Registered On: September 7, 2015
I just thought I’d make Gurney’s day and make a contribution. First a question to Deerey. How far does the growth in people’s problem with ‘otherness’ extend? When I look through postings on both sides of this board I have to say that ‘other’ points of view than the majority ones on any subject tend to be received with little respect or courtesy in the majority of cases. As someone said … True tolerance begins at the point of difference.
And that cues me in … There is plenty of ‘ammo’ to be used against Donald Trump. I have a stash myself. But nevertheless .. had I lived in the USA … I would have cast my vote for the Republican Party.
I suspect that’s mostly because of the perception on Trump as being more pro-Israel than some?
In which case, I’d suggest looking at what Biden stands for. I do not think it can be argued that Biden is anti-Israel by a long stretch and he is already making it clear that he is a friend of the Jews with some of his appointments being Zionist Jews. The anti-Semitic Tlaibs of the Democrats are very much the fringe, unlike it was with Labour, so if this is the worry I think you should look again and reconsider. From my point of view, at least.
Biden is quite clearly separate from the ‘nuttier’ element of the Democrats, and recent events suggest that the bigger worries for democracy come from the right. And that is inseparable from Trump, who stoked it on, unlike Biden who has stoked nothing. ‘ANTIFA’ rioting was not close to being endorsed by Biden or the majority of Democrats.
I am thankful we now have a sane president who can rebuild alliances with the west. This is much needed as Russia and China present such great threats to liberal democracy.
On the subject of otherness, I don’t think we should write off people who are of differing political stances. There is plenty of room for debate among socialists, social democrats, liberals and conservatives. However, how far do we extend this? Do we nod along to neo-Nazis or Stalinists and say that we should respect their views for ideological diversity? I’d suggest not. Such views are demonstrably harmful and deserve short shrift, regardless of hurt feelings among their followers, no matter how popular they are. Karl Popper’s paradox of tolerance comes to mind here.
Of course many have too sensitive barriers for what is perceived to be seen as tolerable and there are many who would see any Tory or Brexiter as nasty or inherently thick, just as many on the other side would see a left leaning person as a traitor or some smug elitist, and then proceed to straw man and misrepresent everyone else to make themselves look like the only supportable option.
However, there are some cases where we need to have a long and hard look at people with beliefs when they are harmful to democracy and others. Trump and his base show that they hold many intolerable views towards such, with their conspiracy laden nonsense, threats to harm others for not certifying the election how they would want it and moves towards turning the USA into an autocracy. Such beliefs don’t deserve respect when they show disrespect and intolerance towards morality, in my eyes. We can respect them as people, of course, but I am not going to respect harmful nonsense about election rigging, meaning democracy should be overturned, or an ideology which has allowed harsh detention centres to flourish or coronavirus to run rampant without care.
One of the great arguments was that the USA could hold its head high against comparative powers (China, Soviet Union) because of its respect for democracy and human rights. It wasn’t always perfect, it failed miserably many times, but it would be one of the few powers who would bother to push for such. Its reputation has weakened now because of Trump, and the defences for such look so much more tepid. Those who want a strong USA to lead the way on foreign policy issues are barking up the wrong tree if they thought Trump could provide it, I feel.