General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

How do we start this conversation?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (32743points) November 22nd, 2015

[Typing this on a phone.]

I am distressed by the racism I see in the US. At a rally for Trump today in Alabama, a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement was kicked and beaten by the white mob while Trump shouted, “Get him out of here.” The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to make it more difficult for refugees to enter the US. I have witnessed grotesque racism directed at our president.

All this sickens me. I feel so small. I feel helpless in the face of millions of supporters of Trump who honestly like his racist remarks and his facist ideas for marking Muslims.

What do we do?

How do we revive civil discourse, which is dead in this country?

I feel weak. I abhor confrontation. I am speechless in the face of stupidity. I simply don’t know how to react to racism and fascism and hate.

Last month, I started writing a series of letters to my children explaining my ideas. This is one action I can take. I can let my children know my thoughts. Is that all I can do?

For what it’s worth, I vote in every election and will continue to do so. What else can I do?

What else can we do?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

65 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

You may wish to avoid confrontation by not calling people on their racism. But you can tell people their language, or their social media posting, is not acceptable to you and you will disengage from them.

You don’t have to respond to negativity, but you can speak out in positive terms, you can make positive statements, you can support positive people.

You can support those who are willing to speak out against racism or other prejudice.

ibstubro's avatar

All I can tell you, @Hawaii_Jake, is that I remain strong in my beliefs.
I hold to them in the face of redneck middle-america.
Donald Trump is a media whore.
Ben Carson appears to be a idiot-savant.

I would have formerly listed myself as a Republican.

There’s no party for me here.

majorrich's avatar

I’ve noticed lately the people who demand the loudest for tolerance are the least tolerant people in the bunch. They have taken things to a point that people who were inclined to get along and play nice and even embrace diversity have slammed the door shut. It’s going to require a paradigm shift on both sides of the fence for any positive change to really happen.

jaytkay's avatar

Yes, it’s disheartening that conservatives have worked very hard to keep racism and bigotry and tribalism “respectable”.

To maintain my sanity, I remember that we have made huge progress.

Two of my great-grandparents were born in the time of slavery.

My grandmothers could not vote when they turned 21.

My parents attended segregated schools.

The 1960s’ Civil Rights and Voting acts were passed in my lifetime.

Sadly, conservatives are still influential, and they’ve made gains in recent years. But the long-term trend favors freedom and equality. We are winning.

CWOTUS's avatar

It would help, maybe, to start thinking of “conservatives” in a different way than many here have ever managed to do. For one thing, “Trump supporters” are not, by and large, “conservative”. I don’t know what they are – if a label is needed – but they are pretty much a diametrical opposite to “conservative”.

The conservatives who raised me and the larger group of conservatives with which I was mostly associated for most of my youth were for the most part thoughtful and quiet people. They would have been as horrified as I am about the popularity of such a bombastic, jingoistic sham of a candidate – and at the mass adulation that he seems to engender. The more off-the-wall his proposals, the higher his popularity. That’s not “conservatism”.

They would have likewise scorned Bernie Sanders as a demagogic know-nothing, and shaken their heads, “Eh, Vermont. What can you expect, right?” But the national audience he’s getting with his lunatic proposals? Yikes. (Though I will admit that among nearly all candidates in all parties – maybe also including Ted Cruz – he seems to be properly respectful on a person-to-person level vis-à-vis all other candidates. His truly lunatic jibes are directed at people who aren’t running: bankers and “the rich”, for example.)

So the way to start such a conversation is to consider that a conversation is only possible if you DO address “the other side/s” as worthy of the conversation in the first place, if you consider that they have reasons for thinking as they do, and they also use reason, despite the dismissal of many on religious grounds. “Oh, a Christian? What can you expect, right?”

The conversation that I would like to start would be something along the lines of, “You know, no matter who we elect from ‘the Left’ or ‘the Right’, the government’s not going to get smaller and less intrusive, is it? Have you ever found great benefit in greatly expanded government? Do you think there is any way that we could shrink it, effectively, and regain some of our lost freedom?”

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I would like to point out the label of conservative was introduced in the thread and not in the OP.

kevbo's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake, this is a recitation of my experience.

After turning over every stone, my answer, and peace, came when I started to look at the nature of the stone turner. Coming to that understanding brushed away the need to understand anything else. It is like a master key. It’s not an intellectual knowledge, but a seeing.

The whole picture is consciousness diffracted and some consciousness is colored blue and some red, and they are interacting in every possible combination with delusion of separateness. It isn’t a mistake. It is consciousness tasting experience.

I would suggest asking who is witnessing the conflict and let that question point to the answer.

johnpowell's avatar

Damn Kevbo.. That is some good weed.. :-)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

We may have elected a President that was half Black, but Jim Crow has never truly left the building, in spite of what anyone has said or believes. As soon as you get him (Jim Crow) to the lobby, someone invites him back upstairs.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

We live in potentially volatile times. A fire can be lit at any moment and we could find ourselves back in the “Summer of Love” in 1967, when certain neighborhoods in over one hundred cities burned. There are people who are so wound up that they are incapable of having intelligent conversation on certain topics. We are on the edge of irrational times. It is a time to avoid getting sucked into certain conversations and quietly lead by example, Jake. You have your beliefs and live by them.

Consistency in one’s actions, over a period of time, speak louder than words, Live your life under the ethics that you believe will make the world a better place now and in the future. My benchmark has been, “Are my thoughts and actions contributing toward a society that is as safe and well equipped as possible for children to reach their potentials?” If asked why you behave in such and such a way by someone who is truly interested, state your ethical rational simply as possible, don’t try to convert or convince verbally. This is leading by example. Maybe a day will come when we can all calmly engage in discourse, but now is not the time.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^edit: ethical rationale (Time to clean the keyboard)

kevbo's avatar

@johnpowell, it’s the best. :-)

LostInParadise's avatar

You have to take the long view. I highly recommend Steven Pinker’s book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. The book argues, and backs up with statistics, the view that over the last few hundred years there has been a long term decline in violence and increase in human rights. We have come a long way. I don’t think that a 1000 years ago people would even comprehend the concept of human rights. It is comparatively recently that slavery was considered wrong, and even more recently that there has been legislation protecting civil rights of racial minorities, women and homosexuals. I do believe that things are getting better, but that does not mean that everything moves up in a straight line. There will be occasional reversals, but that does not alter the long term trend.

augustlan's avatar

I wish I knew, @Hawaii_Jake. So far, I mostly do what @zenvelo suggests. Go against the horrible tide that’s sweeping across the country, trying not to hurt people as I go. I don’t know that it’s enough.

janbb's avatar

One thing that has helped me is to join a great Unitarian congregation with a minister and others who are actively engaged in the struggle against racism. The congregation has recently formed a Racial Justice Task Force with several programs for action. Unfortunately, I am not out on the battlements but I support those who are – both financially and by speaking out – at least on Facebook and in petitions. It’s not enough, surely it’s not enough.

I am sickened as well by the racism, bigotry and xenophobia I see in some public figures who are speaking to the fears of many.

canidmajor's avatar

I have found that I can’t start this conversation, @Hawaii_Jake, and it saddens me. The best I can do is try to live as my own conscience dictates, and try to be non-reactive, as answering anger with anger only breeds anger. (And yes, I get deeply angry!)
If I speak to people of opposing views at all, I try to urge compassion and intelligence and understanding. Then, most often, I have to walk away.
I have lost family and friends this year over these differences and my heart is broken.

janbb's avatar

I guess my first answer didn’t address starting the conversation with racists. Fortunately, I do not come into contact with any racism among my family or friends so I was answering the question more generally about not feeling totally helpless. But we are in sad, sad times.

JLeslie's avatar

I doubt this will help, but not all Trump supporters are violent and racist. My boss is married to a woman whose mother is Chinese-Peruvian. She looks Chinese herself, she was born in America. His best friend is black-Chinese, also born in America. I don’t think he has an ounce of racism in him about any group in the broadest use of the definition of racism. He is very secular, and he likes Trump.

Another friend of mine, older than me, has been a democrat and a republican and he is for Trump, because he is curious to see what he will do to change things. His son, who is married to a Vietnamese woman is disgusted with his dad, because he sees Trump as being anti-immigration and he relates that to his own wife and daughter. The thing is, his dad is first generation American himself.

It’s just that people focus on different things and ignore others. We all have some selective hearing when it comes to politics.

All you can do is vote and speak your mind, and hope over time America gets in the right path.

I once heard President Clinton say after his time in office that there have been many times in history that America has gone off course, and eventually we find our way back.

Maybe staying optimistic that history usually predicts the future will help and knowing the way to a goal is rarely a straight line. It zigs and zags and goes up and down.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think a lot of the perceived anger, meanness and obtuse behaviors we see in the political arena reflect the reactions of frightened people watching the world they’re accustomed to disintegrate around them. The new economy of more or less permanent recession would be bad enough on its own, but the former privilege afforded White American men has vanished along with the plentiful jobs their skin once assured them. Uppity black folks no longer “know their place”, and gay couples openly parade their affections in public. The safety net jobs once available for those who could not afford or qualify for a college education are now the domain for little brown people who will work for subsistence wages, and those wages have plummeted accordingly. Confronted with the current realities, the political necessity of assigning blame assures that the very visible little brown people be faulted along with the impudent black man defiling the White House. To further exacerbate matters, the once vaunted means of escaping the fate of the little brown people (a college education) has been transformed into an excursion into enormous debt with meager and scant employment opportunities awaiting those struggling to complete the voyage. Faced with the growing recognition that the primary function of a college education is now the enrichment of loan shark bankers, the victims are nevertheless compelled to pursue the illusion due to the fact that not having the increasingly worthless degree is an all but guaranteed banishment to destitution. The irony in all of this is that with college enrollment at all time highs and student debt in the trillions, the country continues to dumb down at an astonishing rate, as increasing numbers of the nation’s citizens are nudged into voting against their own interests, and walking joke political candidates crowd the field. All in all, things look pretty bleak.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Start by realizing get that your perception is skewed because you are watching it unfold on television and the internet. Letting this false reality bleed over is a core part of the problem. What saddens me is that so many here do not know that the vast majority of people who self identify as conservative are just as appalled and are not driven by hate, xenophobia or fear. What drives the kooky right is actually anger and aversion to change but we are talking about a minority. It’s been my experience that the far left is actually hatefull in insidious ways. You want to discuss things? It’s only possible if you are able to do it without political labels. You have to burn the card you are carrying and just do the right thing, otherwise what will filter out is just political banter.

Strauss's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central We may have elected a President that was half Black

I don’t think the “half” means much to a lot of people in the US. Even though the last anti-miscegenation law here was repealed in 2000 (!) cultural stereotypes are extremely difficult to delete.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly That’s the thing, “they” are as afraid as “we” are. The fear drives the anger, violence, division, all the negatives. I think fear as at the root if most if it on any side if the spectrum you pick. The OP is afraid of things spinning out if control and going down a hole hard to climb out of and so are the very people who scare him.

syz's avatar

My first response is to say that we need to mobilize the vote, and make sure that we elect a leadership that doesn’t espouse the current climate of fear-mongering and bigotry. But I’m afraid that as long as our education system is so low on the priorities list, we will continue to produce a populace of anti-intellectual mouth-breathers that do vote. It’s Idiocracy in action.

jca's avatar

It’s great to be concerned, it’s great to be involved, it’s great to vote and do things in your community. However, when you say it’s causing you to feel distressed, sickened, weak, small and helpless, then in my opinion you’re taking it too personally, to the point where it’s not beneficial for you mentally or physically.

canidmajor's avatar

Well, @jca, while I appreciate, in a general way, your sentiment that some of us are “taking it too personally”, please understand that when one realizes that family they love, and friends they respect, hold views about the decent treatment of other humans that are diametrically opposed to one’s own, then it is deeply personal. If someone is not distressed by those things, they should be.

JLeslie's avatar

I have to agree with @jca.

janbb's avatar

Interesting experience at the gym this morning that I think is very relevant. I was in the sauna after class with two women I know slightly. One was telling us about a visit to Holocaust Museum in D.C. and how horrifying it was. I said, “Yes, my experience of that as a Jew makes me very sympathetic to the Syrian refugees.” There was no response. Then she said that it was astounding that that little painter (Hitler) could stir up so much. I said, “Well, he played on peoples’ fears. Not to get political but that’s what makes me so scared about Trump and what he is stirring up.” We talked a few more minutes – she kind of sympathetic to Trump and the other woman agreeing with me. It was amiable but I hope I planted a seed; at least I said what I felt. Then I got up to leave and said with a smile, “I’ll get off my soapbox now.”

I guess rather than necessarily starting the conversation, looking for opportunities to not be complicit is for me a way to possibly move minds.

“All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

jca's avatar

I’m not saying do nothing, I’m not saying don’t be concerned. I’m concerned, too. I’m concerned about a whole bunch of things, from treatment of people to treatment of animals to our personal safety to what’s going on in the world today. From the description given by the OP, that I repeated in my post, his feeling small, weak, helpless, etc., it sounds like he is getting anxious to where it’s affecting him physically and mentally, and that’s not beneficial. Just my opinion. Maybe he feels it is beneficial, I don’t know.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb It reminds me of one time when a woman I worked with who was an Evangelical Christian. I knew from the past she was very pro Israel and very religious. When Obama had just become President somehow politics came up during a conversation at lunch and I was only on the sidelines, but she and another woman were obsessing about Obama being Muslim. I interjected for a small bit and said, “He is not Muslim, not that it should matter. I’m Jewish and I have absolutely no fear or belief that he is a Muslim.” They looked at me like deer in the headlights. I really believe they would expect a Jewish person to be the most Anti-Muslim, because of their support of Israel, and I either surprised them or baffled them. I hope it made them think.

majorrich's avatar

Looking through the lens of my television, and further developing my personal thoughts from my previous post. I find where I was once sympathetic to racial issues and concerned about alleged mistreatment of black people by the police, the ‘Black Lives Matter’ weirdo’s going about spewing hate has made me less inclined to be so sympathetic. If a riot squad were to show up to shut down one of their tantrums, I might even experience a bit of schadenfreude. My belief it that there are a few really bad apples stirring that pot and it’s going to boil over and burn themselves. As an Asian (I consider myself a fellow brown person) I’ll just watch as they do what it is they do. It doesn’t do anyone any good to spew hateful words or deeds for what I perceive as no good reason.

Jaxk's avatar

For the past 8 years we’ve been labeling all disagreement as racist or bigoted. A way to shut down any dispute. If you don’t like the speaker send in the thugs to shout them down. When we use those terms, it is in an effort to shut down communication rather than resolve any issues. I find it interesting that inj a recent Pew Poll, 40% of millennials would support government censorship of offensive speech. Who gets to decide what is offensive? We’re moving towards a totalitarian government and doing it in the name of Freedom. God forgive them for they know not what they do.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I know my own physical, mental, and emotional constitution far better than strangers on the Internet could ever begin to pretend they know. Thank you. To change the subject from the topic in the OP to whether or not I am anxious does not serve the purpose of this discussion. I appreciate the concern. I am fine.

I am gay. I have a mental illness. I am part of 2 marginalized groups. When I see hate in the form of racism and xenophobia erupt in my country, I get concerned. Others should worry about me if I’m not concerned.

This is a good discussion. There is a lot of good in every post here. Every post.

With this question, I’m trying to start a conversation here. It’s working. We’re talking to each other. We’re listening. I’m very glad. Let’s continue.

JLeslie's avatar

I want to add that we need to listen to why people think as they do. We make assumptions and accusations and it’s not productive. Calling someone homophobic, I’m not saying anyone here is doing that, because they are against gay marriage is not productive. We need to know specifically why they are against it and address that. There are people who are fine with gay people, fine with them having legal rights, but marriage for whatever reason bothers them. Why? One guy told me then gay people will abuse laws like marrying to get papers to live here. That shocked me. That’s what he is worried about? Another woman I know who has a gay son is against gay marriage and she loves him and his partner and didn’t skip a best when he came out of the closet to her. People are complex, inconsistent, and sometimes even hypocritical.

The only way I can see things getting better is to not be so exasperated as a group (on the both sides of issues) and have open discussions where we show we value the concerns of the other person.

Even on Fluther it can be difficult to discuss things. Take racism, people assume or accuse others of being racist here just because they mention a fact. A statistical fact about group behavior. You can’t change anyone’s mind calling them racist, especially if they don’t see themselves as one.

Lastly, we all have to except that we usually don’t know what it is like to be in another person’s shoes, or in their community. You need the whole picture to speak to it. Why us Bernie Sanders more to the right on gun control than many other Democrats? Because of where he lives.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

We often do a poor job of listening. I think this thread is doing fine.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Honestly, people see the world through single phrase explanations, formulas and summaries. It’s never a simple answer and a good number of people just are not equipped to deal with things that are complex and can’t be summarized in a single post here. People often reduce others as racist, bigoted and whatnot because they can’t process the situation properly or wish to shut down arguments that go against their belief systems. Very petty if you ask me.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I think this site lends itself to difficult explanations. If you have something complex to say, try us. We can handle it.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Well there are going to be some very lively conversations around the nation’s Thanksgiving tables

Cupcake's avatar

I don’t think it’s helpful to point out racist (or whatever-ist) people. I think it’s useful, imperative really, to point out systems that assign value and benefit to certain groups based on the social interpretation of their characteristics.

Calling anyone a name is counterproductive. But pointing out systems, institutions, laws, history, subjugation, alienation, disparate opportunities and access… that can be enlightening.

LostInParadise's avatar

One thing that is rarely done, but which would be helpful, would be to separate differences of opinion due to different values from those that are due to different beliefs in what the facts are.

For example, a person might believe that the rich are entitled to tax breaks because of all the work they supposedly do to improve the economy. That would be a difference in values. You can argue over values, but in the end you have to accept that different people have different values.

On the hand, a person might say that the rich are entitled to tax breaks due to a belief in trickle down economics. There is sufficient data to be able to argue this one on the facts. The data may not be conclusive, but at least there is a basis for argument and the possibility of one person changing the mind of the other.

tinyfaery's avatar

Funny, to me this isn’t new, it isn’t happening more often or on a wider scale. It’s the life I’ve known since I could discern the idea of race. I don’t know all of the Jellies’ race/ethnicity, but I want to say the we Latinos, blacks, Asians, Persians, etc. have been talking about this forever. (I say we because my family is like the Rainbow Coalition. We represent many minorities.) We do not talk in hushed tones or flee from lively (and loud) debate. Is this new to white people?

What I have taken to is just saying there is no biological category for race. It’s a social construct. Humans are more like each other than we are different.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Bloody hell. I just saw Trump’s latest thing on BBC. Until now, I’ve considered him a caricature of the worst of our national tendencies, a kind of stand-up comedian who blatantly acts out the mendacity that we have endured more subtly from our leaders at least during my lifetime and I am truly puzzled when his audience cheers instead of laughs. Up till now, he’s been just a spectacle, an amusement. We could never elect a man like that. (I wonder how many Germans felt the same way before their elections in 1933.)

But with this latest thing where he falsely states—almost as an aside at first until he hears the audience reaction—that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims were cheering from the Jersey shore as they watched the World Trade Center going down… he said this at a time when he knows that we are at great risk for widespread violence against innocent Muslims. And where he pretty much advocates the thuggery his followers exhibited toward the Black Lives Matter people—people whom I find childish because they throw improv tantrums and never follow up with debate. The only thing that is missing are the brown shirts and beer. This guy showed me that last night he could actually have instigated an American putsch if it were not for the American media immediately jumping in to debunk his dangerous, irresponsible lies and behaviour.

Is he for real? Does he actually want another Krystal Nacht? He’s rich, he’s educated enough, he knows what he is doing. I just wish he would share that with me. Is this some kind of immersion therapy he’s conducting in order to once for all allay our paranoia that it could happen here? Or is he really this irresponsible. And why are all those people following him around. Where the fuck is Frederico Fellini to show us that we are merely on the set of one of his worst films?

When I can’t agree with any of the actors involved, I really don’t know how to start the conversation. I just want to scream.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

This is exactly why I’m concerned.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I know. I don’t have any good answers right now.

janbb's avatar

I really wonder how many people are really supporting Trump and the hate he is spilling; I really do wonder.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb I know what you mean. I haven’t watched or read much of anything regarding politics in over a week, but yesterday the news was on in the lobby and it flashed on the TV that Trump is currently at 32%. 32%?! It just seems like such a huge, unbelievable, number.

It is kind of fascinating to me if I ignore the ramifications of it.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Trump’s followers concern my the most.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^Yes. These people exemplify a society that reveres money and that’s where his popularity and influence comes from. That won’t change in our lifetimes unless we all together experience a major tragedy causing true need that will change our value system. I really think that’s the only way it will happen and, hopefully, that won’t happen in our lifetimes.

I swear to god, though, if I were the head of the NY fed yesterday, I would have pushed the button and drained that fucker’s accounts—not out of anger, but before he causes real damage to all of us. He is way too irresponsible to have that much power. I wonder who’s going to cover his crazy ass if he becomes president and starts alienating our allies and angering our enemies for no good reason.

“It is through error that man rises. It is through tragedy that man learns. All roads to learning begin in darkness and go out into the light.”

janbb's avatar

There’s a line in one of Tom Paxton’s songs that I keep thinking of:

“When the people get lost, they start burning a cross.”

janbb's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake By the way, thanks for bringing up such a great question.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’ve been thinking of it for some time. You’re welcome.

I wanted to start a discussion about my concern over Trump’s followers. Trump worries me in a different way. He’s a narrcicist. That’s easy to understand. I do not understand his popularity. There is a large section of the US population who agree with his ideas. That scares me.

majorrich's avatar

In Trumps defense, I believe one doesn’t make, lose and remake a fortune without surrounding oneself with able advisers. In the (unlikely) event he should prevail, he probably has the sense to get the best team money can buy to help him with things he is weak on. As an anti-beltway kind of guy, I think there will be some epic battles and could shake things up a bit. This might be a good thing. Sure right now, he’s talking to appeal to all kinds and sorts of people, but when it comes to business, i bet he can be a shrewd player. (Firesuit mode engaged)

Jaxk's avatar

Let me go back to the original question and try one more time. If you want to have a conversation, you don’t start by calling the people you want to talk to, racists, bigots and fascists. That tactic has been used for the past 8 years and it isn’t working anymore. In fact Trump is using it as a badge of honor. When the Black Lives Matter guy got thrown out of the Trump rally, what did you expect would happen. People are sick and tired of these guys shouting down the speaker. Occupy Wall St and now Black lives Matter, how long did you expect people to put up with this crap.

Trump is the anti Obama candidate. He opposes virtually everything Obama stands for and he does it in a very flamboyant way. All the tricks that Obama and his crowd have used to shout down any opposition works to Trumps advantage. If the Obama supporters are so afraid of Trump, he must be good or at least on the right path. I admit, Trump worries me as well. I thought he would have begun to fade by now but it isn’t happening. At this point by the time he begins to fade, it may be too late. There simply are too many candidates in the Republican field splitting the votes. I don’t see Hilary winning the election, she has too many negatives and she’s too corrupt. There is a massive wave of anti-establishment sentiment in the country and Trump may very well ride it into the Whitehouse. Not my ideal scenario but he’d still be better than Obama.

ragingloli's avatar

I have said months before that the conservative candidates are all little Hitlers.
But people did not want to listen.
And people still do not.
A person who advocates marking Muslims like the Nazis did with Jews, is a neo nazi.
And people who would vote for such people (28% right now, a lot more if trump wins the primary), are neo nazis, too.
You do not want to be called a nazi? Easy. Do not be one.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk If the anti-Obama is a true characterization, it certainly would explain a lot of his popularity. I think that’s why Bush won after Clinton. After Clinton’s sexcapades Bush talked up all that family values stuff and I think he just rode that wave right into the White House.

@ragingloli Is he marking Muslims? Or, just trying to keep them out? I haven’t kept up with it. In America we have specifically allowed Jews in at times, so that was discriminating by religion. We have kept Jews out at other times too of course. I don’t think this current situation is analogous, don’t get me wrong, because even Muslims are in danger in Syria, so to discriminate by religion is obviously unjustified. All I am saying is it wouldn’t be the first time we looked at religion for entry I don’t think. I don’t know exactly how it worked.

JLeslie's avatar

@ragingloli Oy. What a total idiot. Won’t we have records on all refugees anyway? I think he just says that stuff to entice his supporters who are hateful. Truly, some of his supporters make me more nervous than he does.

janbb's avatar

@ragingloli many people have made comparisons of Trump’s rise to Hitler’s.
I did yesterday in that conversation at the gym. You can’t lump all Americans together. We just don’t know who will prevail. I agree with you that it is awful.

JLeslie's avatar

I will never say Trump is Hitler, even though I do see your point in the comparison. Trump isn’t going to be shooting Muslims dead so they fall into a dirt pit and then set them on fire.

zenvelo's avatar

@JLeslie Trump isn’t going to be shooting Muslims dead so they fall into a dirt pit and then set them on fire.

Don’t be so certain. He keeps saying the way to solve the Middle East problems is to “take them all out”. He wants to identify every Muslim and shut down mosques. That is not at all different from the Nuremberg Laws.

And Marco Rubio wants to close every place, every mosque or community center or cafe where Muslims gather. A modern Kristallnacht.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The one thing I do see that Trump has in common with Hitler is that neither would be possible without a stressed out anxious population. Neither of them would go anywhere politically in a thriving vibrant society. Jaxk’s assertion that Trump is the anti Obama rings true. After all, he isn’t exactly the anti Hitler. Nevertheles, it would be a mistake to class trump up there with Hitler for a variety of reasons. Trump and Carson are 2 guys who basically capitalize on the despair welling up in people watching the good life slip away. The truth is that Bernie Sanders prospers from the same frustration. The BIG and ignored difference between the oddball on the left and the truckload of oddballs on the right lies in the narrative as to where the “blame” lies for the failings generating that fall from the good life. The advantage that Trump and Carson have, and the REAL reason they swamp the field is simply because they have outdone their competition in what Republican politics have been about for decades. Put bluntly, you take that anger and frustration and you divert it toward those people who can’t vote against you, the defenseless. Currently it’s pathetic Syrian refugees who must blister from the wrath formerly reserved for pathetic and desperate Latinos. Trump and Carson play to the emotions of people who frankly lack the will or capacity to follow to conclusion an intellectual argument, and this sadly becomes a more accurate description of the American voter with every election. The real reason that Sanders doesn’t stand a prayer in this election is simply because his is an intellectual argument. For fans of Trump and Carson, Sanders, might as well be giving lessons on Chinese trigonometry. This is the great truth about the conservative “base” that isn’t much discussed, but should worry the hell out of the rest of us. At some point we are going to have to address just how “base” our electorate can become and leave intact a viable semblance of a democratic society. Trump and Carson are merely gauges on the dumbing down of the country.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo I feel pretty sure, and I am sufficiently paranoid in general about government having too much information and turning against a group.

I thought Trump talked about closing mosques where suspicious activity is happening? Not all mosques. I would have a serious problem with closing places of worship without just cause. Even with cause, I’d rather bug the Mosque and conduct surveillance. I would rather go after specific people than building.

Trump most likely does business Muslim Arabs. It just doesn’t all compute for me.

I’m probably in denial.

zenvelo's avatar

@JLeslie Considering he urged brown shirt tactics against a Black Lives Matter representative, considering he retweets racist false crime statistics, considering he claims he saw people in New Jersey cheering the collapse of the World Trade Center, he is following the National Socialist playbook.

You state you thought he was just talking about mosques where suspicious activity took place. But he considers every mosque as a place of suspicious activity. The man know no nuance, and does not deserve your giving him the benefit of the doubt.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, I’m not voting for him, so you don’t have to worry about that.

ragingloli's avatar

And even if he only means “some” mosques: The holocaust started small, too.
Beware the beginnings.

JLeslie's avatar

@ragingloli I know. I grew up with it. It can happy anywhere, we are never safe. I’m the jelly who defended Carson (God help me) for pointing out that if the Jews had had some guns maybe we would have at least picked off a few Nazis before we went to the camps, or wound up dead, and maybe a few more Jews would have escaped and lived. The idea of the government rounding people up, closing places of worship, all of that has been very real to me my entire life.

I was in favor of the “mosque” near ground zero when that was an issue a few years ago. I don’t want to hinder freedom of religion believe me, and I am not overly suspicious of Muslims.

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