Tobold's Blog
Thursday, November 10, 2016
 
All values are not created equal

I do not share many values with Donald Trump, not that I had a vote in that. Personally I believe that immigration has more benefits than drawbacks, and women should be seen and treated as equal to men. However I would also say that not all values that I hold are of equal importance. For example I consider democracy to rank much higher in importance than immigration or polite language. And because of that I am opposed to the "not my president" idea and movement.

Democracy is an absolute value: The will of the people is to be respected, regardless of whether I hold the same opinion or a different opinion. There is nothing liberal about saying that people can't vote for the non-liberal option, or not accepting the vote if it goes against liberal values. I would say that both the Brexit and Donald Trump were the less good option in a choice between two flawed options. But the people who now try to reverse those results get no support from me. Believing in democracy means believing that the majority is always right, or at the very least the majority has the right to be wrong.

And don't start splitting hairs and finding numerous reasons why this or that election wasn't valid. The popular vote simply doesn't count in a presidential election. Feel free to lobby for a change in how the president of the United States is elected, but don't tell me that Donald Trump doesn't have a mandate. And democracy is for the people who participate, so speculations of what the millions of non-voters would have wanted are equally futile.

From the time of Reagan ("Tear down this wall. ... The wall cannot withstand freedom.") to Donald Trump ("I will build a great wall") we lived in an age of growing liberalism. But that liberalism (especially the economic liberalism) mostly benefited an elite, who went on and told everybody else what they could say and what was good for them. Democracy means that the majority has the right to disagree with the results of decades of liberal consensus. Maybe the majority is "wrong", but then you also need to admit that the liberals were wrong not share the wealth more widely and not to address the valid concerns of the other side. In the end we will need a compromise on many of the issues and flaws of the liberal consensus of the last decades, and we will never arrive at a compromise if the other side is never in power. Sometimes the people who tear down walls are in power, and sometimes the people who build walls are in power. The back and forth swing of democracy results in that eventually arriving at a good compromise on the number of walls out there. And that is the greater good, the greater value in this instance.

Comments:
Agreed. Trump is the president and using #notmypresident on Twitter isn't going to change a thing.

If this country actually gave a damn about elections we wouldn't have such low turnout in presidential and local elections.

Trump and Clinton with all the negative things surrounding both of them only spurred half the population to go vote.

Now accepting trump as president doesn't mean you have to agree with anything he does or anything republicans try to implement. Protest is a tool that can and should be used by the people. people should pay attention to what the government is doing be it republican or democrat. They should question what they are being told. They should check facts, read both sides, not just rely on echo chambers to tell them what they already know.

But I don't have much hope of any of that happening. I predict the trump presidency will go very much like obamas. Lots of promises. Even more inaction by congress. It might be even worse for trump because many of the things he promised are next to impossible. Automation will be the death of all those jobs he promised to bring back.
 
Wasn't this blog about games? :) Politics is so boring... Let's stick to games.
 
As you said, values are not equal, but I do not think democracy is the highest one.

To take one extreme and stupid exemple, if the vote elect someone who want to kill one part of the population, you shall not just say "that's ok 55% of the population that votes agree to this." [to be clear : as much as I dislikes Trump, I do not believe he will kill a part of the population].

I am not american, so I do not know enough of Trump to make a fair judgment, but for exemple I will contest a Le Pen election in France, even if she achieve 55% of expressed vote.
 
To be fair, I know of no major movements which seek to refuse the literal legitimacy of a Trump presidency. Even the "#notmypresident" people are simply making a statement about how they feel he does not represent them, not that they actively dispute whether he IS president.

On the other hand, 30% of Trump supporters said they would literally refuse to recognize a Clinton victory. You have to admit, that would have looked VERY different from what we are seeing now.
 
Well... I'm gathering that you really haven't talked to a lot of Trump supporters, so I'm going to send you this note, not to argue with you, but to help you understand that different point of view.

I don't think Trump sees immigration as an inherently bad thing, but unrestricted immigration into a country that doesn't have enough jobs for the people that are already here makes about as much sense as adding ballast to a boat that has a hole in it. Also, Trump is against illegal immigration. He's famous for saying that somebody that's willing to break the law to enter our country is more likely to break other laws as well. Of course, he usually says that much less politely than I just did.

I have to give you that Trump isn't consistent on the equality front. He's stated that he believes in equal RIGHTS for both sexes, but he accepts much more freedom for his daughters than his wife. Also, chivalry is not one of his virtues. He'll treat a woman that gets in his face the same way as he treats a man that gets in his face. That's a kind of equality, but not the kind you're looking for.

It would appear that the word 'mandate' has different connotations where you're from. From our point of view he won the election without a mandate. For every 'deplorable' that voted for him there were two alt right types. For every one of those there were two national populists that just want jobs and for their lives to be better. For every one of those there were two people that just couldn't stand for a corrupt warmonger like Clinton to be elected. 'Don't be Clinton' isn't really a mandate.

I supported Trump. I don't know what he's going to do or if he's going to even try to keep his promises. When faced with the choice between uncertainty and the certainty of a lot more people dying, I went with uncertainty. At least that way there's some hope.
 
@Larry Brunder

He'll treat a woman that gets in his face the same way as he treats a man that gets in his face. That's a kind of equality, but not the kind you're looking for.

It most certainly is the kind of equality we as Americans are looking for. Women, gays and other marginalized groups are now serving in combat roles in the military, and dying as a result. Across the board equality means that you get what you ask for. Not the 'pick and choose' ideology that the progressive 'group think' would have you believe. We simply cannot allow discrimination to be re-interpreted into a tool that allows certain groups of people to hide behind walls of emotion and justify it with progressive, social discourse.

Chivalry was ok when men died and women and children were allowed to live when the Titanic sunk. But fast forward to today when men pushed women and children aside to save their asses when the Costa Concordia struck a rock and capsized in 2012. Is this how women want men to act in the name of equality? I think not.
 
Personally I would prefer real equality to the fake one, where some group gets all the benefits of equality without also getting the disadvantages. I am against policies where a "previously disfavored" group gets preferential treatment in the name of equality.
 
"The back and forth swing of democracy results in that eventually arriving at a good compromise on the number of walls out there."

That will never happen now. The new strategy is for whichever party to stonewall the other party until they are in power. So instead of a "compromise", we will have 8 years of hell for half the population, and 8 years of slight discomfort for the other half. This will go on until a new civil war and then we will have a parliamentary system instead.
 
Careful. Dare to claim things such as 'The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race' and you might get dismissed as some radical alt-right bigot.

I think part of the reason why things seem so emotional now is that the campaigns were focused a lot more on personalities rather than positions. And part of that is that there were so few real battleground positions. Both sides have a few core issues, but there's very little overlap on those issues. I care about A, B, C, and don't have much of a position on X and Y, and they care about X, Y, Z and don't even understand that A and B are a thing worth talking about.

It's like if I voted for a guy because I cared about higher taxes cutting into my savings rate, my job prospects as I age, and reducing the chance of large scale war with other superpowers; and by the way, my guy also declared that writing in blue ink is heretical and nobody should be allowed to wear sweater-vests. And now earnest young people come up to me asking tearfully why I hate the blue. The two sides aren't really arguing with each other, they're arguing past each other.
 
"I voted for a guy because I cared about higher taxes cutting into my savings rate, my job prospects as I age, and reducing the chance of large scale war with other superpowers; and by the way, my guy also [BLANK]"

Instead of the position you wrote, what if the guy was like also "let's execute all the people over 70 because they are a drain of young people's resources". You didn't think that people being old was an issue but that side decided that old people all need to go. Do you still join with "the all old people must die" side who agree on your other issues?


 
One thing people - at least left-wing types - often seem to forget is that there are two sorts of walls - ones built to keep people out, and ones built to keep people in. The first sort are perhaps a touch anti-socialistic, but at least have a specific and potentially useful function for those behind then. The second - of which the Berlin Wall was an exemplar - are of no use to anyone but dictators.

The two kinds of wall should not be equated.
 
The two kinds of wall should not be equated.

Why not (and I'm not left wing)? Both hinder freedom of movement. And what if you would build a wall all around a country or region (like the Gaza strip)? At that point the difference between keeping people out (of your country) and keeping people in (in their country) becomes pretty much moot. It's just not the dictator of the country in which the people are kept, but the dictator of the neighboring country who keeps people in with a wall.
 
@Ettesiun
Democracies are are more than just a pluralistic vote. The choosing and replacing of government through free and fair elections is just one of the pillars on which they are supported. Democracies run by rule of law not rule of the mob, protection of the human rights of all citizens, and the people actively participate in politics and civil life.
A majority vote to kill of a minority of the population would be undemocratic because you are suppressing those people's rights to participate.

 
A door hinders freedom of movement, but your front door is there to hinder freedom of movement for potential intruders, not for you. I doubt you'll be tearing it down any time soon.

Sure, Israel's 'Security Wall' has negative effects on people outside Israel, mostly because it's built outside. And of course, any wall has some impact - just as your front door would impede someone wanting to make a delivery of wanted goods as well as someone intending to burgle your house (or even simply to enjoy your domestic facilities), Israel's wall is an inconvenience for Palestinians with legitimate business in Israel. But it appears to have had some considerable success in deterring suicide bombers.

And regardless of that: the difference I'm pointing out is that some walls work for the people who build them, and some don't. The rest of the world might well be better off if your front door was removed, but you wouldn't. It's absurd to argue that a wall is a wall is a wall and nothing further is to be said. Do you interpret Reagan's speech as promoting the tearing down of all walls, everywhere?

 
I interpreted Reagan's speech as calling for the tearing down of all metaphorical walls, which would apparently be the case with the rise of economical liberalism.
Classical economics would define border restrictions and walls as causes of market distortion, which is why liberal economics seeks to remove them, however in cases where significant market distortions exist they serve a useful role as breakwaters, helping to limit such contagions.
The key is to remove negative walls while keeping the important dykes.

Wow. I think my whole post is probably a very poorly written ice-cream koan.
 
I am pretty sure that Reagan would be against a wall towards Mexico.
 
Of course Trump could try to fix this by working to reach out to the disenfranchised. But no, that's not on his agenda. Trump voters I have talked to have largely not defended their choice on his actual statements of intent, rather defending him on their reinterpretation of what they think he really meant. But it's only a few days in and becoming clear he will live up to much of his exclusionary/subjugating approach to rule, which of course means we get protesters in the streets who are angry that the guy who lost the popular vote is still somehow president elect. Trump, of course, calls them whiny losers and then proceeds to work on choosing what may be the most impressive array of snake oil salesmen for his cabinet in the history of con artists.

It's going to suck, and it's going to get worse. People have a right to be mad, and that expression is going to take a lot of forms (like #notmypresident). We're all remembering he good old days of Bush Jr. over here right now, back when it was still nominally possible for the Republicans to not treat Dems and liberals like chattel to be herded off the map (at least, to pretend like it).
 
vinciblegod says:
"Instead of the position you wrote, what if the guy was like also "let's execute all the people over 70 because they are a drain of young people's resources"."

Except that would be illegal. Deporting illegals, on the other hand, is quite legal. To suggest that a candidate can do any illegal thing they want just because they got elected is specious at best, because of the obvious legal challenges, and a straw man argument in the whole.

You people act as if Trump is going to round up anyone of non-white decent at will and illegally deport them. He couldn't do that if he wanted to, you know, because of the obvious legal challenges.
 
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