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When you demonize the opposition …

by Crowhill on 10 November 2016

… you might just wake up believing you have a demon as president.

I’m sure you’ve seen the bellyaching and crying and fainting spells that some people are going through after the election. It’s pretty bad in D.C. Just this morning on the elevator there was a grown man who desperately needed a slap in the face.

Well … this is what you get when you believe all the crazy rhetoric. When you accept the lie that the only possible reason to support Trump is hatred, sexism, bigotry and ignorance, you wake up believing the country is made up of hateful, sexist, ignorant bigots. With a monster in charge.

It might have been the same if things had gone the other way, although the crazy rhetoric against Hillary was of a different sort. People would have thought that the entire government was a criminal enterprise.

I had made up my mind before the election that we were going to get a lousy president, no matter what happened, and that I had to put whatever trust I might have in “the system.” In checks and balances and so on.

Obviously some people invested far too much emotional energy in this election.

7 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-11-10  ::  Crowhill

Consent and the Trump tapes

by Crowhill on 9 November 2016

Today I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker about her perspective on the famous Trump tapes.

It has seemed to me that people have been misrepresenting what’s being said in those tapes. The way I hear it, Trump is making a move and the women are not resisting — they’re “letting him do it.” So while I don’t support Trump’s behavior in any way, I don’t see it as him forcing himself on anyone. They’re consenting.

But many women hear the same words and interpret them as Trump forcing himself on those women against their will. Why the different interpretation?

Traditionally — whether rightly or wrongly you can decide for yourself, but traditionally — a man is expected to make a move and the woman is expected to either stop him or allow it. (Let’s not get caught up in exceptions, please. “Men are generally taller than women” is not disproved by “Susie is taller than Harry,” and “men generally make the first move” is not disproved by “I’ve had girls kiss me ….”)

From a male perspective, therefore, if the woman doesn’t stop him, she’s consenting. She’s letting him make his move. That’s the way the dance is done. If he’s a decent fellow then he’s sensitive to resistance / reluctance and stops.

Add to that the common belief that women are far more receptive to the advances of rich and powerful men, which seems to be what Trump is talking about in the tapes. They’re “letting him” because he’s a celebrity. So — again from a male perspective — that sounds like the women are letting him do what he wants. IOW, he’s hardly “forcing himself on them.”

Now hold that thought in your head for a moment and change the setting to a workplace where a man is saying (or even doing) sexually suggestive things to a young female co-worker.

The woman is afraid. She doesn’t want the man’s advances, but she also doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it because she thinks she’ll get fired, or she’ll be seen as a trouble-maker, or she’ll get the guy in trouble. She would rather just put up with it and not make a fuss.

This woman is also “letting” the creepy guy at work do these things. But that’s hardly “consent.” She doesn’t want the behavior at all.

So — assuming that women have had that sort of experience of the unwanted advance that they tolerate anyway — when women hear about the recipients of Trump’s advances in those tapes they don’t interpret it as “letting” Trump make his moves. They don’t hear consent. What they hear is a woman who is cowed by Trump into submission. Maybe by his size (he’s a large man). Maybe by his celebrity and power. Maybe by the fear that he can ruin their lives if they don’t go along. Maybe because of some more general fear.

Obviously I know that women have to put up with that sort of thing, but I had not made the connection between the behavior in the tapes and a woman being cowed by sexually aggressive men in other settings. It helps me to understand why women hear different things in those tapes than I do.

10 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-11-09  ::  Crowhill

Will the NY-DC elite learn their lesson?

by Crowhill on 9 November 2016

Wouldn’t it be nice if one consequence of Trump’s victory is that the media elite realize they are out of touch and take practical steps to try to have a better understanding of the country?

It’s been claimed (by Haidt, for example) that liberals are less able to understand conservatives than the reverse. All my experience is consistent with that.

So … are liberals going to get the message and try to make up for their deficiency?

It’s possible that’s not the issue this time. It’s possible the pundits were mistaken for other reasons — like problems with polling.

But I strongly suspect bias was a large part of it. The NY-DC establishment types were simply unable to understand how anybody could vote for Trump, so they discounted any evidence that seemed to show a Trump victory.

Another way to put this. Was it really a “stunning upset,” or was the media simply unable to see it coming?

5 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-11-09  ::  Crowhill

Apparently experts aren’t so expert

by Crowhill on 9 November 2016

My two favorite things about this election are the big black eyes dealt to Obama and “the establishment.”

I’m not happy that Trump is president so much as I’m relieved that Hillary is not.


7 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-11-09  ::  Crowhill

My last election prediction

by Crowhill on 7 November 2016

Not that my predictions for this election have been very good, but ….

The generally accepted wisdom is that this will be close, but Hillary will win. I’m not buying that. I think she’ll either win by a lot, or Trump will win. I don’t think people are settled in their minds about these two, and I’m not sure they’re honest with pollsters. I suspect a lot of people won’t know who they’re voting for until they walk out of the booth.

I also think this year is going to be a turning point for polling. The methods and assumptions behind polling have changed considerably, and I have a feeling we’re in for a big surprise. One way or the other.

25 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-11-07  ::  Crowhill

If I could appoint the next president …

by Crowhill on 3 November 2016

… who would it be?

I have no idea. Certainly not one of the two we’re supposed to choose between. But here’s a list of the qualities and characteristics I would look for.

  • The country has a huge and growing problem with corruption, so I’d want a straight shooter who has the energy, drive, courage and honesty to dig it out and destroy it.
  • We’ve been on a non-constitutional path for a long time. Various branches of government have been usurping powers they do not possess. I’d want somebody who can restore the rule of law.
  • Our culture has also been going in a bad direction, particularly in the sense that we’ve all been asked to pretend that we believe things we don’t believe in order to pacify a few deranged troublemakers. We need somebody who can call BS on that and refuse to play the game.
  • Our country has serious financial challenges. I’d want somebody who is honest about them and addresses them head on.
  • Neither party, and no political philosophy, has a monopoly on good ideas. I’d want someone who puts facts and practicality ahead of partisanship.
  • I think the president wastes a lot of time attending silly events and commemorations. I’d want somebody who cuts all that stuff out of his calendar and focuses on doing the job.
  • I want somebody who wouldn’t invite rappers and movie stars to the White House, but would invite panels of experts to have debates on pressing issues.
  • I’d want a president who listens to real Americans on a regular basis, and puts a priority on that by, for example, having a demographics expert pick one person a week for him to have coffee with.

9 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-11-03  ::  Crowhill

Does Trump represent “amoral masculinity”?

by Crowhill on 2 November 2016

Christina Hoff Sommers is usually worth reading, and she doesn’t disappoint in this interview, where she accuses Donald Trump of representing “amoral masculinity.”

“Amoral masculinity”: a theory for understanding Trump from feminist contrarian Christina Hoff Sommers

11 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-11-02  ::  Crowhill

Pretend Catholic organizations to bait the media?

by Crowhill on 2 November 2016

Dave sends this along: Those Catholic Wikileaks — about pretend Catholic organizations.

pretend catholic organizations

The claim is that pretend Catholic organizations sprout up — or, rather, are spawned — around election time to fool people into believing that there are Catholic organizations that support left-wing policies. (I’m sure there are some, but that’s not the point here.)

These faux organizations are created specifically to deceive the public via the complicit media.

“Catholics for Choice,” “Catholics United,” and “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good” are all examples of this scam: faux-organizations long on income and high in media visibility, but with virtually no base in the U.S. Catholic community.

I don’t know how true this is. There are Catholic liberals, after all. But it raises an interesting question about the way people try to game the system.

It makes me curious how this actually works. I know the press is horribly ignorant and gullible when it comes to religious topics, but … do they even stop to check?

They have to know that the Catholic Church opposes abortion, for example, so when some organization claims to be Catholic and to support abortion, what goes on in their little brains? Do they think, “Oh, look, here are some tolerant, right-thinking Catholics” — and take the bait — or do they wonder if they’re being played?

Having a little bit of self doubt can be a very good thing.

George Weigel (the author of the article) goes on to engage in some comedy later in the article.

When “Catholics for Choice” takes out full-page newspaper ads asserting that “Public funding for abortion is a Catholic social justice value” (as happened during this election cycle), the local bishop should be at the forefront of the public challenge to such lies, making clear through the local press and social media that “Catholics for Choice” is not recognized as a legitimate Catholic organization by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops—and perhaps calling the newspaper’s editor or proprietor to inquire why the paper is accepting blatantly false advertising.

Ha ha. As if bishops had spines.

2 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-11-02  ::  Crowhill

The insanity of the conservation mindset

by Crowhill on 2 November 2016

I over-watered the plant in my office and some water spilled out of the bottom. I hurried to the bathroom and got a huge pile of paper towels to clean it up. Somebody asked, “Good grief, do you need that many?”

Right. So I’m supposed to risk wasting five minutes of my time (making multiple trips to get just the right number of paper towels) to try to preserve a penny’s worth of supplies?

There’s a place for conservation. But for heaven’s sake, people, get some perspective.

2 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-11-02  ::  Crowhill

Yes, masculinity is toxic

by Crowhill on 2 November 2016

And knives are sharp and guns are dangerous. Good grief, people.

Universities work to purge male students of their ‘toxic’ masculinity

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-11-02  ::  Crowhill

2016-10-29 :: Crowhill // General + sex
Do women civilize men?
2016-10-26 :: Crowhill // General
Obama on rigged elections
2016-10-24 :: Crowhill // General
Polls as propaganda