Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Monday, June 25, 2018

Stop the institutionalization of cruelty

By Spocko

Below Digby highlighted a comment from Mike Godwin of "Godwin's Law"
From the last paragraph:

"But Godwin’s Law was never meant to block us from challenging the institutionalization of cruelty or the callousness of officials who claim to be just following the law."
Yes, we must challenge the institutionalization of cruelty. Now is the time to condemn the callousness of officials who claim to be just following the law. Let's rebuke the people who support cruelty. It's time to remove from office the officials who put cruelty in place in our country.


I had dinner with some wonderful old friends this evening. One wanted to understand why a certain group of people were supporting what he called "meanness."  He wasn't talking about the 30 some percent of white men and women who have been marginalized or left behind. Nor the racists or bigots. What was behind the additional 15 to 18 percent of people who still support Trump?  These people didn't fit the "economic insecurity" box.  They had money and were smart people.

We discussed people who fit this  category. Why were they still supporting Trump? I had some thoughts, I quoted from Altemeyer's The Authoritarians  I talked about the need to be seen as "tough" some men have. I covered the right wing aggrievement that Sam Seder and Digby talk about and the way the conservatives like to "piss off the liberals" that Atrios covers.

But none of those reasons seem to fit this group of people that he and his wife had encountered.

My very smart friend Sara Robinson often directs me to pieces that help explain how conservatives think, like this one. ( Why Trump country is unfazed by the child separation crisis ) The desire to understand is good because we hope understanding will lead to the changing of minds.

Explanations for behaviors are good too. It's useful to learn that some people believe in cruelty because of X, Y and Z. But even if I can't understand why someone believes in meanness or cruelty, and I haven't figured out the process to change them, I CAN still work to stop the implementation of it.

We can try to understand people and also say.

"We as Americans should not be cruel."

That people believe cruelty is acceptable is a tragedy and a failure of our institutions of education, religion and culture.  Today in our country people are working to bring more cruelty into the world.  This is tragic.

Cruelty rejects the best values of our country as codified in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Acceptance of cruelty is morally repugnant and is rejected by the major religions that people profess to be part of.
You're telling me his name is Hey Zeus? 
This meanness and cruelty will lead to future economic pain for our country. It crushes human advancement in areas as diverse as science and art. (Just look at the benefits we have gotten from intellectual and artistic refugees for years.)

Culturally the institutionalization of cruelty is horrifying and ugly.

I could go into the myth of the effectiveness of cruelty as a deterrent to immigration, but that's like discussing  the utility of torture.  I can point to all the ways that torture doesn't work, but then we are arguing about something else. It is the institutionalization of cruelty that we are doing now that is horrific.  (My friend Dr. Rebecca Gordon, has a lot to say about state sponsored torture and what it means)

One of Dr. Gordon's many points is that torture has terrible effects to all involved, not just on the person being tortured, but to the person doing the torture. 

My friend Interrobang pointed out to me that Americans never put themselves in the position of the person being tortured, just the ones doing the torture.

Americans who support cruel policies and the people who implement them don't put themselves in the position of the refugee. They see themselves as the one in power in control who can help or not help.  I wish these people didn't feel this way, I'd like to change their minds, but if I can't I'm not going to start supporting cruelty.

Watch this clip from the Majority Report by CNN at a diner in Arizona talking to supporters of Trump's policy of state sponsorsed child abuse and cruelty.

You can  see three of the ways that the people justify their cruelty.

1) They are bad guys who break the law
2) They are coming here to get our stuff
3)  "Stop picking on me for supporting cruel policies!"

I can argue with these people, point out the incorrect and incomplete facts they are holding onto. The truth doesn't always work for them, though. "I don't care if you can prove it to me, I still won't believe you!"
What we need to do at the same time is to take steps to stop the institutionalization of cruelty. Some people aren't going to come around, so we move forward away from their views into a better human and humane future.