“Anyone who fights with monsters should make sure that he does not, in the process, become a monster. And when you look too long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”
— from “Beyond Good and Evil”, by Friedrich Nietzsche
The greatness in my lede quote to this column is that it transcends time. The precept will never be archaic. It also speaks to the most basic of human foibles. We silly humans tend to concede to emotions in lieu of reason and logic. We are passionate animals.
The human experience is dominated by the constant battle between good and evil. Most of us develop a strong moral core and defend those principles that we deem wholly just and righteous.
In my lede, Nietzsche is warning us that constantly fighting those things that are the antithesis of our most sacrosanct moral dogma allows them to hold sway over us. In fighting evils, real or perceived, we sometimes become that which we hate.
An unfortunate result of arguing over Nietzsche’s premise is that some snarky snob will bring up that Nietzsche died of syphilis, which he most likely contracted from a prostitute.
It vexes me that in 2018 an affinity for hookers is still a disqualifier for philosophical debate.
I do not dare suggest that in these current days that we live under puritanical social mores. Quite the opposite.
For many, it may seem that ignorance of commonly held rules of morality and civility are due to the political ascension of Donald Trump. He does not hold the copyright, but he certainly capitalized on an American society that fully embraces the worst angels of human nature. America’s decline into ethical destitution has been coming for a long time.
In my world view, opposing the presidency of Donald Trump and the tenebrous tenets of Trumpism is a moral imperative. I firmly believe myself to be intellectually, ethically and morally superior to those who still pledge fealty to Trump as he metaphorically defecates on the United States Constitution as well as the prestige that used to be embodied in the office of President of the United States.
How do I show my seething, omnipresent disdain for Trumpism? Mostly, I use my weekly column on cachevalleydaily.com or my space here at Utah Politico Hub to write scathing polemics rebuking Donald Trump and his openly bigoted supporters. Also, I vote. I always vote. And my sole criterion for candidates that I will vote for in the immediate future is opposition to Donald Trump.
What I have not done, and what I will refuse to do, is show uncivil, undignified behavior towards Trump supporters when in their presence. I might look upon them with flummoxed exasperation, but I will adhere to the Golden Rule and be courteous to them when within an arm’s length.
If only I could convince my fellow liberals to be so magnanimous in their defiance to Trumpism.
Too many that concur with my summarization of Trumpism have entwined themselves into a frothy bile so pervasive that their actions are quite similar to both the most ardent of Trump supporters as well as Trump himself.
In defiance to Trump, many on The Left—and, for my purposes, it is a proper noun—are as outwardly mentally unhinged as Trump and his zealous cultists.
Leftists on social networking as well as media pundits now openly condone and encourage unruly and boorish behavior that they admonish everyone in the “Trumposphere” for committing.
Three examples from this past week:
- Protestors have decided to badger Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at her northern Virginia home. Nielsen became the point person for President Trump’s vile and inhumane policy to separate children from their parents who crossed into the United States via the southern border. Crowds not only gang stalked her private residence but also harassed her at a local restaurant.
- White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant for the sole reason that she works for Donald Trump. Many applauded this move. Those same people found a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple because of his religious beliefs to be highly lamentable.
- U.S Congresswoman Maxine Waters told a crowd that if they saw anyone from the Trump administration in public that they should form a crowd around them and harass them. Her verbatim quote:
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
That is quasi-vigilantism. That can easily be construed as inciting a riot. Only partisans could excuse that, and excuse these actions they did. How many of you that despise Trump took glee from these stories? How many of you made an immoral equivalency argument that these incidents were justified because Trump is deplorable? If you did, you are just as sick, twisted, perverse and amoral as he is. You are a part of the problem.
Let us take away the fact that Nielsen and Sanders are doing bad things in the respective jobs. For any one person to believe that they must take responsibility for confronting these women—or any public servant—in a mob out of a fictitious sense of piety is dangerously irresponsible.
And where is the #metoo movement when two professional women are openly harangued by fanatical crusaders? To paraphrase George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, “All women are equal, but Trump’s women can go (BLEEP)!”
Are Republican women less intimidated and/or threatened by the prospect of physical violence by an encroaching gang of hostiles?
Tell me how these actions would turn swing voters to the Democratic column. I loathe Trump, and yet these incidents immerse me with a serious trepidation as to whether I want Democrats to win the midterm elections in November. To me, a Democratic victory this autumn is only removing the capitulating sycophants of Trump’s party with the enablers of a bullying rabble of another party.
And that is what many on The Left are. They are bullies. The justification that it is acceptable to hector Trump’s minions because he is a bully is self-defeating. How can anyone claim moral perpetuity over Trump and Trumpism when they wallow in the same cesspool of incivility that he calls home?
Short answer: You can’t.
Defeating Trumpism must be fought on high ground or Trump will retire six years from now undefeated. The festering sickness eroding the soul of America will taint us all if some do not show the resilience to rise above the vitriol that Trump turned into a political movement.
Trumpism is monstrous. Fighting this ogre by monstrous means makes us him. Too many have stared into the abyss of Donald Trump, and that abyss consumed them.