That guy’s a racist asshole! Did you hear what he said about Mexicans? Simply indefensible!
It started with a balance between two areas: Freedom and Equality. Both are concepts everyone loves. It’s natural to want freedom, just as it’s natural to want equality. What happens when the two collide? Is there a specific area you choose?
Some will pick freedom over equality. That may sound taboo to those who can’t handle nuanced discourse. Reality dictates none of us will be equal in our lifetimes. We are all different, and that’s what makes us awesome. Each of us has different experiences, different lives, and different values that make us who we are, and that’s perfect.
I will never know what it’s like to give birth to a child. I will never know what it’s like to have a living human being grow inside me and bring it into the world. That doesn’t make me any less of a human being. It just means I’m different. I won’t know what conducting surgical procedures are like either. I won’t know what it’s like to bring a patient back from the brink of death. Again, that doesn’t make me less of a human being. I’m just different.
Difference isn’t enough for our society. Modern discourse demands we seek “diversity,” “inclusion,” “tolerance,” and “equality.” All of those concepts at facial value are great. Everyone loves to be tolerant. We all want to be included. And equality? That’s a concept we’ve been fighting for since arguably the birth of America.
The problem is when those concepts are weaponized and used for an attack. If an institution doesn’t follow certain “civility codes,” they don’t promote “inclusivity” and “equality.” If you express anything other than the popular opinion, you are an “intolerant bigot.” Go far enough beyond the Overton Window and you become an “ist.” You’re racist, sexist, ableist, or transmophobic. Without as much as asking for further discourse, those weaponized concepts shut down communication.
You silence those who might otherwise be open to hearing you out. And that silence breeds contempt. And that contempt breeds anger.
Oh my goodness! Did you hear what he said about a woman’s menstrual cycle? Did you hear about his position on breastfeeding in the workplace? He’s a disgusting misogynist pig!
I referenced a concept earlier: the Overton Window. This is rather loosely defined as the spectrum of what is acceptable in modern discourse. The current state of the Overton Window is incredibly narrow, far more than to which society has ever seen. Put the wrong name on a test and you’re sent to “reeducation training” after a complaint is lodged with a “bias response team.” Internet provocateur and Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopolous once posited a theory of a second window: the Underton Window, or that which is considered unacceptable in modern discourse. Milo theorized during his presentation of the “Underton Window” that if society reached a point where it became larger than the Overton Window, society was in trouble.
The signs were coming a long time ago. We should have seen them, and reacted. When the scolds, the nannies, and the language police started telling the world “You can’t say that” or began name calling, the Underton Window grew. Every “racist” or “misogynist” accusation hurled widened that window even further. Publication of articles with titles like “As a Straight White Man, I’m Surprised More Women Aren’t Tweeting The Hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen.” Every time a person lost a job over a tweet, lost friends because people can’t discern the difference between reality and the Internet.
The window kept growing, and no one paid attention.
I can’t believe it! Now he’s gone after Muslims! What the hell is this whole “Let’s ban immigration until we sort the whole thing out” about! No one can take this guy seriously!
The problem with taking the side of the nannies, scolds, and thought police is inevitably you become the target. All it takes is one improper pronoun use and you are anathema to the Church of Social Justice. Fail to correctly identify the latest trend in intersectional third wave neofeminism and you’re excommunicated. The best and the brightest in society are subject to silencing by the new moral majority normalizing every aspect of behavior.
And when you push someone away, it fosters resentment. Turn your back on those with meaningful contributions to society, even if in the form of words, and you create space for absolute chaos.
Now he’s done it! Can’t you see this guy is dangerous? He wants to bomb our allies! He thinks war is a good thing! He admires the heads of state that are our enemies! Completely unfit!
With every hurl of an insult, every “If you disagree with me, disconnect with me,” those among the silenced, the outcasts, those who are deemed “a basket full of deplorables” grow stronger. They are connected by a shared trait, being disaffected. They seek someone who can speak for them. They desperately search for someone who can give them even a slim glimpse of hope that a massive pushback will occur and society will change for the better.
Even if it’s a salesman.
That’s an insult if I’ve ever heard one. “I love the poorly educated?” What a jerk! He’s clearly insulting people! Why can’t they see that?
When that salesman came, people embraced him. They chose him as their national spokesperson. They said “So what” when people tried to convince them he was completely unfit. Every new insult was met with another round of attacks, jeers, “fuck yous,” and more. He was the chosen one for those who wanted the cultural pushback.
Let’s put America First Again?? That’s the same kind of talk that came out of Hitler’s mouth! Don’t people see this? He’s Literally Hitler reincarnated! If you elect him we’ll turn into another version of Nazi Germany! Hell, even white supremacists that talk with green frog cartoons and mention a dead gorilla like a deity support him!
A well established rule of the Internet is Godwin’s Law. This, again loosely explained, states any online discussion will eventually spiral into mentions of Hitler, Nazis, Nazism, or the Holocaust. No inside pundit could expect Godwin’s Law to cross into a Presidential election cycle, and yet this time it has.
His campaign is dead now. He’s fat-shamed Miss Universe, starred in a sex tape, and described sexual assault against women! No one can possibly vote for him! His career is tanked!
The newest round of discussion revolves on his alleged treatment of women yet again. This coming after discussions of a 900 million dollar loss on a tax return twenty years ago. There’s fear at work here, even if the big dogs barking the loudest won’t admit it. When you start down the path of repeating the same insults over and over again, and every new “leak” of information confirms what you already thought about the Salesman, you’re fighting a losing battle.
The only reason each new revelation comes is because they’re afraid he might win.
Few legitimately think the Salesman fit for the Presidency. I think even fewer find him fit for the Commissioner spot on Monday Night Raw. And yet, despite all this, he continues to grow in support. His numbers stay the same. Each new accusation falls on deaf ears for his support base. Their minds are set. It’s a month to the General Election, but in their minds the ballots are already cast.
After the Salesman became The Candiate, Jon Stewart took to his former colleague Stephen Colbert’s show in an attempt to denounce the Salesman’s supporters. He told them they just didn’t “get it.” He told them America “wasn’t theirs.” He told them it wasn’t their time, their people, and their place. As his angry rant bordered on violating FCC regulations, a look crossed his face only those who look for what’s not there could see.
It was fear.
What the scolds, the progressives, and the thought police don’t get is they created the Salesman. They gave him a voice. They gave him a base. Many might “park” their vote elsewhere. Many might stay with the Smiler to avoid losing loved ones or with someone in a third party. When November is over, and the final die cast, one thing will be certain.
Those who gave this Salesman a voice will either learn the lesson of silencing dissent, or they won’t.