My views on most issues are not fashionable or attractive to the mainstream media, Hollywood celebrities, educators or Democrats.
No, I don’t think I’m deplorable, and though I didn’t have the right, I wouldn’t have voted for Trump if my life depended on it. Still, I find much in this piece to applaud.
For a start, I admire the sheer brazen defiance it articulates. Good on him. I disagree with a lot of it, but that’s neither here nor there. Everyone has a right to an opinion, and everyone is entitled to express it. He expresses it well, and boldly.
And though I disagree with most of his conclusions I agree very strongly with some of his sentiments. My views are on the liberal end of the spectrum, but I hope to be open minded, and believe very strongly in the basic tenets of democracy, most particularly freedom of expression.
As I’ve written before I believe we live in an era of extreme and absolutist points of view. It makes for a lot of strident opinions which is fine, except it tends not to allow for dissenting opinions. It’s an era, I think, of simplified but violent perspective, and narrow, dogmatic thinking. Donald Trump is a good example of that at one end of the spectrum. If truth be known, there are simple-minded and dogmatic equivalents at the other end of the spectrum.
I read a comment today by someone say true liberalism allows for alternative points of view. I think that’s true. I don’t have to agree, but it behoves me to listen and – in general – pay respect to the person expressing it. I can choose to argue the point, or I may even be swayed by it. That’s having an open mind – something else in short supply today.
Of course it seems a luxury to express such utopian ideals in times like these when someone like Trump – a truly vile human being – rules the roost. I would argue that one of the reasons that Trump is now in power is because of the absolutist times we live in. Had we listened a bit better and paid more respect it might never have happened.
That brings me back to this piece. I disagree with the economics expressed in it. I disagree very strongly with the notion that Trump might be a solution to perceived ailments. The individual himself seems to have a reasonable take on social issues, he just wants boundaries on them. We might argue the point on that case by case, but I can appreciate the perspective.
What I do agree with is much of his second paragraph. I know exactly what he means. I haven’t personally been subject to these “lectures”, probably because I sit somewhere within the liberal left, but I have observed and witnessed them. I’ve witnessed the holier than thou sanctimony of those utterly convinced that they are on the side of angels and that anyone who disagrees is on the side of the devil – or is simply deplorable. I see little merit in such judgements or behaviour, and the recent election of Trump seems to support that view.
I’ve expressed before my discomfort with the commodification of morality. There’s an approved and unapproved point of view. There’s no give or take anymore, just right and wrong – and this is on both, or all sides. I fear that by swallowing whole received wisdom and opinion the faculty of thinking clearly and independently is on the wane. At the same time conventional opinion makes for a dull society when everyone is obliged to think the same.
I could sit down with this gentleman and debate most points because I think we are on opposite sides of almost all these arguments. It would be a civil debate though because it would a debate of substance – I think – and not mere dogma. Like him, I don’t like being hectored, and I don’t like seeing it even if I agree with some or all of what is being said. Unfortunately much debate now has been reduced to simple hectoring, which is mostly dumb.
And so I dips me lid to someone who dares to express an unpopular opinion. More power to it.