla/SpaceX(Paris Withdrawal). And now Merck, Under Armour and Intel(all left after failure to condemn white supremacists)


It seems there are two separate Trump councils:

* Manufacturing council: http://uk.businessinsider.com/trump-manufacturing-council-wh...

* Business advisory council: http://uk.businessinsider.com/who-is-on-trump-business-advis... (older article)

Pepsi, Walmart, IBM and others are on the later. Also, it seems some companies have left quietly, where the individual has left the company and the company has not appointed a new person.


> Everyone who's left: ...

Could you please disambiguate that? I am confused.

Does it mean "Everyone who is left" or "Everyone who has left"?

Thanks!

Edit: For anyone who wonders what the heck I was talking about, the parent comment originally said "Everyone who's left" - and I honestly was not sure which it meant. That comment has now been edited to read "Everyone who has left", so I am grateful for the clarification.

I would delete this comment since it's now moot, but since a couple of people were kind enough to reply, deleting it now would probably make things even more confusing. :-)


The first para is those that are left, hence the latter is those that have left.


We goin' way into grammar land now, but not necessarily - you can repeat the same initial clause like that for emphasis:

Everyone who is left is xyz. Everyone who is left is abc. Everyone who is left is (insert usually more dramatic thing than xyz or abc).


Everyone who has left


Ford and IBM should feel right at home.


Don't forget Dow Chemical ...


Are you enumerating list of CEO's who remain and list of those who have left to.. galvanize some sort of boycotting action? In that case, what about the elephant in the room who had a very considerable part in putting this dude in the white house -- Thiel?


I suspect that you're getting downvoted for saying something that may not have a lot of credibility. Thiel doesn't carry a lot of responsibility for putting Trump into office. To say so overestimates the pull he, an openly gay man, had with Trump's base. I bet most of Trump's base don't even know who Thiel is. Thiel was simply one of the only Silicon Valley guys to recognize that the prosperity experienced by major American urban centers was not being experienced by the rest of America.


I dunno if Thiel has sway or not, but I thought his short speech at the rnc was riveting and one of the most inspirational messages that really spoke to the time, and of course aimed to reposition the right as pro gay.


Something I've wondered about that speech: He said something like "who cares what bathroom people use", and got a cheer. In context it was reasonably obvious to me he was saying "economic issues are important, stop wasting your time on attacking minority groups". But it got a big cheer, and I wonder how many people in the audience were cheering for what I heard, and how many were cheering for the equally plausible interpretation that Democrats should stop worrying about which bathrooms people got to use, and just let the right wing do what it pleased.

I also wonder if it was intentionally ambigous. He could have said "Just let people use the bathrooms they want to" or similar if he wanted to be clear. Was he worried that would go down worse?


His short speech at the RNC was exciting, but too emotional (despite not being emotional in content). I was surprised he was willing to risk the impact to his business reputation while _not_ being able to articulate his case clearly.


>Thiel was simply one of the only Silicon Valley guys to recognize that the prosperity experienced by major American urban centers was not being experienced by the rest of America.

He was rich enough to not get hurt for opening his mouth in a way that made it clear that on certain issues he takes the same side as people the majority in CA consider to be a bunch of hicks.

There's plenty of people in SV (or NYC, or DC for that matter) who come from less prosperous places. They'll just keep quit rather than let people know what their opinions are because that's how you get ahead when your opinions are not those of the majority.



From what I've seen of t_d, a lot of the people there were not openly anti-gay before the election.

There has been quite a bit of pruning since so I am not sure about now.


Trump did disavow the white supremacists.

Not fast enough for them?


Not really. He didn't refer to them as white supremacists, and was far too moderate in condemning the violence that happened on behalf of the neo-Nazi protestors, referring to "violence on all sides". For a person who slammed the media and Obama for not "calling a spade a spade" on radial Islamic terrorism, it's quite hypocritical to then not "call a spade a spade" on white supremacist terrorism.

To be clear, the left has acted violently as well in the past (just look at the Berkley riots), but in this context "violence on all sides" sounds as though the violence was not entirely initiated by one side. But for all accounts, that's exactly what happened. Counter-protestors weren't the ones to drive a car into a crowd.

Some people argue that the protestors having permits somehow excuses the fact that they attacked counter-protestors, but that doesn't make sense unless the violence was initiated by the counter-protestors (which there doesn't appear to be evidence for, and there is plenty of evidence to the contrary).


"Counter-protestors weren't the ones to drive a car into a crowd."

But they were (among) the ones who showed up with baseball bats, clubs, and mace (and even a few guns). It's not like the protesters were the only ones ready for a fight.

"Counter-protestors weren't the ones to drive a car into a crowd."

That happened well after there had been a lot of fighting already.


When you're defending white supremacists, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate your perspective.


When you're defending any form of offensive violence, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate your perspective.

This all comes back to the whole "punch a Nazi" trope that was thrown around during the Berkeley riots. Assaulting someone for their political views is reprehensible, no matter what their views are. If a white supremacist is attacked at a protest, that is just as much of an issue as when a counter-protester is attacked.

If you use that card against the white supremacists, what are you going to if the pendulum swings? If you're okay with using violence against your political opponents, you don't have a leg to stand on when they retaliate and use violence against you.

My family comes from a country that was ruled by a communist dictatorship, and the very concept of "violence is justified against your opponents" is disgusting to me. We saw enough of that bullshit before we left. It's sad that discourse has devolved to this level.

All of that being said, discussion of "violence on all sides" is contingent on there actually being violence on all sides in the particular event. As I said in GP, I am not entirely aware of all of the relevant evidence.


This is exactly the way the white supremacists want you to think. They want you to normalize them and say, 'All violence is bad - from either side.'

"First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action;" who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season."

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/060.html


All authoritarian, violent actors want you to think that violence (especially of the preemptive variety) is justified for their particular set of ideals. The viewpoint discussed in that MLK quote is not my viewpoint, he talks about people who are against violence even in the instance of retaliation.

I am all for equivalent response when it comes to a conflict, but "punch a Nazi" et al was about preemptively escalating a political discourse to physical violence. That's what my whole disagreement was with. As you can see in my original comment, I effectively said that if it's the case that the violence was initiated by the white supremacist protesters (which the initial evidence appeared to indicate) then counter-protester violence was justified.


That's fair enough, and I understand that you're trying to be an even, measured person, and I applaud you for that. When dealing with Nazis and white supremacists, though, we have to understand that their very existence is violence. For anyone with any decency within them, there is no middle ground to reach with a white supremacist. Think about it. What would the middle ground look like? OK, you can't lynch or kick out all minorities, but we'll let you have half? A third? It's ridiculous to even consider. The only answer is to snuff them out, and it will likely require a great deal of violence. MLK knew it; Malcolm X knew it; and every black person in America with half a pulse knows it.

Remember Ferguson? Remember how the Oath Keepers marched through black neighborhoods with machine guns? Can you imagine if black people marched through white suburbs with machine guns? If you can't, look at why California has strict gun laws - the Black Panthers. Or, why were only a few people arrested in Virginia? And, why were they treated with more decency than people protesting police brutality or the Dakota Pipeline? It's white supremacy in action.

You say you're from a communist country, and you may not be aware of America's history with white supremacy, but it runs deep. People who make false equivocations between groups like BLM and the KKK are no better than the white supremacists themselves, and they're the ones that allow this sort of thing to continue - in 2017 FFS.

This sums it up well:

https://scontent.ftpa1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/20800151_163...


Law and order bring us the closest to justice. This "negative peace" is just the absence of perfect justice.


That's an MLK quote. You don't like it?


Let's just say after the fatiguing year of outrages we've had, I'm tired of everyone's justice.


Forgive me if I've misunderstood you, but this seems pretty apathetic.


It's just the word itself. I've been straying from the substance and rigour of HN to the rabble rousing of FB and twitter.


Let's stop ignoring violence when it suits our own political agenda and start condemning it wherever it occurs. Racism has no place in our society and violent acts only fuel it. Pointing that out doesn't imply someone is "defending white supremacists".


Of course someone who responds to violence by white supremacists by saying, 'But what about those lefties,' is implicitly defending white supremacists.


and then RT'd someone who's a good buddy with Richard Spencer. Actions speaking louder than words from a teleprompter


Who did he retweet?



http://i.imgur.com/iFPB5my.jpg

The wikipedia article also suggests they don't like each other at all:

>Posobiec organized a "Rally Against Political Violence" in Washington, D.C. on June 25, 2017. Richard Spencer ridiculed the event and called it "pathetic".


They might have had a tiff after this picture

https://itsgoingdown.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/richie.j...


It amazes me that the media & democrats still have not figured out how shrewd Trump is. The aforementioned consider themselves intellectuals, and Trump the buffoon. Trump has a hell of a track record turning everything they say against them. He is is REALLY shrewd. They keep playing by his rules, and end up with egg on their faces. Maybe the'll figure out not to fall for playing his game. I find it all quite entertaining; bait and troll.

Whatever he failed to say, it's deliberate and calculated, and they are playing right into it. They'd better just wait it out for 4 years, because their collective intelligence does not match his shrewdness.


> how shrewd Trump is

He really isn't. He's everyone's impotent racist bigoted grandparent railing against the iniquities of the modern world because he doesn't understand that the world has moved on from 19th century plantations. The man is a demonstrable idiot who has achieved little off his own bat.


It's like a lose-lose. Stay on the council, you ostensibly are committed to keeping manufacturing jobs in the US, but could be seen as complicit of Trump. Leave, and you're making a stand against Trump...while at the same time leaving one of the few good things he has going for him. And let's be honest, without some sort of external coercion, these companies aren't going to stay in the US.


You say that's leaving is problematic, but is there evidence that these councils have any influence in shaping policy? They look more like ego-boosts for the president: 'I've collected these guys'


But has this "American Manufacturing Council" been anything but a vanity project for Trump? He seems to love parading these people around for photo ops, but has a single meaningful anything come of it yet?

I think people are seeing the writing on the wall with regards to this presidency as of last week.[0]

[0] http://www.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallup-daily-trump-job-app...


> ...you ostensibly are committed to keeping manufacturing jobs in the US > ...these companies aren't going to stay in the US

A problem with these is the presumption that it is a timelessly, inherently, and unquestionably good objective. Just like the pursuit of (re)creating coal jobs, as if that's prudent and admirable, no matter what.

> ...could be seen as complicit of Trump.

"Could"? I don't think anyone who's being intellectually honest would be able to claim otherwise. If you serve a leader in an advisory role, you are actively in support of their policies and actions. Even if you disagree and the leader chooses otherwise or acts contrary to your advice, your role by its nature demonstrates that you are deferring to their leadership, thus you support it.

(I acknowledge that you are explaining views that are not necessarily your own.)


Protectionism is not an answer, it's never worked before and it won't work now.


You're not wrong, but your logic is flawed - things are happening now that have never happened before, like New Automation, that are massive game-changers. This means that things that have never worked before, will start working.


But to be fair, there's no going back. Automation means we don't actually need people to do huge numbers of things. Those displaced people may never have a job again.

What got us here, won't get us where we're going. It's all going to have to be reexamined.


> Those displaced people may never have a job again.

The unemployment rate is at the lowest level since 2001, and excluding 2000-2001, the lowest level since 1969.

https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z1ebjpgk2654c1_...


And next, McD's and Carls' are planning to do away with the counter staff. Banks automating tellers completely. Some 30 millions of Americans out of a job, at the lowest levels. What then?

Automation is exploding at a dizzying rate for a decade now. Our ability to accommodate will be exceeded soon.

Further, that graph looks like what happens when people fall off the employment rolls - they quit looking for a job and no longer show up as 'unemployed'. How can we tell that's not responsible?


The number of people employed is also at an all-time high.

https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z1ebjpgk2654c1_...

Automation may change that in the future, or people may insist on dealing with humans, or new jobs may emerge. Who can predict the future?


These guys: https://economics.mit.edu/files/12763

This quote: "Using this approach, we estimate large and robust negative effects of robots on employment and wages across commuting zones. We bolster this evidence by showing that the commuting zones most exposed to robots in the post-1990 era do not exhibit any differential trends before 1990. The impact of robots is distinct from the impact of imports from China and Mexico, the decline of routine jobs, offshoring, other types of IT capital, and the total capital stock (in fact, exposure to robots is only weakly correlated with these other variables). According to our estimates, one more robot per thousand workers reduces the employment to population ratio by about 0.18-0.34 percentage points and wages by 0.25-0.5 percent."


Don't forget self driving vehicles. That will be a huge change.


The rate you quote is not a good indicator of overall unemployment - it only measures the dynamics of layoffs in the last 6 months.

The more realistic measure of unemployment, the Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate is at about 63%, back to where we were in 1977. And a lot of women have joined the workforce since then.

https://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet


The CLFPR makes sense considering the age distribution and the number of students and retirees:

Population over 18: roughly 240M

In college: 20M

Collecting Social Security: 60M

Labor force: 160M

https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf

https://www.statista.com/statistics/183995/us-college-enroll...

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/OASDIbenies.html


It doesn't mean that they will start working. Being generous, it means that it might now start working . . . for the first time ever.


>And let's be honest, without some sort of external coercion, these companies aren't going to stay in the US.

Chip fabs are already overseas and there's zero practical approaches to bring them here. President "Job Creator" can't bring these jobs here, period. Intel's various management, engineering, marketing, etc jobs aren't going anywhere.


I guess you missed this.

Intel announced in Feb this year that they are spending $7B in Arizona to build a chip fab:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/intel-corp-announces-7-billion-...


Wonderful, but its the state or Arizona taking the tax and regulatory hit to build that factory, which compliments the two existing ones Intel has. President Trump's credit for this deal is the usual meaningless ass-kissing presidents get, but ultimately its Arizona that made that happen the same way Arizona made the previous plants happen. Also this it to finish a factory thats been in the building stages during the Obama administration.

>In fact, the factory, which was originally announced back in 2011 and largely completed by 2014 was put on hold not because of regulatory burden, but because of declining PC sales

Being on the manufacturing council doesn't affect this nor did it make it happen. The council as a "jobs creator" is laughable especially when we're talking about an Obama-era factory.

https://www.engadget.com/2017/02/08/intel-arizona-factory-7-...


I think more people need to resign from such positions. Good on Krzanich.



Thanks. I heard about that. I am not sure how much resigning will help, but it needs to be done.


It sends a pretty strong message that certain ideologies are not an option for some of the American captains of industry. Trump is rather big on having their attention so them resigning sends a clear signal that if this is the path Trump wants to be on it will be a lonely one. Whether or not that message will be received and how it will be interpreted if it is received is an entirely different matter.


"Trump is rather big on having their attention"

I imagine that it feeds his vanity to have them around. Perhaps "their attendance" is nearer what he wants.


Merck's CEO did this too.


And is the only one who got blasted by Trump.


Coincidentally also the only one who wasn't white.


Coincidentally, he was also the first one who left (edit: not fired). Trump got around to tweeting angrily about the others after you posted this: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/15/trump-hits-ceos-who-left-man...


1) No one was fired.

2) He did that 3 hours after I posted this, and long after they had all left.


ding ding ding


He said "coincidentaly", though :)


This position probably had very little political influence. However, why not stay and use whatever influence you may have to make a difference? Is it just not possible anymore to stay and disagree?


I suspect resigning, especially if it gives headlines, gives more political influence that they'd have had just staying on the board.

> Is it just not possible anymore to stay and disagree?

Many have done that so far in the administration. At a certain point it becomes untenable to stay and give any appearance of support/cooperation.


I think people are leaving because the position has no political influence, and the cost of taking PR shrapnel from a disastrous Trump presidency is too high. These business leaders can be assumed to be in it for self-aggrandizing reasons, so if their profiles as business leaders don't increase from this council, and if Trump is toxic to any of their future political designs, there's no better choice than to leave.

I don't think people choose to leave these councils particularly because of an ideological red line. If the spoils were good they'd find a way to rationalize it. Such is all of business and politics.


That's probably what people thought when they joined. (I certainly would joined if I was in the same position.) Continually appeasing someone irrational isn't going to fix the underlying problems specific to Trump.


> I am not a politician. I am an engineer who has spent most of his career working in factories that manufacture the world’s most advanced devices. Yet, it is clear even to me that nearly every issue is now politicized to the point where significant progress is impossible. Promoting American manufacturing should not be a political issue.

There's something I can get behind. Angry people have a positive feedback loop, so if we all collectively talked about Monads there'd be fewer problems.


Promoting the interests of your own country over those of others is fundamentally political. Perhaps you think it should not be partisan? Otherwise, this is just wrong - trade policy is diplomacy and diplomacy is, always has been, always will be, and must be, political.


"Promoting American manufacturing should not be a political issue." Do you mean U.S. manufacturing? Does U.S. wishes to trade with other nations?


"A house divided against itself cannot stand." -- Abraham Lincoln

Pretty worrying to observe the polarization in the US where IMO both left and right are full of extremist views and moderates have no audible voice.


This is not about some general vague problem with "extremism" of which supposedly all sides are guilty. This is about the emergence of a right-wing terrorist movement which has already committed several attacks. When your first reaction to this is to to bring in some unspecified crimes of the left, then this calls into question whether you understand the seriousness of the situation. There is a real chance that real, actual fascists kill many more people and perhaps even gain more political power. We can talk about this without engaging in some false equivalence.


> to bring in some unspecified crimes of the left

I realize that a large portion of young social media posters have already forgotten about this. Probably because John Oliver doesn't talk about it, and that's often their primary source of news analysis. But the Majority Whip for the U.S. Congress is STILL in recovery from a mass shooting over two months ago, by a deranged left-wing activist.

In Dallas last year, 5 police officers were assassinated and another 9 injured at a BLM protest march (the deadliest incident for U.S. law enforcement since 9/11), by an Army veteran who openly cited racial hatred as his motive. I went to church the following Sunday. I was a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation, one of the most liberal American sects. The sermon more or less boiled down to, "Meh, they had it coming". I have since left the UU community, after more than a decade of fellowship there.

Where is the balancing point, at which you can declare "equivalence"? I don't know, and don't really care. But the narrative that polarization and extremism are entirely one-sided needs to go.

As a moderate, BOTH extremes in the U.S. scare the shit out of me right now. I'm a bit sick of being told that I'm "normalizing" awful things by not locking arms with one side, shutting my brain off, and chanting along with the mob. The mob has the intellect, the morality, and the attention span of a goldfish.


> deranged

Key word there, also I'm not aware of anybody on the left who even thinks about giving support to that short of action let alone dares to voice it.


Do you think Trump is comparable to Obama in how he handles these types of incidents?


> I was a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation, one of the most liberal American sects. The sermon more or less boiled down to, "Meh, they had it coming".

Who was the speaker of that sermon? I'd love to email them and get the real story, because that smells suspiciously like confirmation bias in your summary.


I think it was different bias where one paraphrased the past incorrectly, I do it all the time.

It was probably more along the lines of, "Making your bed and lying in it" or "When you poke the lion ten times, expect to get bit"

When someone trots out crimes of the left, it smells like "and you too!" that somehow the Right, which has the rule of force as their platform gets a pass with 1:100 ratios.


That would be a very weird email to get out of the blue.


Weird? For a contentious sermon that allegedly resulted in a person who had been a member for over a decade quitting the church? I doubt it.

Anyhow, a UU sermon that is dismissive of terroristic violence is novel enough that requires a citation. In fact the only thing I could say to generalize about the variety of topics I've heard in various UU sermons is that none of them could possibly be characterized with the word "meh" in the summary. If anything it is the "Church of Anti-meh." And I'm not even a member, so I'm sure I've only heard the tip of the iceberg.


> But the Majority Whip for the U.S. Congress is STILL in recovery from a mass shooting over two months ago, by a deranged left-wing activist.

> As a moderate, BOTH extremes in the U.S. scare the shit out of me right now.

This is painfully ridiculous. The lunatic with a rifle is not representative of Sanders or his supporters, or the left in the U.S. I don't think an honest person of any political stripe would listen to Sanders condemnation of the guy and wonder whether he really meant it.

The Nazis and the Klan... are the Nazis and the Klan. Murder is what they do, and the best that could possibly have been said about the ones marching the other day was that they were just some kind of weak wannabes, not the real thing. Which would have been a smarter thing to say before they killed somebody at their rally.

I just cannot fathom some of the over-intellectualized naivete I'm reading here.


> The lunatic with a rifle is not representative of Sanders or his supporters

And nazis aren't representative of Trump or his supporters. To say otherwise would insinuate that _half the country_ are nazis.


>And nazis aren't representative of Trump or his supporters.

It’s actually not clear if this is the case. It took three days and a ton of media pressure to get Trump to say he condemns Nazis, and then he immediately said that he only made the statement because “bad people” in the media forced him to.

A very logical conclusion is that Trump actually does support Nazis.


I'm not sure I agree that is a logical conclusion.

I think it's just as possible that not all facts were available on Saturday afternoon. Once the facts were available on Monday, the President made a definitive statement.

Also, since when did days become inclusive? I count 2 days (48 hours) between noon Saturday and noon Monday. Another media concoction.


Check the past and see how long it usually took Trump to make incredibly strong statements when it suited him politically. Including the denouncing of events that never actually happened...


> And nazis aren't representative of Trump or his supporters.

Putting aside the issue of his supporters, a charitable reading of Trump (whose true beliefs are well-concealed by ineloquence and constant displays of self-contradiction and dishonesty) would be that authoritarianism, nationalism, xenophobia, and many other fascist traits resonate strongly with him and he therefore feels some unconscious reluctance to criticize these guys who ought to be really, really easy for him to denounce by name. That's the charitable reading, which is consistent with him not really believing in their stated goals.

The behavior the press harps on - Trump being oddly appreciative of the qualities of "strongman" politicians when he speaks of them - is a common enough talking point, but I was shocked when Trump told the mass-murderer Duterte he was doing a great job. At some point the question of whether Trump is an amoral, dangerous idiot or an evil, dangerous idiot starts to feel a little academic.


> At some point the question of whether Trump is an amoral, dangerous idiot or an evil, dangerous idiot starts to feel a little academic.

That's precisely it. There is a line where incompetence becomes malice but once you're far enough across the line it no longer matters where the line itself is.


go look up the percentages on ideological crimes in America. You'll find right wing > muslim > left wing


That doesn't seem to be entirely true.

According to PBS, "far-right extremists tend to be more active in committing homicides, yet Islamist extremists tend to be more deadly."

Are we comparing percentage of deaths or number of events?

Personally, I think both sides are fueled by religious beliefs. Their hate is cut from the same cloth.

[0] http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/analysis-deadly-threat-f...


I was only referring to number of crimes committed


Thank you for clarifying your original point.

I don't think that 8 right wing extremism homicide events over the course of 2 years shows that _half the country_ are right wing extremists.

Just like how 5 Islamist extremist homicide events over the same period of time don't show that all Muslims are extremists.


[flagged]


Please comment civilly and substantively here or not at all.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


[dead]


The nut job volunteered for the Sanders campaign and asked if the people he was going to shoot were Democrats or Republicans. You might not identify him as left-wing but he sure as hell did himself. By the same logic, reasonable right-wingers could claim that the white supremacists aren't actually right-wing.

That's different than just condemning their actions and calling them nut jobs. It shifts the problem away from people who are in a position to maybe make an impact. Even if it's unlikely that extremists on either side are going to come to their senses, it's much more likely that the whip shooter would engage in conversation someone with a strong left-wing orientation, and that some white supremacists listen to Trump when he uses the right kind of language.

If you are part of a political movement, or any group with strong opinions really, it's a moral duty not just to accept that there are people in your group who go too far but also to use your standing to call them out on it.

John Oliver has made some excellent commentary, but you can hardly call it balanced. Maybe for good reason, but nonetheless. BLM is awesome and necessary, however they walk a thin line between protesting against oppression and demonizing police, which some take as encouragement for violence. It's a continuing sturggle to to tell people on "your side" that they're wrong and going too far, much harder and more important than to belittle or protest against people that you naturally disagree with.


Let's try it this way:

This is not about some general vague problem with "extremism" of which supposedly all sides are guilty. This is about the emergence of an Islamic terrorist movement which has already committed several attacks. When your first reaction to this is to to bring in some unspecified crimes of the US, then this calls into question whether you understand the seriousness of the situation. There is a real chance that real, actual radical Islamists kill many more people and perhaps even gain more political power. We can talk about this without engaging in some false equivalence.

"Trump has not denounced white supremacist terrorism" is the equivalent to "Obama has not denounced radical Islamic terrorism".

It's a media trick used to derail any conversation about whatever the president is trying to get done and make everybody talk about something incendiary for a while.

There is no useful policy anybody is going to put in place against fascism that hasn't already been there since World War II. Terrorism is already the most illegal of things. Do we really need to encourage Republicans to pass another law against terrorism? One Patriot Act is already too many.


> Obama has not denounced radical Islamic terrorism

Well yea, Obama, like George Bush before him, didn't use those exact words because it's a pointlessly offensive term. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Almost all of those 1.6 billion people are peaceful, responsible humans, just living their lives. Obama and Bush denounced terrorism all the time. But both of them, being somewhat more thoughtful than Trump, decided not to lump those 1.6 billion in with a tiny group of murdering lunatics, by naming those murdering lunatics after peaceful group's religion.

It would be as if we called KKK lynchings to Radical Christian Terrorism, as the KKK's makes all kinds of claims relating their batshit ideology to Christianity. Doesn't mean it has anything to do with Christianity though.

In short, your comparison doesn't hold up at all, as Obama consistently denounced terrorism by Al Qaeda and ISIS in clear, strong terms.

Trump got pitched a total softball, and he somehow managed to screw it up. Violence at a rally organized by white supremacists? Seems pretty cut and dry.


Radical Islamists are to Muslims as white supremacists are to white people.


"This has nothing to do with Islam" vs. "this has nothing to do with Republicans"


In the sense that are a tiny subset of a much larger group? Well, sure I agree.

Or in the sense that "white supremacist" besmirches white people the way that "Radical Islamist" besmirches Islam? Ok, I'm not against referring to them just as "racists" or the groups by their respective names (Neo-Nazis, KKK, and so on).

In either case, your comparison between Trump and Obama doesn't hold up.

> "Trump has not denounced white supremacist terrorism" is the equivalent to "Obama has not denounced radical Islamic terrorism".

Obama DID denounce "radical Islamic terrorism," though he did not use that exact term, for the reasons described above. For example, Obama said the following regarding the San Bernardino shooters:

> So far, we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas, or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home. But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West. They had stockpiled assault weapons, ammunition, and pipe bombs. So this was an act of terrorism, designed to kill innocent people.

Trump denounced the racists in Charlottesville on Monday, but his statement Saturday did not.

It just vaguely criticized "hatred and bigotry," without referencing the fact that in this case the hatred and bigotry was that of Neo-Nazis, KKK, and other racist groups. To me, his statement sounded like he thought the counter-protesters were equally guilty of "hatred and bigotry", and I think many other people felt the same.

If Trump's statement Saturday had been like the one on Monday, there would have been no controversy.


> In the sense that are a tiny subset of a much larger group? Well, sure I agree.

> Or in the sense that "white supremacist" besmirches white people the way that "Radical Islamist" besmirches Islam? Ok, I'm not against referring to them just as "racists" or the groups by their respective names (Neo-Nazis, KKK, and so on).

It's that the larger group gets painted with the bad acts of the malicious minority.

And it's more about the motte/bailey thing than the specific words in the name, which makes "racism" the same problem.

When you have serious people arguing that all white people are racist because they benefit from structural inequality, that word isn't adequately distinguishing what the KKK does from everyone else.

We need something that means "definition by motives" and not the other ones:

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/06/21/against-murderism/

Bigotry might be a good alternative -- but that's the one he used.

> Obama DID denounce "radical Islamic terrorism," though he did not use that exact term, for the reasons described above.

Trump did denounce white supremacist groups, both before and after Friday.

> It just vaguely criticized "hatred and bigotry," without referencing the fact that in this case the hatred and bigotry was that of Neo-Nazis, KKK, and other racist groups. To me, his statement sounded like he thought the counter-protesters were equally guilty of "hatred and bigotry", and I think many other people felt the same.

And maybe this is really the crux of the matter -- it isn't about "Trump fails to denounce white supremacy", it's that he implicitly criticized the people protesting it.

But only if the counter-protesters are guilty of "hatred and bigotry" -- and if some of them are, why is it wrong to criticize that?


I agree with some of your points, like that there is a sometimes a bit of motte/bailey with the term "racist". But I don't see the Saturday statement as a denunciation (as the word is generally understood by the media and public).

If after the San Bernardino shootings, Obama had said: "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious violence and use of force on both sides," I don't think it would have been accepted by the public, not just with the partisans, but more generally. Because it makes it sound like Obama considers the police that shot the terrorists to be as bad as the terrorists.

I think we have the same situation here. "Racism" sometimes is used to label non-racist people, but that is not the case here. The protesters were actual racists, like Nazis, KKK, white nationalists and so on. I.e. groups that really do want to racially discriminate and worse, i.e. racists i.e. bigots. These people should be denounced because they are bigots and because they became violent.

The counter protesters aren't bigots. If counter protesters were instigating violence (I don't think they were), then I of course don't support that. But even in that case it only makes sense for Trump to clearly word the statement in a way that makes it clear he is only denouncing the counter-protesters for being violent, not for being bigots.

I'm sure the counter-protesters aren't perfect people, but that doesn't mean we can't differentiate between these groups. http://lesswrong.com/lw/mm/the_fallacy_of_gray/


The difference is that the President, qua office, is the leader of the society that these white supremacists hail from. For islam, he is an outsider.

Obama's rational for his decision is widely known: That the criticism of an outsider, denouncing their culture as extremism and terrorism will, in the ears of even the most progressive, secular muslim, only be understood as an insult, and will therefore only lead to further the narrative of a "Clash of Civilisation" a la Fukuyama.

That statement can be argued with. But to feign ignorance can only be considered bad faith.

Note also that nobody is demanding any laws. What people are clamouring for are honesty, decency, and leadership.


> The difference is that the President, qua office, is the leader of the society that these white supremacists hail from. For islam, he is an outsider.

The problem with Obama's argument isn't that it's wrong, it's that it's all too symmetrical. Trump was barely accepted by the Republicans -- he's from New York. He's the outsider.

And Democrats have been doing a motte and bailey thing with racism for years, where denouncing racism is the motte and redefining racism to mean anything they disagree with is the bailey.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Motte_and_bailey

So on one hand, anyone who e.g. believes there should be equality of opportunity but accepts that it may not lead to equality of outcomes, or doesn't support unlimited immigration, or voted for Trump, is labeled a white supremacist. On the other hand, everyone is required to overtly denounce white supremacists, even though we just got through telling anyone who voted for Trump that they are a white supremacist.


Except Trump constantly winks at white supremacists and actively seeks their vote.


> Except Trump constantly winks at white supremacists and actively seeks their vote.

This argument has never made any sense. White supremacists are concentrated in states that Republicans win by such large margins that victory is assured regardless of how the minority sporting swastika tattoos votes.


If this weekend has taught us anything it's that most white supremacists aren't rednecks from the deep south with swastika tattoos. A lot of the are perfectly normal looking, university educated young men living in nice suburbs all across the country.


What did you possibly think before?

That bad people fit the cartoonish representation pushed by tag team of media and stereotyping?


Given the post I was replying to it seemed important to reiterate this fact.


His Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has strong ties to white supremacy, and back in 1986 was considered by both sides of the political aisle to be too racist to be a federal judge. Sessions has a record doing such wonderful things as suing voting rights activists for trying to register black voters[1], and joking that the worst thing about the KKK is their marijuana-smoking members.

So tell me: what kind of President would select a guy like this as his Attorney General?

[1]https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/magazine/the-voter-fraud-...


Cf. Reverend Wright?


Proof?


Trump's Twitter retweet, literally last night. He retweeted a racist dogwhistle from an Alt Right personality hours after Trump supposedly condemned them.


For those of us who don't follow his every twitter move, which tweet are you referring to?



That's racist? How is pointing out an ongoing bloodbath in Chicago, where most victims are not well-to-do fellow "white supremists", racist? To be fair you have to admit Trump has a lot more on his mind than just one white supremacist rally and he's been trying to get involved in Chicago's violence since before the election.


He hasn't been trying to get involved, he's done fuck all except tweet about it and use it as a dog whistle to talk about how insane those blacks in Chicago are at his bizarre post-election rallies.

But he has a black friend who will fix Chicago violence in a week!!


There is a big difference between ongoing gang violence and a terrorist attack. They are both problems, yes, but a terrorist attack by a Nazi during a public demonstration is by far bigger news.


Yeah it's called a dog whistle. A white supremacist killed a woman in Charlottesville last weekend, but look what black people did in Chicago.


The content of the tweet is noise, it's the source of the tweet that is the signal and the message re-tweeting a tweet from that source sends.


That's classic whataboutism and incorrect as well. There's been plenty of media coverage about the Chicago gang violence (and other inner city gang violence) over the years. Political protests, as well as terrorist acts, do tend to receive more intense coverage than ongoing systematic violence.

I don't know about this Twitter account, but I do personally consider it racist when reporting or discussions are angled to only report ethnic group targets (or other tribes) negatively. Whataboutism like this is also a signal to me.


White supremacists feel winked at, isn't that enough?

http://www.businessinsider.com/richard-spencer-says-trump-di...

Also, if you are not familiar with "white nationalism" or Richard Spencer, this interview should help: https://www.revealnews.org/episodes/a-frank-conversation-wit...


Has trump used that term "radical Islamic terrorism" since he took office? I thought I'd read that the military had finally convinced him that they thought it was counter-productive. (edit: turns out he last used it in July, so he's still not doing what the military advisors suggest).

This reminds me that during his rallies, Trump would point to a camera that he knew was contractually obliged to point only at him, and tell the crowd that the fake news media didn't want to show his crowd.

Just in case you think that he's just a total idiot, who regularly complains about the sitting President following military advice. No, he's a mendacious demagogue who intentionally riles his idiotic followers up by pretending that Obama following military protocol is either cowardice or complicity in terror.


[flagged]


> Two Republican lawmakers in North Dakota started the trend in January when they introduced a bill that would protect motorists who hit pedestrians blocking traffic, as long as the consequences are unintentional.


You're honestly putting too much stock in the media's narrative. Were you not watching the violence coming from left-wing protesters for the last couple of years? Such as Antifa and similar groups smashing towns and beating people with fists and shovels. It's a miracle the guy they were beating on the streets of Berkeley didn't die. Edit: and how about the Scalise shooting or the police officers killed at the hands of BLM supporters. Apparently those don't arouse the same response.

It turns out there's violent people of all political stripes who would do us harm.


There's a time for that discussion. But not now. Nazis, KKK, and white supremacists terrorized a town and killed a women. And our morally depraved president couldn't bring himself to put a name to evil.


>There's a time for that discussion. But not now.

No. The time is now.

Without going into my stance, I will say that in all my years observing politics, every single time I've heard this comment it's to hide a double standard. Not a single exception. How do I know this?

Because when that time does come (in this case it would be violence by the left), they are silent, and will not condemn.

This is as good a time as any.


Do you have some clear examples of this? Thinking back to the last notable American left-wing oriented violent act (the 2017 Congressional baseball game shooting), I cannot think of a major Democratic politician that did not strongly condemn the act. Who is the "they" you are speaking of?

In fact, regarding Charlottesville, this really isn't a right wing issue, it's a Trump issue. Most Republican leaders that I can think of condemned this immediately and strongly as well. Trump's response was unusually tepid at first, which is what people are taking issue with.


>Do you have some clear examples of this? Thinking back to the last notable American left-wing oriented violent act (the 2017 Congressional baseball game shooting), I cannot think of a major Democratic politician that did not strongly condemn the act. Who is the "they" you are speaking of?

By "they" I meant individuals I've interacted with, not a generic "they". My experience is with individuals who are polarized about various things (abortion, Middle East, etc) - I wasn't referring specifically to left vs right examples.

Some personal examples:

Muslims upset at a local newspaper for publishing certain cartoons. At the time they were protesting and demanding the editors get fired (one of them eventually was fired). I discussed it with them (friends, not just strangers), and they said a few things:

1. This isn't just about Muhammad but all of Islam's prophets (which includes Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc).

2. This isn't just about Islam - they'd complain even if it happened to reverent figures of other religions.

3. The very statement that is being discussed here: Those are not the current problems and they are discussions for another time.

I pointed out to them that the comic section of the same newspaper had some years prior published really "offensive" cartoons about both Moses and Jesus. Response was "Well we weren't aware". Fair enough. Then later there was a news item about people upset with offensive depictions of Jesus. I pointed it out to them, and their response was the equivalent of "Leave me alone." Happened again related to a Hindu god. Same response.

The examples suggest the three points were not true. When those events became current problems, they did not want to have a discussion about it at all.

Similar story regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict. Without talking about which side did what, in one of the conflicts one side was accused of carrying out war crimes. Protests. I asked some of my friends (protesters) why this issue is so potent to them when similar or worse crimes are not. The response:

1. This is about human rights, not favoritism to a particular group. "We condemn it when it happens to any one".

2. This is the issue of the moment. Don't distract from it.

Sure enough, later there was another conflict so eerily similar to what they were protesting, but in a whole other part of the world. Point it out to them, and get the equivalent of "Leave us alone". And then of course much worse conflicts occur than in the Middle East (DRC, for example). Crickets.

This is what I meant when I said "Every single time I've heard this comment it's to hide a double standard."

And of course, I have to endure accusations of aligning with the other side (by both sides) whenever I ask these questions. I'm asking because I'm curious and want to know. In some cases I may be neutral, and in others I'm actually siding with one side. But my taking a stance to one side does not mean I'll blanket accept the hypocrisy by that side's proponents.


That's fair. But people in this thread are already comparing left and right wing politics. If it's too soon for this discussion, there are up-thread comments it would be appropriate to object to as well.


[flagged]


> He specifically named KKK, Nazis and white supremacists. But you wouldn't hear about that thanks to your echo bubble.

It took him two days and only after great pressure from people across the political spectrum. From Saturday when he gave his first statement to Monday before he gave the statement you referred to he refused to answer multiple times when he was asked by reporters to condemn white supremacy by name and call the attack an act of terrorism.

But when Merck's CEO resigns from the business council he was able to vehemently attack him and his company on twitter almost immediately. When a terrorist attacked the Louvre in France at 5 am Washington time it took him 3 hours to denounce 'radical Islamic terrorist'. His response to the London attacks also involving terrorists driving a car through crowds was just as swift and specific. But he holds off on calling out the neo-Nazis and KKK by name, disgusting.

Liberals and conservatives have been united in their condemnation of Trump's failure to call out evil by it's name. You are the one living in an echo chamber that is willing to defend white supremacists and their President.


> When a muslim plows into a crowd it's a lone wolf and we should jump to conclusions. But now that it was a white guy the second it happened the media reached the consensus that it was an act of terrorism. This kind of double standard is what fuels white supremacists.

The "lone wolf" moniker has something to do with the proximity to and coordination with other wolves. When a white supremacist commits homicide at a white supremacist rally the label would not seem to apply.


[flagged]


> The guy wasn't at the rally at the time

He was photographed marching with Vanguard Of America[1] carrying a Vanguard shield shortly before his attack with the car.

[1] Who are now desperately disavowing any knowledge of him


> On the other hand most or all of the recent Islamic terrorist attacks have been centrally coordinated down to the last detail

Completely untrue.


Nazi's have a bit of a history, which you would do well to familiarize yourself with. See, as soon as people like that start talking about 'taking their country back' and feel that they now have their man in charge it is time to get really worried about where your country is headed. Lest you end up arguing the equivalent of 'I didn't know' a couple of years down the line, which to many 'moderate Germans' must have been quite a hard time.

A couple of crazy religious people we can deal with, they are nowhere near to overtaking any Western country. But the largest Western country just got taken over by the ultra-right, according to their own statements. Whether or not that is factually true remains to be seen but for now Bannon, Miller, Gorka and Trump seem to be pretty secure in their positions.


> This kind of double standard is what fuels white supremacists.

Absolute and complete bullshit. What fuels white supremacists is a combination of idiocy, hatred and personal failure.


>When a muslim plows into a crowd it's a lone wolf and we should jump to conclusions

That is literally the opposite of the actual media narrative associated with Muslims, and is often held out as the difference in coverage between Muslim-related incidents and non-Muslim ones (for want of a better differentiator).

Muslim/brown/whatever attackers are always framed in terms of their religious affiliations, and white attackers are almost always described as "lone wolves".

It beggars belief that you are trying to present that switched, with a straight face.


[flagged]


We've banned this account for repeatedly violating the guidelines.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


There is violence on all sides ... however, only one side appears to have the tacit approval of POTUS. I think we can safely assume that he already (and quite rightly) disapproves of left wing violence -- but a lot of us remain unconvinced by his seemingly forced and totally unconvincing denunciations of violence committed by those who also vocally support him and claim to act in his name. WE need to condemn violence on both sides. The president, on the other hand, particularly and specifically needs to convincingly disown right wing violence and the language of division and hatred. We will take a lot of convincing after this.


Why don't we demand the same disavowal of left wing radical groups like Antifa from Democratic politicians. There is countless footage of peaceful right-wing protesters getting beat, fire bombed, etc. at Berkeley and elsewhere.


If don't you listen, you don't hear:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-ann-coult...

https://www.mediaite.com/tv/elizabeth-warren-to-berkeley-pro...

re: Scalise Shooting: In a statement, Senator Sanders wrote that he had been “informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign.” He went on to say: “I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.” https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/scalise...

edit: and Obama on the BLM shooting in Dallas rightly called it a racist hate crime http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/obama-dallas-police-sh...

That's my 5 minutes of doing your research for you. High ranking Democrat politicians don't tolerate heckler's veto, much less violence. Republicans are so cowed by losing support from their radicals that they can barely bring themselves to speak up against them. Charlottesville is notable in that its pretty much just Trump who failed to speak up.


And Trump tweeted:

> We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/89642082278044467...

He didn't fail to speak up.


[flagged]


> not to mention other places you may have frequented.

Thanks for demonstrating the kind of character assassination the left so frequently tries to use against moderates.

> how there was an attempt to murder a crowd of people.

Trump also retweeted this:

the DOJ is opening a civil rights investigation on the car attack in Charlottesville


[flagged]


This horrible thread is a perfect example of why HN users should reliably and diligently flag pure political stories like this one.


Agreed. I sleep much more comfortably not knowing the (sometimes extreme) political views of my fellow hackers.


1. The statement (politico) you refer to was made 5 days after the incident, in a private meeting, Obama said it was "hate crime", did not use the word "racist", did not mention they were BLM sympathizers.

2. Obama did speak up just one day after the events [1], but he did not specifically mention BLM in particular, claiming lack of confirmed info (justifiably so)

Trump immediately spoke up, but did not mention white supremacists, drawing huge criticism.

I am far from a Trump enthusiast, but can you not see double standard applied here?

[1] Full transcript here: http://fortune.com/2016/07/08/transcript-obama-dallas-police...


We can and we should. Democratic politicians need to strongly disavow and condemn violence in general and left wing violence in particular and in exactly the same manner Republican politicians need to strongly disavow and condemn violence and right wing violence in particular. I would also like to see politicians from across the political spectrum come together to endorse peaceful political processes and to emphasise that the criminality of violence and hate has no place in a democratic society.


So, what's your position then regarding:

- BLM

- Antifa

- the 'alt right'

- the Neo Nazis / white supremacy groups


Pure cancer. All of them.


A group asking police not to kill them in such great numbers should be grouped with white supremacists? Do you really believe that?


Which part of the group? The part that calls for an end to violence or the part that openly calls for violence against police officers?

Lumping people into groups often times hides the positives and negatives of individuals.


Crooked police should be combated; police who do not stop crooked police should be combated.

But, you seem to, at least, acknowledge that BLM has positive aspects. What positive aspects are there to white supremacists?

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/31/the-fbi-has-quietly-inve...

"First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action;" who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season."

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/060.html


Sorry, I don't play the game of false equivalence by comparing opposing groups.

Especially in today's political and social climate.


Then what are you saying? I posted a screenshot of this conversation below.

1. Poster asks about other poster's position on the groups in question. 2. Other poster says, 'Pure cancer. All of them.' 3. I ask if poster is really equating groups like BLM to white supremacists. 4. You ask which part of the group. 5. I ask you what positive aspects can we attribute to white supremacists - since you seemed to be backing the guy grouping them together. 6. You say you don't compare opposing groups.

So, why did you respond to the 3rd reply listed above with the 4th reply? If you don't want to compare groups, why are you injecting yourself into a conversation comparing groups?

https://image.prntscr.com/image/4uCX51xFThaPUQ_HS-zinQ.png


I don't take responsibility for what others have stated. Since I'm not the one comparing groups I fail to see how I can be held responsible for that. I can have my opinion in the conversation without having to be lumped into something I didn't state. Stop trying to paint me into a corner so that you can label me in a negative way for your own benefit. You are attempting to do the childish response of "if you say this then you obviously must support that". Which is utter nonsense and you really should stop.

Things like your response is exactly why I stated I don't like playing the game of false equivalence by comparing opposing groups.

edit: let's try it this way, I wasn't doing the comparing, I was asking for clarification of what was being compared


There was also the assassination of police officers in Dallas last year. That's on top of a series of ambush style killings of police officers.

EDIT: Would downvoters care to explain where I'm mistaken?


On the internet these days take it as a badge of honor honestly.

You hear people chant speak truth to power when they repeat the safe narrative and everyone pats their back.

The fact that the media, large corporate business leaders, online forums, and government representatives are dog piling all over this narrative and ignoring even basic facts and events that happened in very recent memory, it should shock anyone paying attention to what is currently going on.

It's called censorship to blatantly disregard and shout down any opinion or factual information that works against the popularly driven editorial narrative, which is now apparently that Trump and his supporters are extremist violent Neo nazi kkk communist Russian spies, and I'm not even joking when I put that list together.


So let's talk about that.

On the day the shooter was killed, Obama gave a press conference[1] where he said:

We still don’t know all the facts. What we do know is that there’s been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement. Police in Dallas were on duty, doing their job, keeping people safe during a peaceful protest. These law enforcement officers were targeted, and nearly a dozen officers were shot, five were killed.... According to police there are multiple suspects. We will learn more undoubtedly about their twisted motivations, but let’s be clear, there is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks. Grave violence against law enforcement. The FBI is already in touch with the Dallas police; anyone involved in these senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.

Three days later he had returned from Spain (before planned) to visit the survivors, where he ... described the Dallas shooting as a "hate crime" against police, according to a top law enforcement representative in the meeting with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. One really striking thing the president said in his opening remarks was that the shooting in Dallas in many ways was strikingly parallel to the Dylann Roof shooting in Charleston in the sense that it was a hate crime[2]

The Dallas shooting were a terrible thing, and Obama seems to have responded as one would expect a President should.

Outside the Dallas shooting, Obama himself seems to have had some issues with police behavior. But that didn't stop him saying what should be said.

[1] http://fortune.com/2016/07/08/transcript-obama-dallas-police...

[2] http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/obama-dallas-police-sh...


Let's not forget that Obama immediately used the Dallas shootings as an opportunity to aggrandize gun control at the same time. During his Paris release he also said:

"We also know when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately, it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic, [...] In the days ahead, we will have to consider those realities as well. In the meantime, today, our focus is on the victims and their families."

I don't know if that's something I would consider to be in the wheelhouse of what the president should do, as it reads like exploitative base rallying to me, which is something I've accused Trump of as well. I get it, never waste a good tragedy and all that, but it seems modern presidents are far too open about using tragedy to push an agenda.


An attack on heavily armed police by one guy with an assault rifle is a pretty good time to talk about gun control.

So are politicians just supposed to reply "That was horrible" and not look at the underlying causes or events that allowed it to happen?


You forgot to add "our hopes and prayers" to their shocked, shocked I tell you response to gun violence.


Obama was a decent human being and Trump had to coerced into being one, yep. I was just pointing out "left wing" violence. Insofar as skinheads are "right wing".


The right-wing violence runs a lot further than that, all the way back to the Civil War and the people who went to war to defend their "right" to violence against black people. There is a continuous line between that and today. The Charlottesville protests were centered on a statue: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/us/charlottesville-rally-...


> The Charlottesville protests were centered on a statue

You know, in Seattle there is a rather grand looking statue of Lenin. He was a rather evil guy. Who gets to decide which statue stays and which goes?


> You know, in Seattle there is a rather grand looking statue of Lenin. He was a rather evil guy.

The Seattle Lenin is privately owned, so not parallel to the Lee statue in Charlottesville.

> Who gets to decide which statue stays and which goes?

The owners of the statues?


A fair point. I see how the two situations are different.


Did the Americans ask the Iraqi zoning board before pulling down all those statues of Saddam Hussein?

Less controversially, there is actually a political process here, and in the normal manner the city had decided to remove the statue. The white supremacists decided to demonstrate against this, sparking the violence.

The statue recently pulled down in Durham NC is a different Confederate statue.


Left-wing violence goes back just as much.

Those people defending their "rights" in the Civil War were Democrats.


Democrats today are not Democrats of yesteryear. The ideology of the two parties switched during the Civil Rights movement. The Civil War was not “left wing violence”.


That's a pretty gross simplification. Around the time of the Civil War, there were more than two significant parties (including Whigs, Progressives, etc) and they were much less clearly left/right polarized in today's terms. Over the next 100+ years, there was a lot of shifting of policy priorities (from war, to slavery, to business, to civil rights, etc) followed by consolidation culminating with LBJ that left us with the two modern parties.


The point is that the people who used to be known as Democrats did not share the same belief that modern Democrats share, so comparing them to each other is ridiculous. It’s like saying “Roman Republicans owned white slaves so all Republicans hate white people”. It’s the same word, yes, but not the same beliefs.


That's the only reason I post such a statement. To see how the myth of the switching parties is still being pushed.


I don’t understand that. Democrats today fight for civil rights for minorities. Surely you can’t argue against that. It’s part of the core platform. Democrats of the 1860s fought to keep black people enslaved. You yourself said this.

So with those two statements, how can you then argue that the positions have not flipped? How does that even reconcile in your mind?


Just because the Democrats altered their message doesn't mean that the Republicans had to have changed in response.


You're right, it doesn't mean they had to. But they did. The Civil War was fought to abolish slavery, basically a civil rights argument. It was fought and won by the Republicans. Where do the Republicans stand on civil rights issues today? Would Republicans fight a war to protect gay marriage? Would they fight a war to keep businesses from hiring illegal immigrants and paying them pennies on the dollar while working them in horrible conditions? Once upon a time they fought a war to protect the rights of workers and humans who were being taken advantage of, would they do the same today?

Even more recently, Ronald Reagan supported strong gun control. He's the reason California has such strict gun laws. How about Nixon, a Republican who created the EPA that modern Republicans hate so much? Lincoln was also strongly pro-immigration, saying at one point "Foreign immigration... should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy". By 1920, they said "the practical exclusion of Asiatic immigrants is sound and should be maintained". Seems like a pretty big shift to me!

The Republicans of today, even moderate Republicans, are not the Republicans of yesterday, or yesteryear. It would be political suicide to run on some of the most successful Republican platforms from even 30 years ago.

So again I ask, how can you reconcile in your mind the idea that ye olde Democrats are pro-slavery and ye olde Republicans are the party that fought against the South in the Civil War with your claim that they have in no way changed positions over the years?


That's a nice speech, but I have not claimed that they have not changed positions over the years. I am disagreeing with the notion of the "switch" that supposedly happened in response to the Democrats changing some of their positions.

Both parties have altered their message and platform over the years for various reasons.


>the "switch" that supposedly happened in response to the Democrats changing some of their positions

But no one argued that. No one argued that the Democrats changed so the Republicans said "oh man, guess we have to switch too". It was a gradual shift over decades to the point where Democrats are now the civil rights party when they used to be the pro-slavery party and the Republicans are now the party of holding back civil right progress when they were literally willing to start a war to abolish slavery.

Setting aside the one point that literally only you are arguing, I'm glad we've come to the point where we can realize that we actually do agree. Our only disagreement is that you think the word "switch" implies a sudden and coordinated effort to flip places.

Democrats and Republicans, through decades of policy shifts, now represent views they have historically been against. The point of that is "the party of Lincoln" and "the party of Reagan" is Republican in name only, not in actual policy, and the Democrats surely are not the pro-slavery party anymore.


>> Democrats and Republicans, through decades of policy shifts, now represent views they have historically been against.

That's the part I'm disagreeing with. I'm not arguing against a "sudden switch" as you put it. I'm arguing against the entire notion that the two parties switched at all, be it suddenly or over decades. The two parties have adjusted over time to their needs over the years to the point that, fundamentally, they are not that much different other than their fringe elements, which does not define them as a whole.


How about the French Revolution?


If we're bringing European politics into a US discussion, then we should arrest everyone displaying Nazi symbols or using the Nazi salute, and we should probably also ban displays of the Confederate flag as well. Also now the Democratic party is far-right extremism, and the Republicans are banned by law.

I'm loving my new single-payer healthcare and free college tuition, though.


There are some times when "technically correct" is most definitely not the best kind of correct. This is one of those times.


>unspecified crimes of the left

Please stop. I guess all the rioting, arson (of which at Berkeley nothing was done about by law enforcement), and assaults (by mainly people hiding their face, mind you) carried out by the anti-Trump crowd this year don't count right? And this isn't to marginalize what happened over the weekend either, but people with polarizing narratives like you are a large part of the problem. We didn't get to where we are while in a vacuum.


>>assaults (by mainly people hiding their face, mind you)

Antifa also does some nasty things. However, it's worth noting that they hide their face because they don't want to be doxxed by groups such as The_Donald and /pol/.

Fortunately, the Nazis on this weekend's rally weren't so smart, so now quite a few of them have lost their jobs and faced other types of backlash from their friends and neighbors.


The responses to your comment prove his point not yours. There is literal polarisation within this thread.


I don't understand the claim that moderates have no voice in the United States.

I'm not American, but have spent quite a lot of time in the country. From my point of view, most of the media is moderate left -- and they have a very loud voice indeed. The extreme left exists but has very little visibility compared to France, for example. (That is convenient for right-wing press like Breitbart, because it lets them paint boogeymen inside the outlines of shapeless outrage-based movements like Black Lives Matter.)

American moderate right is a strange group. Polls suggest they have a lot of support, but their leaders seem to have decided not to use their voice. It's not like they're being silenced -- more like they're afraid to speak up. A few people like Senator Jeff Flake are a counterexample that shows what the American right could be, if they decided to stop pandering to an incompatible mishmash of base instincts at the fringe of their party.


There are a few significant factors at play:

#1

Gerrymandering has enabled polarization. Previously, some competition in the general election ("left" vs "right") moderated the candidates.

Now the real election is in party primaries ("right" vs "more right"), which are low turnout events of mostly "the base". Result elected officials have become more extreme.

#2

The money game changed. Tom DeLay and others took control of the campaign contributions funnel. At the same time, cost of running campaigns continues to rapidly increase. So any one who wants to hold office has to kiss the ring.

#3

The resulting polarization has made legislating far more difficult. Best explanation I've read so far is Unorthodox Lawmaking, Rulemaking

http://columbialawreview.org/content/unorthodox-lawmaking-un...

--

How do we fix this?

Biggest step is independent redistricting commissions, with citizen oversight (approval). Gerrymandering is mostly incumbent protection schemes. Citizens (voters) hate the result. Support for independent commissions is something like 80/20 (no-brainer).

Next biggest step would be to eliminate the two party system by replacing our winner takes all (FPTP) form of elections with Approval Voting. Cite Duverger's Law. Some people advocate other systems, like proportional representation. Great idea; I think Approval Voting is an easier sell.

Reduce the costs of campaigning. So much we can do here. Restore fairness doctrine, time box campaigning, better GOTV/voter education efforts, unify & simplify voter registration (eg automatic, universal), etc.


> A few people like Senator Jeff Flake are a counterexample that shows what the American right could be...

I think you're understating how much of the American right dislikes Trump. Actual conservatives supported Cruz and Rubio (both of whom have been very consistently critical of Trump's shenanigans). Ben Sasse and Rand Paul are also very vocal.

In print, National Review, The Federalist, Commentary, and similar news organizations have been against Trump since the Republican primary, not in small part to his playing footsie with racists.


What's the point of "disliking" Trump if they don't get rid of him?


Well, Cruz didn't exactly throw in the towel and become a fan. And there's always next time.



You are correct. The problem is that the current president and the non-quiet part of the GOP wants to paint the factual moderate news media (or "MSM") as a liberal conspiracy.


> the factual moderate news media

It's not a conspiracy. You can have emergent bias as much as planned bias. That's basically the position of various HR departments who offer unconscious bias training.

At any rate, every study I've seen has confirmed that most media orgs at least lean left. Have you seen any that disagree?


The fundamental bias here is not the media, but the definition of "left". If you transplanted CNN into France or Germany, their editorial position would be on the mainstream center-right.

For example, I've noticed that a lot of Americans think of Angela Merkel as a leftist. But she's a right-wing conservative from a party called "Christian Democratic Union"!

In a way, the American media has been successfully gerrymandered: the extreme right has been pulling the left/right demarcation line towards them for decades.


There's not enough space here to get into it in too much detail, but for historical reason, the American right isn't (*) the same thing as the European right. Hundreds of years ago, the U.S. was a constitutional republic with working federalism and a limited national government. Hundreds of years ago, Europe was a lot of things, but often there were monarchs and dictators.

So things that seem rather moderate to a European (nationalising some industry) is a brand new thing in the American context.

There are also complexities in that America doesn't really have a clearly defined racial, religious, or ethnic identity. The common identity in America mostly centers around ideas and individual rights, so the American right has much more interest in liberty, relatively, compared to the European right.


So things that seem rather moderate to a European (nationalising some industry) is a brand new thing in the American context.

When was the last time an entire industry was nationalized in Europe? I can't even think of a post-WWII example off the top of my head. (I'm sure there are examples, considering the success of Communist parties in some West European countries in the decade after 1945.)

It's true that there are more state-owned corporations in Europe... But some of the largest American corporations are so intricately tied to government deals and lobbying that there's no practical difference. I'm thinking of Lockheed, etc.

Compare Airbus and Boeing. One started as a multinational state-owned consortium created by European governments; the other has always been a private company. But they've ended up in basically the same position -- public corporations propped up by deep government subsidies in various disguises.

American and European capitalism isn't very different at all. Individual liberties are essentially the same with some tweaks. We're much closer than many think.


The confusion here is basically my point. I'll simplify. Scalia, a very conservative Supreme Court Justice, said burning the American flag is a right. And he made a right wing case for that. And it's not controversial on the right. In contrast, speech restrictions are popular on both the left and right in Europe. It's more about whose you like better.

In the healthcare debate, the American right argued that the national government didn't (and shouldn't) have the power to take certain steps. The European right mostly argues from practical or identity-based reasons. So healthcare controversies involve levels of funding, pay for workers, coverage for refugees, and things like that.


To me, these are both examples of what I earlier called "tweaks" rather than fundamental differences.

So Scalia agreed that you're allowed to burn a flag in America. That's great -- but how did this ever even become a Supreme Court case? If you burn a flag in Sweden or France, nobody would think to sue you. The fact that this freedom had to be weighed at the highest possible level shows that Americans have serious blind points around their perception of freedom. Similarly, European countries have individual historical taboos on speech, such as the ban on Nazi symbols in Germany.

In the US healthcare debate, the right's constitutional argument seems to revolve around Obamacare's individual mandate -- but that's just is a clumsy artifact of how the system was overlaid on existing pseudo-private healthcare systems. With a properly designed tax-funded public healthcare system, the problem would go away.


There’s a large number of post-war Western European nationalisations listed on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nationalizations_by_co... . Most of them are nationalisations of companies rather than industries (for example failing banks during the financial crisis) to be fair.


> At any rate, every study I've seen has confirmed that most media orgs at least lean left

1) Links to studies?

2) Having a leaning in op-eds doesn't mean a bias in facts reported. I'd assume if you have 0 bias there would be no point in lying about facts, but regardless of left-leaning or right-leaning organisations, the real issue is whether you present truth or not.


Here's one about campaign donations:

http://time.com/money/4533729/hillary-clinton-journalist-cam...

There are plenty more if you Google around. And they go back way before Trump was on the scene.

I'd be interested to see studies that dispute these findings. I haven't seen any.


I did google around. And they only hits I found were specifically Trump critical media. I'm hard pressed to call that bias.

A fair reporting of Trump comes across in a very bad light. I guess that's unfortunate for him, but it's of his own making.

The real question is whether anything reported on him (or the right at large) are erroneous, as he has claimed hundreds of times ("lies" and "fake" specifically), because the very few times it has happened, it was publicly retracted, and most often people got fired for it. I think that's a marker for healthy news.



Politico did a pretty big study on it a couple months back showing that virtually all large outlets are clustered around liberal metropolitan areas. Politico, of all places.


> Politico did a pretty big study on it a couple months back showing that virtually all large outlets are clustered around liberal metropolitan areas. Politico, of all places.

May I suggest that it's not causation?

Other large outlet headquarters:

Fox News: New York City

Breitbart: Los Angeles

Infowars: Austin

A slight change in your text:

> virtually all large [any type of corporation] are clustered around liberal metropolitan areas


> Polls suggest they have a lot of support, but their leaders seem to have decided not to use their voice.

Is that really true? Just off the top of my head, Lindsey Graham has been pretty vocal the last few months. I would paint him as a poster boy of the American moderate right (holding fairly conservative positions but clearly opposed to the more extreme American right).

If you mean the actual leadership, e.g. Paul Ryan, well I think it's obvious why they've stayed silent.

I think those moderate voices are just being drowned out.


There is no left in US politics, there’s just hard right and centre right.

Seeing as there seems to be some disagreement to this post, let me back it up with recent US election pages from politicalcompass.org:

https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2016

https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012

https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008

https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2004

There are a few choices for very minor candidates (Bernie Sanders notwithstanding) but very little mainstream choice that’s not wedged over to the right hand side.


when wealth and income disparity are at an all time high then for the ruling class paralysis is the best policy.

the only voice that matters is the voice of wall street and the voice of the corporate elite.

as long as politically irrelevant people on the left and right are busy yelling at each other about irrelevant issues that have no effect of wealth and income distribution then everything is going according to plan.


This is not a "both sides" issue, never has been.


> both left and right are full of extremist views

Again?


If you think the polarization of politics contributes to violence, it seems like a fair point.

Honestly, it's probably too soon to be making political points. But then people are looking for political wins in the aftermath (resignations and shunning I guess?), so I don't see how that sort of thing is on the table. Seems like uneven expectations about what decent people should do in the face of tragedy.


> If you think the polarization of politics contributes to violence, it seems like a fair point.

I'm sure it does. Now, who exactly is doing the polarizing here?

> Honestly, it's probably too soon to be making political points.

On the contrary, it is probably way too late. Now the question is how much damage will be done before the landslide is arrested. My sense of that: all bets are off.

> But then people are looking for political wins in the aftermath (resignations and shunning I guess?), so I don't see how that sort of thing is on the table.

Giving up on the administration is not a political win, it is damage control.

> Seems like uneven expectations about what decent people should do in the face of tragedy.

It depends on your definition of 'decent' how you read that.


> Giving up on the administration is not a political win, it is damage control.

I gave up on Trump in the winter of 2015/2016. I'm way ahead of you there.

I'm just saying people have valid thoughts (polarization in general leads to t his) that might be considered premature. But if we're going to be evenhanded, angry left-wing people need to honor a cool off period for a while.

Keep in mind that moderates who dislike Trump from the start can fairly blame left-wing shenanigans, at least partly, for the rise of Trump. Lumping them in with racists and downvoting them isn't healthy dialogue.


If you gave up on Trump then that means that you at some point held him closer than you do today. I always thought he was a blow-hard and I'm terribly disappointed that someone like him can be elevated to any position of power. I really hoped that America was wiser than this.

> Keep in mind that moderates who dislike Trump from the start can fairly blame left-wing shenanigans, at least partly, for the rise of Trump.

Yes, but it would be a fig-leaf. A large number of them are pretty much on the record as being pissed off that a black guy became president. America really has a race problem even if on paper it is all pretty good. Especially the heartland. Denying this is allowing it room to grow.

> Lumping them in with racists and downvoting them isn't healthy dialogue.

Well, if you purposefully skew the weighting of the responses of the various parties to the point where you feel the violence on the 'left' is the equal of the violence on the 'right' then you're part of the problem. It becomes an 'us versus them' thing and staking out a position in such a polarized environment is something that you should do with great care. I'm not aware of any left leaning politician that has tacitly or openly condoned any violence on the left and some (definitely not all, for instance the Scalise shooting) was a direct response to other violence.

To toss that all onto the same heap is disingenuous at best.

If you want 'healthy dialogue' you're going to have to come to terms with inherent biases first. But that's hard to do.


I moved from "everyone deserves to be heard out" to "this guy is a bully and a bad person in many other ways". It was clear when he made fun of a man's disability and just grew from there.

To be fair to the GOP, Trump basically did a hostile takeover with a plurality of the vote on the right against a very fractured field.

I'm not advocating for a pissing contest over who is more violent. I'm advocating for people to treat each other decently even if they disagree. I'm advocating for rational dialogue.

I think this isn't the moment to win points for the left. Partly because I think the case isn't strong, but also because I don't see it solving the real problem of divisive American politics. The left can't "win" enough to forever banish Trumps from power. It only causes escalation, at least so far.


> I moved from "everyone deserves to be heard out" to "this guy is a bully and a bad person in many other ways". It was clear when he made fun of a man's disability and just grew from there.

Ok, I thought it was rather very visible earlier on, such as before he even decided to run for president.

> To be fair to the GOP, Trump basically did a hostile takeover with a plurality of the vote on the right against a very fractured field.

They did not have to nominate him.

> I'm not advocating for a pissing contest over who is more violent.

Ok

> I'm advocating for people to treat each other decently even if they disagree. I'm advocating for rational dialogue.

It's pretty hard to have a rational dialogue when one side of the dialogue discards all facts as 'fake', brings their own 'alternative facts' to the table, tacitly and openly supports violence against their opposition and in general does whatever possible to polarize the society they are nominally supposed to lead.

> I think this isn't the moment to win points for the left.

This stopped being about 'points' long ago, this is about the future of a country.

> Partly because I think the case isn't strong, but also because I don't see it solving the real problem of divisive American politics.

Agreed, that problem starts at the top and it will take a serious amount of soul searching for the GOP to decide how far they will let this slide before they will put a stop to it. Chances are that it is already past the point where it can be arrested anyway but maybe there is still an outside chance the problem can be contained before it spills over.

> The left can't "win" enough to forever banish Trumps from power. It only causes escalation, at least so far.

This is not about left versus right, if that's your frame of reference today then you really should wake up and start paying attention, the damage to the United States as an institution both at home and abroad is immense.


> Ok, I thought it was rather very visible earlier on, such as before he even decided to run for president.

Being sued for racial discrimination in 1973 was a pretty big clue. But the birther nonsense should really have tipped everyone off about what was going on.


Good point. I knew he was unqualified well before. I forgot about the birth nonsense when I wrote that lost. I guess I upgraded him from fool to dangerous fool.


Now you're going to have to figure out how to position BLM versus the Neo Nazis.

For me the one is a response to structural unequal treatment by law enforcement, the other is the vilest element in society seeking a platform and a way to spread their hateful ideology.


> Now you're going to have to figure out how to position BLM versus the Neo Nazis.

Do I? I just know people are outgrouping and arguing through violence and I'm opposed to that regardless or what policy changes they feel are appropriate.

I don't feel the need to judge that political violence is worse in one case than in another case.


So you're equating a response to violence of one group to another to a group that actively advocates reducing a whole swathe of humanity to sub-human status or to kill them outright. That's a bit of a stretch for me but if you are going to see these two as equal because they chose to resort to violence themselves then I can see your point. But that's an extremist pacifist position, the kind that says that if you are going to be attacked by someone that you should not defend yourself. As it is probably obvious by now I do not subscribe to that extreme level of pacifism, I recognize that there are times when violence can be justified.

That doesn't mean you should be happy about it, it should be a means of last resort and it should be practiced only when all other avenues have not born fruit.


I've moved from "he's a total idiot who is unwilling to distance himself from the most backwards views of some of his supporters" to "he's a total idiot who's actually causing even deeper polarization since people on the Left aren't able to acknowledge that there are moderates that see him or the 'context' differently to them without implicating themselves as Nazis, and nobody on the Right wants to admit that he's creating an even more unhealthy political situation which is going to hurt everybody".

  > [...] then you're part of the problem. [...] 
  > If you want 'healthy dialogue' you're going to have
  > to come to terms with inherent biases first.
I honestly do not think you are having a healthy dialogue or coming to terms with your own inherent biases yourself.

You just said that somebody was 'purposefully skewing' as if they did not really believe what they said. This is textbook bad faith arguing. You could do with reading what everybody is saying and imagining that they actually honestly believe these things and then go from there.

My own two-cents are that left-wing violence and anger is partly to blame for both his rise and the deeper polarisation we are now seeing since it enabled the alt-right to play the victim and fight a war of optics [0]. However, it's not the only cause: a large component of what we're seeing is that Trump coming to power has emboldened the worst of the Right [1].

[0] Look at how they manage their image with propaganda, and their attempts to use the Left against itself: https://mobile.twitter.com/sebinsua/status/89716402244070195...

[1] https://mobile.twitter.com/bswud/status/747790921190744064


> I honestly do not think you are having a healthy dialogue or coming to terms with your own inherent biases yourself.

Since you so clearly perceive those would you mind exposing them?

> My own two-cents are that left-wing violence and anger is partly to blame for both his rise and the deeper polarisation we are now seeing since it enabled the alt-right to play the victim and fight a war of optics [0].

That does not mesh with my reading of the facts as presently available at all.

> However, it's not the only cause: a large component of what we're seeing is that Trump coming to power has emboldened the worst of the Right [1].

That we can agree on, and this is in large part due to the use of various 'dog whistles'.

And frankly, I have a hard time coming to terms with people self describing as 'moderates' who voted for Trump, that is some kind of cognitive dissonance. Trump is about as far away from moderate as it gets.


  > frankly, I have a hard time coming to terms with
  > people self describing as 'moderates' who voted
  > for Trump, that is some kind of cognitive dissonance.
  > Trump is about as far away from moderate as it gets.
That's not what I'm arguing so I don't expect you to come to terms with that. You cannot be moderate and vote for Trump.

I do think you can be moderate and point out that there are certain tactics used by the Left which have been weaponised against them, and that this has been a key driver in support for the alt-right.

  > That does not mesh with my reading of the facts
  > as presently available at all.
I do not agree that the same set of facts are presently available to all. Even if they were, I believe that most people filter them out due to not wanting to look at the alt-right parts of Twitter.

In any case I did link you to a tweet referencing two instances as an attempt to substantiate what I said. The first demonstrates that alt-right supporters from /pol/ are trying to "get normies onto [their] side" by trying to appear 'peaceful' and 'good' in comparison to their attackers ("and if antifa attack the white families, they're going to look like monsters"). The second demonstrates a time in which @SwiftOnSecurity received a message from a white nationalist trying to incite an offended quote-tweet as a way of maximising the audience of one of their memes.

I can't source it because it was a long while back, but during the election and immediately after it, I also saw various accounts attempting to use instances of left-wing violence at protests to persuade others that they were unfairly threatened or attacked for their beliefs and to try to present antifa as violent thugs. I saw stories about families of Trump supporters trapped at protests and 'fearing for the lives of their children'. I saw photos of Trump supporters violently wounded. Frequently I see the photo of Richard Spencer being punched doubled against a tweet by some out-there radleft implying that anybody righter than them is a Nazi.

I think it's really important to realise that anything you do or say can be turned into propaganda against you.

Edit: The term "concern troll" could be used against me here, so all I ask is for people to evaluate what I've pointed out and decide for themselves whether it's useful or not. My opinion of course is that the alt-right substantially grew in popularity through the techniques I described and that if you care about this you should avoid being part of it.


I refuse to be squelched because some Neo Nazi could use my words against me. In fact, I wish them good luck with that, I sincerely doubt you could do that and get away with it without some pretty extreme mental contortions.

The instances you quote have nothing whatsoever to do with debating this in a facts and reason based way on an internet forum.

If people are concerned with their kids getting wounded when attending mass rallies of whatever plumage then it is time to spread the word that whenever you assemble a mob, whether it is the 'good guys' or the 'bad guys' does not matter, the mob is its own enemy when panicked and when two mobs encounter each other violence is the predictable outcome.

That idiots then use this to incite further violence is an obvious conclusion without much weight in practice.

Each side will do what they can to victimize themselves and lay blame with their opposition, it has been so since the first man picked up a stick to wage war on his neighbors.


  > I refuse to be squelched because some
  > Neo Nazi could use my words against me.
You misunderstand again. I said that violent or smearing actions done for sound moral reasons can and are used to publicise and win support for the alt-right cause.

While you might not care about your own personal risk, as a citizen of the world you should care about having your actions used to create political material that radicalises people towards the alt-right cause as this threatens people other than you.

It doesn't matter whether they are idiots or not, it matters whether bad players have an easy or hard time making their case and recruiting supporters. Make it difficult, not easy!

  > The instances you quote have nothing
  > whatsoever to do with debating this
  > in a facts and reason based way on an internet forum.
I fundamentally disagree. They demonstrate the mechanism by which the alt-right grew their support so quickly. This is important to the argument at hand and since you can't seem to see this and I don't have any more source material to counter your very strong opinions with, I don't think there's any point in arguing around it any further.


Left wing violence? Such as?

Reminds me of the time someone cited the Rodney King riots as examples of left-wing hate speech.

Or when the protestors at the WTO summit had to physically prevent some testosterone filled teenage agitators from Oregon, self-described "anarchists", from breaking crap because the police wouldn't act.

(Almost as if allowing some violence to make the evening news served their purpose. Hmmmm.)


Anarchists in Oregon are as left wing as racists in Charlotte are right wing. The standard there would be how they (probably) vote, right? Or are there other criteria you would prefer?


Have you read Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism? Did you like it? Agree? Disagree?

I ask because I'm hoping someone can explain the mental gymnastics required to believe such nonsense.


>To toss that all onto the same heap is disingenuous at best.

I feel like what people who behave as you are miss is that it could just be ignorance. Ignorance can be cured but not with aggression. Did you see the story where a black man befriended a bunch of KKK and they all ended up leaving the organization at the end? He didn't get that result with righteous indignation even if he had every right to be righteously indignant.


You'd be hard pressed to attribute any aggression to me.


I don't mean physical aggression, I mean verbal bullying. And I may be projecting other "similar feeling" posts to yours too much.

But the kind of behavior I'm seeing now is a bit saddening. I remember when HN guidelines said something to the effect of "Instead of saying 'C++ was created after C, idiot' you can shorten it to 'C++ was created after C'". But I see posts in the tone of yours which say something like "The left has isolated incidents of violence by deranged people, blasted by leaders on the left while the right has much more dangerous and common events which seem to be supported by the leadership. To put these two together is disingenuous and could only be done by a fascist.", where that last sentence could just be left off.

The issue is assuming the absolute worst of everyone you talk to online that doesn't hold your opinion. Maybe the poster just has ignorant friends/family and really doesn't know any better. Maybe they have opinions right now that they're going to be really embarrassed about in 10-20 years. But if you immediately group them together with people like Hitler (didn't this used to kill the thread?) then you give up any hope of educating them (or, more importantly, other people on the fence who are reading the exchange). So I have to wonder what is even the utility of such posts except to signal to others which camp you're in.


You use quotes to show that I said something but I did no such thing.

> Maybe the poster just has ignorant friends/family and really doesn't know any better.

That's quite possibly true. But regardless, at least they don't stoop to putting words in my mouth that I never used in that particular order and with that particular goal.

> Maybe they have opinions right now that they're going to be really embarrassed about in 10-20 years.

Let's hope not, it would be painful for all involved.

> But if you immediately group them together with people like Hitler

Well, when Neo Nazis walk the land waving flags and re-living the past as much as they can invoking Hitler is fair game.

Mind you: The pre World War II Nazis of old (and their sympathizers) to some extent could be forgiven because they could claim they had no idea what it all would lead to.

But the present day Nazis and their sympathizers have no such excuse.

> So I have to wonder what is even the utility of such posts except to signal to others which camp you're in.

To try to convince someone to see things in a slightly different light. And if you had been reading this thread with a bit more attention you could see some of that at work. It's not going to be a large change but speaking out about this stuff is the least that we can do.


>You use quotes to show that I said something but I did no such thing.

No, I explicitly stated that I was grouping your posts in with others that seem similar to me (and acknowledged that I could be in error on that).

>But regardless, at least they don't stoop to putting words in my mouth that I never used in that particular order and with that particular goal.

You're a software developer, right? So think a bit more abstract. I suspect my point fits to things you've written in this thread.

>Let's hope not, it would be painful for all involved.

Why? Thinking stupid things is part of growing up. The much more important bit is eventually correcting as many of those things as possible.

>But the present day Nazis and their sympathizers have no such excuse.

Here we're in agreement. If someone identifies as a Nazi then the game changes. But I just see a lot of e.g. Trump supporters right now that I can't shake the feeling that they're not being evil they're just ignorant on a lot of things the rest of us aren't.

>It's not going to be a large change but speaking out about this stuff is the least that we can do.

Please don't take my replies as trying to shut you down. My point is entirely about tone. Nothing else.


> moderates who dislike Trump from the start can fairly blame left-wing shenanigans, at least partly, for the rise of Trump

What? The rise of Trump was entirely down to the GOP - for years - stoking both racial and anti-liberal resentment with only one goal - to dismantle anything Obama touched.


Which of those people I listed stoked racial resentment? Can you provide citations?

And I think you're ignoring a lot of things the left has been up to. The IRS scandal was a big deal, for example.


> And I think you're ignoring a lot of things the left has been up to. The IRS scandal was a big deal, for example.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRS_targeting_controversy

> The Republican majority on the House Oversight Committee issued a report, which concluded that although some liberal groups were selected for additional review, the scrutiny that these groups received did not amount to targeting when compared to the greater scrutiny received by conservative groups. The report was criticized by the committee's Democratic minority, which said that the report ignored evidence that the IRS used keywords to identify both liberal and conservative groups.

> In January 2014, the FBI told Fox News that its investigation had found no evidence so far warranting the filing of federal criminal charges in connection with the controversy, as it had not found any evidence of "enemy hunting", and that the investigation continued. On October 23, 2015, the Justice Department declared that no criminal charges would be filed.

Meanwhile: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/346544-dreamhost-cla...

Classic misguided whataboutism. Fox News did it again.


There are plenty other examples. I just picked one. The Damore and Eich cases. The professor at the University of Missouri. The assault of Charles Murray.


The Damore who denied interviews with internationally renowned news organisations to go on Youtube with alt-right crazy Stefan Molyneux?

The Damore who sourced real science in an effort to try to legitimize his own non-sequitor opinions in a memo?

The Damore who made a t-shirt comparing a company with snack bars, lego corners, project choice and hundreds of thousands of dollar salaries with communist forced labor camps?

I don't disagree with you on Eich. I think supporting prop 8 is abhorrent, but likewise was the online shaming campaign. I'd support anyone boycotting Mozilla if they chose too, and those who resigned when he was promoted to CEO, but he also wasn't fired, he resigned.


Damore was fired by left-wing people for his beliefs. I don't think that's controversial. I think if there's not room to discuss issues with someone like Damore (and, sure, show him to be a fool if warranted) or to work in a professional capacity with Eich (likewise), the left has an extremism problem.


You mean the issues Damore made up, as opposed to arguing in good faith from the sources he provided, and not taking artistic liberty in his conclusions?

The researcher Damore cites:

> It is unclear to me that this sex difference would play a role in success within the Google workplace (in particular, not being able to handle stresses of leadership in the workplace. That’s a huge stretch to me),” writes Schmitt.

And Eichs belief that gay people shouldn't be allowed to marry, meaning they should have less rights than straight people?

It is neither a left problem, extremism problem, or even a problem.

If you discriminate, you should get fired. The fact that this can even be claimed as a political/partisan issue is frightening. And if it somehow is partisan, the left isn't the issue.


[flagged]


Sanger was physically attacked. Murray was assaulted IMO (an assault is a threat of violence, not necessarily physical violence). But I could have phrased that better, yes.

We're already deep in the thread so I'll pass on defending Charles Murray. The germane part is that he's on the right and was assaulted by extremists.


How is being against race hatred not a moderate position?


[flagged]


Looking from across the pond, the left seem to have went full bananas. The identity politics and pushing "undocumented" migrants angle would be quite extreme in most of Europe. BLM look ridiculous too. While the right seem to be business as usual. Much more right than Euro right, but that's it.


>BLM look ridiculous too

Protesting that cops kill black people and face no legal consequences is ridiculous?


Yes.

The idea that there are cops on safari hunting black people is a fundamentally absurd notion. When it is clear that the officer was involved in a "bad shoot", those officers are removed from duty and charged with murder/manslaughter. If you can point me to one that was not, I'd be very interested to learn more. However, it is often difficult to determine a bad shoot from a "good" one, which is the primary issue.

Cops disproportionately target black Americans because black Americans commit a disproportionate percentage of the crime in America. And you don't need to stop at the overall crime rate, you can look at how black Americans kill a disproportionate number of cops.

  There were 511 officers killed in felonious incidents and 540 offenders from 2004 to 2013, according to FBI reports. Among the total offenders, 52 percent were white, and 43 percent were black.[1]
And according to the 2010 US Census [2], the racial split in the US was:

  White: 72.4%
  Black: 12.6%
I think the numbers speak for themselves. Do these numbers justify cops killing unarmed civilians that pose no threat? OF COURSE NOT. But that is almost never the case. Remember, cops are not the military (they are not tried in internal military tribunals), and they do not have immunity. At the end of the day, it is up to the DA to bring charges against a police officer, and the DA will usually not bring said charges if that DA does not think he/she can prove in a court of law that it was a bad shoot. So yes, there are racist cops. But that should only be a crisis if you believe the US' entire justice system to be racist against black people.

[1] - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/01/...

[2] - https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-02.pdf


> charged with murder/manslaughter

.. and then acquitted. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/white-tulsa-officer-is...

> the US' entire justice system to be racist against black people

I believe that's a key part of the BLM argument, yes.


  The Tulsa County District Court jury of eight women and four men, including at least four black jurors
Jury decisions need to be unanimous, so at least four black people thought this woman was not guilty of manslaughter. A truly outrageous verdict from a truly racist justice system.

I'd also like to point out that, although unarmed, the victim was high on PCP at the time of the shooting, and PCP is nothing to joke about. It causes erratic and often dangerous behaviour.

Case in point: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/man-high-pcp-shows-s...


I think it's the riots and assassinations. Maybe blocking traffic depending on who you ask.

Of course, Black Lives Matter isn't a well defined group, so you can't blame all of them for the actions of a few. But that's true of people who want <insert right leaning policy proposal here>.


Don't forget disrupting pride parades. BLM really has had it out for the LGBT community in the midwest this year, for whatever reason.


Their kind of protesting is not my cup of tea. Protests can be done in civilised manner. Theirs, at least the ones that make the news, are not. Looking from afar, they're only hurting their cause. I mean.. if they thrash shit and take over rallies, maybe cops had a reason to shoot? Note - I know there was no reason in at least some cases.

The library video with BLM harassing students was extremely embarrassing. Shit like that would get people arrested over there and nobody would look at them seriously ever after.

That may or may not be influenced by my northern-ish shy attitude.



Exactly. Why? We managed to get out of fuckin USSR without violent protests. Civil protests and engaging in politics is awesome. But not as easy and fun as smashing shit.

Act like idiots = be treated like idiots.


The point of that is to show that white people in America are not happy with any form of protest from black people.


I know


> if they thrash shit and take over rallies, maybe cops had a reason to shoot? Note - I know there was no reason in at least some cases.

What does this mean? What is "thrashing shit and taking over rallies"? Under what circumstances do you think it's acceptable for police to shoot citizens?


> the left seem to have went full bananas... While the right seem to be business as usual.

Clicks profile, and understands the statement. Sorry mate, but Eastern euro right is considered extreme compared to western euro right. To you this may seem business as usual.


I suppose a new development is that Trump is more in the mold of a European right-winger. Up until now, the American right hasn't resembled the nationalist movements of Europe that much. It was more (and I'd argue still is in large portion) an ideological identity (Burkean, small government, traditional values, etc.), not a nationalist one.


My country didn't have extreme right party in government since after USSR. The most right party is a run-of-a-mill conservative party which in most cases would agree to US Democrats of 5 or 10 years ago. Anything right of that is marginalised forever and didn't even have a seat for over a decade. Yet several Western Euro countries had their extreme-ish right in government coalitions or nearly winning presidential elections.


> The identity politics and pushing "undocumented" migrants angle

Could you elaborate on this "going bananas"?

> While the right seem to be business as usual.

* Pushing through Gorsuch using nuclear option

* Trying to deprive 10s of millions of people of healthcare multiple times without even publicly showing the proposed bill(s)

* Banning cameras and reporters from briefings

* Electing a GOP congressman one DAY AFTER assaulting a reporter, on live tape.

* The president contradicting generals and trying to incite wars over twitter, and the GOP majority congress and senate letting it slide. Time after time, after time.

* etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

You're either trolling or your calibration for "business as usual" is sincerely fucked up.


> > The identity politics and pushing "undocumented" migrants angle > Could you elaborate on this "going bananas"?

In most of Europe a major party advocating for legalising illegal migrants or opening borders doesn't stand a chance. This is why migrants vs refugees discussion is huge in Europe. People are OK to help refugees but most people don't want unlimited uneducated immigrants. The difference is what people see as refugees. In Western Europe, only extreme left (= greens and communists) advocate for open borders or legalising illegals. In Eastern Europe, such discussion is completely off the table.

> * Trying to deprive 10s of millions of people of healthcare multiple times without even publicly showing the proposed bill(s)

US healthcare look 100% fucked up. Be it Obamacare or post or pre that. I don't see how GOP stance changed on this. They always were fucked up in this regard, they still are. Thus business as usual.

> * Banning cameras and reporters from briefings > * Electing a GOP congressman one DAY AFTER assaulting a reporter, on live tape. > * The president contradicting generals and trying to incite wars over twitter, and the GOP majority congress and senate letting it slide. Time after time, after time.

I was talking about overall left vs right tendencies, not about single politicians. GOP was weird a decade ago, it still is now. Democrats went full retard IMO. I can't see what was going on their minds to push HRC. She's probably the only person that could have lost to Trump and, well, she did! I'd love to see Trump vs. Sanders election in parallel universe. IMO he'd have better chance. It was pretty clear that public wants "non-establishment" candidate. HRC is as establishment as it gets. Sanders is less establishment than Trump with his business history.


> US healthcare look 100% fucked up. Be it Obamacare or post or pre that. I don't see how GOP stance changed on this. They always were fucked up in this regard, they still are. Thus business as usual.

I was stating that they wanted to deprive a further 20 million people of healthcare, from the current system, ACA ("obamacare") which, while needing fixes, is still better than the old system. They (GOP) with a near complete unity (missing 3) tried to push through a bill with 12% (!) approval rating. If that is business as usual, the GOP took a wrong turn, you can't honestly deny that.

> I was talking about overall left vs right tendencies, not about single politicians. GOP was weird a decade ago, it still is now. Democrats went full retard IMO. I can't see what was going on their minds to push HRC.

Are you actually for real? You're saying that democrats went "full retard" in regards to nominating Hillary Clinton, and nothing is wrong when republicans went with Trump? Have you had your head in the sand for the last 6 months? Really?

I won't deny that Sanders would've had better chances, and most likely would've been elected, but there is a stark difference between effective politics and rational politics.


When was GOP for good healthcare? When did GOP had quality candidate? I said "business as usual" for GOP. As in, they're ~ same level of crap for the past few decades. They're not getting better, but they aren't getting worse either.

HRC nomination was either full retard or just being delusional and careless. It was truly painful to watch the campaign and see her (and to extent, Democrats) make mistake after mistake. I'm surprised she lost by such a small margin. But then it was loosing to Trump, which is even more surprising.

All in all, popcorn economy is doing great. I hope democrats will collect themselves and put up a reasonable candidate next time. Or maybe GOP will make progress. I don't see how they could get worse so only way is up.


> In most of Europe a major party advocating for legalising illegal migrants or opening borders doesn't stand a chance. This is why migrants vs refugees discussion is huge in Europe. People are OK to help refugees but most people don't want unlimited uneducated immigrants. The difference is what people see as refugees. In Western Europe, only extreme left (= greens and communists) advocate for open borders or legalising illegals. In Eastern Europe, such discussion is completely off the table.

It's interesting you bring this up, because it was a surprise to me when I first heard it from Europeans I spoke with while traveling. Of course it's anecdata, but immigration is a huge deal in Europe and many want it severely limited.

The US is routinely painted as racist and xenophobic (and I think on average incorrectly), but Europe if far from a magically enlightened place. And, depending what ethnic group is trying to immigrate into what country, Europeans can be worse than many Americans.

> I'd love to see Trump vs. Sanders election in parallel universe.

I think Sanders would have won. He gave populism a voice without the Trump baggage. I think socially, Sanders would have done wonders for the US.


Well, Europe is much more enlightened in terms of labour protection or healthcare. I'm classical liberal sometimes nearing libertarian and I adore American freedom of speech and some parts of work culture. But I'll defend single-payer healthcare and sane labour protection to death.

But on immigration front.. Europe is built on nation states and that won't change for at least several generations, regardless of what media is saying. I think the main difference is US have problem with underclass of different ethnicity. Thus differences are very stark. Poverty amplifies differences and you get the endless loop. Being homogenous, Europe didn't have have such problem until now. There was no place for such issues to come up. Jews may have been somewhat similar case. But they were relatively educated and rich. Which, while bringing in it's own set of issues, covered a lot of other issues.

However, several countries are headed on US path. Personally I don't see how uneducated migrants can get to median life in a generation or two. Especially with less and less industry and more automation. Different culture and poverty is highway to US style racism/xenophoby/etc. This is one of the main reasons why I'm against migration. Today's Europe can't give good life (by Euro standards) to millions of uneducated people from different cultures. Importing people and then keeping them as underclass is not good neither to newcomers, nor to host countries.


> * Electing a GOP congressman one DAY AFTER assaulting a reporter, on live tape.

To be fair, something like 30-35% of votes were cast in that election before the assault (postal, early, etc.)

(What should have happened is that he was then ejected from the party and the election re-run. But that would require honour and dignity from the GOP...)


I'm not seeing a connections here. What does healthcare policy have to do with a racist murdering people with his car and the President's bizarre delay in condemning the incident?


How can resigning in response to failure to condemn the KKK and Nazis be considered an extreme position?

It seems to me that "I condemn Nazis and the KKK" is pretty much a "motherhood"[1] statement and you'd have to be pretty extreme not to make it. Even Jeff Sessions condemned it, and many of those on the left consider him a complete bogeyman.

So while increased polarization might be a problem in US politics, I'm not at all sure we can see that here.

Edit: And who on earth downvotes a comment like this? I don't need to complain about downvotes, but what on earth are people thinking here? Is it people who support Nazis who downvote this, or is there some subtle point here I'm missing?

[1] Motherhood statements are those statements that politicians make that "everyone" agrees with; eg "I think motherhood is great"


> Is it people who support Nazis who downvote this

There are certainly a lot of people on here who are very keen to point out that the Nazis aren't that bad because [bullshit reasons], yes.


Are there? I mean, I see lots of false equivalence arguments and (possibly fair, possibly not) criticisms of political violence from left-leaning groups.

But surely no one is arguing "Nazis aren't bad" on HN?


> But surely no one is arguing "Nazis aren't bad" on HN?

If your first instinct is to minimise the Nazis (historical or new) by way of comparison to [anything else], then yeah, I would say they're arguing exactly that.


>I see lots of false equivalence arguments and (possibly fair, possibly not)

If they are fair then it's just equivalence, not false equivalence. I feel like this has become the new vogue term thrown around since Charlottesville happened, and it's seeing a lot of misuse. Most people don't even bother to explain why the equivalence is false, thus attempting to shut down the conversation in the manner of the fallacy fallacy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_fallacy


>> I see lots of false equivalence arguments and (possibly fair, possibly not) criticisms of political violence from left-leaning groups

> If they are fair then it's just equivalence, not false equivalence.

I think you are misparsing my statement. The "and" separates two sub-statements:

1) I see lots of false equivalence arguments,

and, additionally

2) I see lots of (possibly fair, possibly not) criticisms of political violence from left-leaning groups


What is true and fair is that Obama failed to condemn numerous left-wing violent acts and so far Trump has condemned all of the ones that the media attributes to the right, and the left for that matter but that's probably a negative to many posters here.


They’re not saying “Nazis aren’t bad”, they’re saying “these guys with swastikas and Nazi symbols holding guns and shouting Nazi slogans are actually political moderates and true Americans”.


> But surely no one is arguing "Nazis aren't bad" on HN?

Not so openly. Plenty of dog whistles, though.


Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: