10 March 2016

Idiot confirms Trump voter stereotype

John McGraw is now the face of the Donald Trump movement, whether Donald Trump likes it or not. This 78 year old North Carolinian is an angry, old white male. Taking Trump's wish that he could punch protesters in the face to heart, McGraw saw his chance last night when the usual delegation of protesters was getting escorted out of a Fayetteville venue. I'll let InsideEdition tell the rest.

Dismiss David Duke and his ilk if you will, but I think Trump does have to repudiate this guy, or at least what he did. Trump and his people may resent hecklers, and others besides them may resent these hecklers' agenda, but unless you're going to buy into the dubious idea of "free speech zones" you have to concede that democracy comes with a certain amount of confrontation. People want the powerful to hear them, and that means getting in their faces in a sometimes obnoxious way. But no matter how obnoxious they get, it's the first person who resorts to violence who loses. McGraw hasn't made his hero's life any easier, since people already suspect Trump and his followers of "fascist" tendencies, and Trump himself has shown an impatience with dissent. To an extent I can empathize with him -- Trump, that is, and not McGraw. The hecklers clearly don't go to his rallies to give Trump a fair hearing; they clearly have a set notion of what he's about and they don't like it. Trump has a right to feel that his own rights are being violated, but the sort of dissent he's encountering should be taken seriously as a warning, just like the dissent authorities try to restrict to "free speech zones" wherever the WTO or the G8 gathers. It may be bad form for some people not to listen respectfully to Trump, but if the rest of us are obliged to respect the anger behind the Trump movement, then Trump as a candidate for elected office has an even greater obligation not to ignore people's anger at him or wish it beaten into submission. Despite his self-proclaimed outsider status, he is exactly the sort of power to whom all should be free, or should have the courage, to speak the truth as they see it.


Anonymous said...

"it's the first person who resorts to violence who loses."

Only if you give credence to pacifism. Since the ultimate outcome is that those willing to commit violence will simply kill those unwilling to commit violence. The pacifist may win a "moral" victory, but being that morals are subjective, it's a hollow victory at best.

Anonymous said...

"you have to concede that democracy comes with a certain amount of confrontation."
And I'd say those protestors, knowing the general attitude of Trump supporters, went there expecting a confrontation and they got it. The problem is that they see themselves as "martyrs" and they're not. There is no difference between the guy who got punched in the face and George Zimmerman, except Zimmerman had a gun and was willing to go all the way.

People want the powerful to hear them, and that means getting in their faces in a sometimes obnoxious way. Unfortunately no one is under any legal obligation to listen. Does a christian have a right to get in your face, yelling and screaming about how you're going to hell for being an atheist? More importantly, whether they have a right to do so, are you under any obligation to put up with it?

Samuel Wilson said...

11:03 - That wasn't a pacifist judgment but a prediction of public opinion. As soon as someone starts throwing punches he'll be labeled a "fascist," and the Fayetteville incident only serves to confirm the anti-Trump narrative that he and/or his supporters are authoritarian thugs.

11:09 - I'd agree that the Fayetteville protesters got the result they wanted and their counterparts will continue to seek the same result. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to see people label McGraw an agent provocateur, planted in the crowd to do what he did in order to discredit the Trump movement.

Moving on, you state a simple truth of democracy that disappoints many people. I suppose a lot of activists and protesters would be satisfied to "be heard," even if they see little chance of actually changing minds. As for evangelists, the closest I've seen to that sort of confrontation is when they picket the Gay Pride parade in Albany. However obnoxious their beliefs, they seem content to pray and preach hellfire with their bullhorns, with the opposing side more often getting in their faces. The gay-rights people and sympathizers in turn seem content to insult them with words rather than fists. Nobody listens to each other but nobody get hurt, either.

Here's an update to the main story: Trump predictably is trying to have it both ways, telling reporters that he doesn't condone violence but accusing protesters like those at Fayetteville of being violent themselves. He's claiming that the hecklers are "swinging" and "throwing punches," as if someone like McGraw was acting in self-defense, but we'll see whether there's evidence of protesters doing anything other than shouting and chanting. For more information see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-protesters_us_56e2da10e4b0b25c918198c2

Anonymous said...

My statement regarding a christian was meant as a personal question. Do YOU think a christian - bent on saving your soul - has a right to get in your face and start preaching when you are obviously not interested in his "message"? If you tell such a person "no" and he continues getting in your face, telling you you're going to burn in hell if you don't convert, do you feel you have a right to do something to remove him from your presence?

Samuel Wilson said...

That'd be like an aggressive panhandler and I think there are laws against that kind of conduct on the street. In personal experience, however, even when I state my disinterest bluntly, street evangelists tend to be polite. They only seem to get worked up when they're protesting something, e.g. gay rights, abortion, etc. It's also possible to argue that there's no reason for anyone to get into a private citizen's face, but there may be good reason to try to get into a politician or some other powerful person's face.

Anonymous said...

My point being that no one has a "right" to get into someone else's face, just as no one is legally obliged to hear another person out. But someone getting into your face is a violation of your personal space and you DO have a right to defend yourself.