Civility in politics queries

Gregory I. emails me:

  • Can being “uncivil” be useful for advancing aims we should agree with as moral in contemporary America? Elsewhere or “else-when” perhaps?
  • If yes, then where and how to be “uncivil” effectively?
  • Is engaging in aggressive or what can be read as aggressive social media posting sometimes good, contrary to what we’re usually counseled? (“Aggressive” here not including threats, but stating views in forthright ways with facts, arguments and yes even possibly profanity).
  • Could more exposure to “uncivil” behavior be or be made beneficial overall, primarily by making us all realize we should be more suspicious of our feelings of offense? 
  • Have “political correctness” and what Cass Sunstein called “patriotic correctness” (thank you for this article recommendation on MR) really moved what should be in civil discourse into conversations that can now almost always be counted on being characterized as “uncivil” and thus require us to be rude to address them?

I’ll take them by number.

#1: In the past, not being civil has at times led to the eventual de-platforming of disliked adversaries.  For instance, the tactics of 1960s radicals did indeed draw the attention of the American public to various norms, which eventually the American public decided to find mostly unacceptable.  It is much harder today to be a mainstream representative of racism, outright chauvinism, the Vietnam War, napalm, and so on, with some obvious exceptions.  Not all of the opponents of slavery were civil either, at least not always.

But today?  We’ve already seen big swings toward Trumpism and other forms of backlash, and many of those forces are courting incivility as a noxious brew, fit for their recipes of divisiveness.  And the Left is picking more issues that, whatever you think of them, don’t have as much upside with the American public, such as say bathrooms in North Carolina or the abolition of all profit.  The Left is a lot “less cool” than it likes to think, which militates in favor of civility, if for no other than tactical reasons.  Plus civility is a virtue in its own right, at least at the relevant margin.

#2: If you are looking to be uncivil, look for an issue where history is clearly on your side (predictively as well as normatively), and to that issue devote uncivil people who aren’t much good for anything else, as these days reputations are more permanent than before.  Pick issues that just aren’t getting good attention at all, or in other words shy away from the hot button items in your Twitter feed.  Your choice should seem counterintuitive to a fair number of the people you know, including those on your side.

#3: Social media are almost the worst possible venue for being uncivil.  It’s like pissing into the ocean, and furthermore you often encourage a stronger reaction from the other side.  “Mobilizing a posse” on social media may or may not be effective, but I view that as distinct from being uncivil per se.  Being pointed and specific is often the best way to drum up the posse, and in turn some of the posse members, for better or worse, will end up being uncivil.  If you are reading MR in the first place, very likely there is a better role for you in all of this than being a marginal, uncivil posse member.  Calling for uncivility is in a fundamental way expressing your own low expectations for those you are advising.

But the worst?  Driving a public figure out of a restaurant may seem like fun, but in fact they don’t know at which point you are planning on stopping.  You’re coming pretty close to threatening them with violent aggression, and there are very very few situations where such actions will end up improving the world as a whole.  There is no better venue for politeness than commerce.

#4: When people are uncivil, and organized into groups too, they are stupider.  You too.  That is perhaps the biggest reason to avoid uncivility, no matter how much you think your chosen exception will lead to beneficial outcomes.  Can you not find beneficial paths of influence which do not involve making people stupider?  If not, what does that say about you?

#5: Both the left and the right are major offenders when it comes to both incivility and political correctness in the bad sense.  I don’t quite follow every part of this question, but in closing I’ll suggest some simple rules of thumb for proper civility:

a. Don’t say anything on-line that you wouldn’t say to a person face-to-face.  (And I really do hope this constrains you.)

b. Don’t ever think that an analogy with Nazis justifies your behavior, even if it is your behavior toward…Nazis.

c. Don’t lose your cool.  Always trying to sound more intelligent than those you are arguing against is not a terrible starting point.

d. Don’t deploy what I call “loose adjectives,” the most common one being “stupid,” another being “dangerous.”  You probably write with too many adjectives anyway.

e. Criticize the idea, not the person.  Don’t presume you have such a wonderful sense of the motives of those you disagree with.

f. Learn how to learn from those who offend you.

g. Reexamine your writings and try to roughly measure the ratio of positive sentiments to negative sentiments.  If that number is not ten to one or higher, reassess what you are doing.


'such as say bathrooms in North Carolina'

However, the 'Left' won that battle - the bill was repealed, and the Republican governor that signed the bill lost to a Democrat in the following election. Which would seem to suggest that there is actually some upside to the issue for those who are not Republican office holders.

'or in other words shy away from the hot button items in your Twitter feed'

Or better, appeal to the 80% or so of Americans who don't use twitter at all.

'When people are uncivil, and organized into groups too, they are stupider.'

Yes, uncivil action is undoubtedly stupid, such as that involving the blocking of roads by marching from Selma to Montgomery.

'If that number is not ten to one or higher, reassess what you are doing.' -

That was a very strange paragraph. This is the month and which small children have were torn from brown mothers, and good guys with a gun have been shot, because they were also black guys with a gun.

This almost seems like a Time Warp paragraph, where everyone is not getting why rich players would take a knee during the national anthem.

Why can't those players be civil?

Every time I read your lies, my favorite movie line comes to mind, "Everything that guy just said is bullshit." See "My Cousin Vinny."

Thank you for confining the stupidity to 50 words or less.

Everything there is literally true, which of course means either you are a dishonest troll, or you have a real problem.

"This is the month and which small children have were torn from brown mothers" This is true, but it has also been true for years. If you want to expand the (presumed) scope of more than illegal immigrants, it's been true of lawbreakers for thousands of years.

How should we rank your comment? Technically correct but generally false?

Certainly mostly false.

See the "motivation" section in particular.

This actually ties in to Tyler's civility comments as well.

How should we respond to this kind of repetitious and indeed coordinated lying?

Maybe this whole thing and that paragraph was written some time ago.

I don't think Democrats will worry about "bathrooms" in November. I think they'll go with simple corruption:

"Barring an unexpected change, the Donald J. Trump Foundation will be defending itself in a New York courtroom shortly before this fall’s midterm elections."

It is an easy closing argument, unless everyone becomes convincing that it is uncivil to even mention it.

As discussed in today's NY Times:

White America’s Age-Old, Misguided Obsession With Civility

"you probably write with too many adjectives anyway"

I hang my troll hat up.

I can’t even outdo the Nytimes or WaPo op-Ed’s anymore.

I hear these calls for civility and decorum. A quick look at history shows dramatic change happens by uncivil, and indecorous groups. Militant, non violent groups. Civility means majority enforced social norms.

Remember all those f-bombs MLK dropped in Letter from a Birmingham jail?

Remember the firehoses and dogs that met King's non-violent and respectful protests before he was put into jail?

Bull Connor clearly cared about his version of civility, and was more than willing to use all the power at his command to demand it -

And like the dangerous radicals that some people considered individuals like King to be, these incivil organizers weren't above using human shields to get their way - 'When the campaign ran low on adult volunteers, James Bevel, SCLC's Director of Direct Action, thought of the idea of having students become the main demonstrators in the Birmingham campaign. He then trained and directed high school, college, and elementary school students in nonviolence, and asked them to participate in the demonstrations by taking a peaceful walk fifty at a time from the 16th Street Baptist Church to City Hall in order to talk to the mayor about segregation. This resulted in over a thousand arrests, and, as the jails and holding areas filled with arrested students, the Birmingham Police Department, led by Eugene "Bull" Connor, used high-pressure water hoses and police attack dogs on the children and adult bystanders. Not all of the bystanders were peaceful, despite the avowed intentions of SCLC to hold a completely nonviolent walk, but the students held to the nonviolent premise. King and the SCLC drew both criticism and praise for allowing children to participate and put themselves in harm's way.'


In the letter MLK said the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice."

He wasn't about to let order and civility get in the way of his civil rights.

Abolishing profit is much less likely to happen than abolishing the Department of Energy. Now the Governor of the second largest state in the Union, who advocated for getting rid of the Department of Energy, runs it. Maybe our friendly primary winner from the Bronx will end up on Energy and Commerce or Small Business when she joins the House.

How about a simpler take where being uncivil in you local congressional district plays just fine and you win. And the person who is running in a congressional district 2000 miles away plays to whatever works there and they win.

People swing toward Trumpism because he offers the open racism that a lot of people have been asking for for a long time. Ranting about the welfare queen in her Cadillac isn't good enough anymore, you have to serve up the meat on the bone. Socialism or who is eating at what restaurant doesn't matter.

You wrote that (stopping welfare fraud and abolish the DoE) as if it was a bad thing.

The DoE is responsible for producing our nuclear arsenal and for safeguarding the facilities that produce the nuclear materials used in our nuclear weapons, so suggesting that it simply be eliminated does warrant some scrutiny.

Tyler: When the pogroms start, will you be ready and able to set aside your civility? What will it take to satisfy you regarding the justification of anti-fascist behavior? When you measure the relative badness “on both sides” do you really find equivalence? Thank you.

Who knew that slacktivist would be unacceptable here?

Especially when providing a critical perspective on the fatuous variety of questioning that EF was engaging in.

Pogroms? Do Jared Kushner and Benjamin Netanyahu know that pogroms are on the way?

For a moment I forgot which side was starting the pogroms and came to the opposite conclusion.

"Be on our side or get crushed" sounds like a fine message if you can't imagine the other side also doing it.

How much have things really changed over the generations? The level of violence toward, say, honest social scientists may seem higher today than in our picture in our heads of the past. But how do we know we have an accurate picture in our heads?

Keep in mind that The Narrative obsesses over some historical facts and ignores lots of other ones. Few individuals have the time or cognitive capacity to hold an accurate account of the past relevant to current questions in their heads, so we are dependent upon a few heavily publicized incidents.

In reality, psychologist Arthur Jensen had to move from Berkeley to an undisclosed location around 1970 to escape violence, and psychologist Hans Eysenck got beaten up by student protestors at a London School of Economics conference in 1973.

My impression is that these shameful events got less negative publicity than the recent attempted attack on Charles Murray at Middlebury College. (On the other hand, for whatever reason, Edward O. Wilson getting a pitcher of ice water dumped on his head on stage at the 1978 AAAS meeting is fairly well remembered, even though it wasn't the worst thing that happened in that era.)

My sense is that people in 1970 were simply better at getting things done. Including the lunatics and radicals. Same reason I suspect we couldn't put a man on the moon today, even if we tried.

I think you would need to put a non-gender binary human on the moon.

Putting a man there might be a hate crime

To the lunatics, my vote for Trump was a hate crime. In 202 I will become a serial offender.

The People here can’t figure out why non-whites and women vote overwhelmingly for Democrats while bemoaning the lack of civility from the left.

As many people have pointed out, many black families are off the charts conservative in every way except their voting record.


non-whites and single* women vote democrat because they are dependant on the welfare state. *Married women vote for republicans.

dismiss, distract, distort, and dismay.

Is it possible because so many republicans are uncivil racists?

Or promote Nazis?

Or actual Nazis

dismiss, distract, distort, and dismay.

"dismiss, distract, distort, and dismay."

Why do you think dismissing a good point is valid?

distract, right? pretty good.

And that was a dismiss, yeah? This is fun!

I remember as a college student in the 1980s reading a lot of Gould (before I discovered Wilson, Dawkins, DeWaal, Ridley, Pinker, etc.). At the time, Wilson's "Sociobiology" was still radioactive and people who knew at Fancy U. wouldn't touch it.

It's still that way. 43 years after publication, Sociobiology remains offensive to a significant segment of the population, particularly worldviews that rely on the substantial malleability of human clay.

Well, they renamed sociobiology as evolutionary psychology (trading on the left's deification of evolution), and the zeitgeist shifted in favor difference feminism, and now the field is much more acceptable.

"In general, the idea of applying natural selection to human behaviour is controversial."

Item #3 Segregation rears its ugly head again when someone with differing political views is not served food or harassed at a restaurant. I don't like the Maoist/Anarchist-like mobs preventing speakers from discussing their opinions on campus or other public venues. The same goes for mobbing the residences of political opponents. Hundreds of millions were segregated, starved, slaughtered, enslaved, imprisoned, disenfranchised, and forcefully reeducated by the Socialist movements during the 20th Century. China has increasingly started suppressing people who have different political or religious views. We don't need that in the U.S.
My wife was at a major hotel during a major LGBT... event in D.C. They had open bathroom policies that upset the customers used to traditional bathroom behavior. Everything returned to normal after the event was over.
Should Picasso have been forced to paint in Mapplethorpe's or Michaelangelo's style? I think the Supreme Court ruled correctly in the cakemaker's case...although style wasn't what the case was decided on.

Good ideas must traverse the valley of death, a marketing campaign may help connect ideas to groups within society enabling the idea to scale and generate network effects.

Good ideas are a scarce good in the haystack of noisy opinion.

Being uncivil may work at a political rally , stand-up comedy or art performane, but it's always a risky bet. People at least acknowledge it takes courage to perform in front of an audience. On the other extreme, being uncivil in social media is perceived as cowardice, unless you're a celebrity.

Also, what makes you go uncivil? A drunk guy pushing you in the bar? Someone attacking family or friends? A social media post or reply? Life is not perfect, aggressiveness may be handy some day......but being uncivil in social media is ridiculous for two reasons: being angered by a text/image and having the impulse control of a 6 year old before clicking reply.

I think Tyler said enough with "never say on-line what you don't dare to say face-to-face".

PS. My score after being uncivil face-to-face: 5 fights, 2 shouting matches, 2 draws after some punches, 1 knock-down for the other guy.

My two cents: being uncivil has a price.

As I say, people missing the framing. "Uncivil" is declining a restaurant patron, and Dinesh D'Souza accidentally retweeting "#burnthejews" is one of those unfortunate things that just happens.

"I think Tyler said enough with "never say on-line what you don't dare to say face-to-face"."

Unless what you have to say is a position that (no matter how civil it is said) almost always results in an uncivil response. Examples: 1) perhaps those who cross borders illegally should be deported immediately with no hearing (I don't believe this, but given the existence of borders, it seems like a coherent policy position) or 2) it seems that a non-trivial chunk of the disparity in incarceration rates could be due to a disparity in criminality. Say those things in public and physical violence might result.

And you don't have to be talking to someone whom you know will be pissed off. Maybe you're just having coffee with a friend and discussing the latest academic research or the most recent episode of The Glenn Show, and someone (a complete stranger) overhears you and decides to get in your face because you decided to repeat anything remotely associated with a non-PC opinion in a Berkeley or Portland coffee shop.

I'm reminded of the first Christian martyr, who chose to insult not his enemies but his friends, Jewish followers of the prophet Jesus who continued to worship in the Temple, which the martyr believed was a form of idolatry and contrary to Mosaic Law. His insults, his incivility, lead to his stoning and martyrdom. Fast forward to 2016, and witness Donald Trump insulting not his enemies but his friends, fellow Republicans seeking their party's nomination. His insults, his incivility, lead not to his stoning but his nomination and ultimately his election, fellow Republicans whom Trump insulted eventually supporting Trump. Incivility pays.

Isn't Trump the most fun president ever? I think so.

FYI - Those "fellow Republicans" are not his friends and are not friends of us, his massive bloc of voters.

'Isn't Trump the most fun president ever?'

Well, funniest at least.

Yes. You aren't really Republicans, and you never were.

Well, being uncivil on social media never got me anything. But the thing And yet, for some reason, you can't help being uncivil at times. :-):-)

But I think that lack of civility and politeness rarely gets you anywhere.

Is the whole point of political correctness making any opposing views appear uncivil?

For the PC crowd, it's civility for me not for thee.

The PC crowd is the Spanish Inquisition without the chains, rack and whips.

As someone said on Twitter, when the same people try to assault "incivility" and "political incorrectness" at the same time and create a difficult balance for themselves.

It's almost like they pick one or the other, depending on which side favors them?

"Political correctness" is an incorrect and self-serving redefinition of civility.

If you value the classic norms of civil behavior, it makes perfect sense to oppose both the violation of those norms and attempts to rewrite then.

I think we could say that both civility and political correctness have a best reading and a worst. In the best case both are about keeping things civil. In the worst case both are about denying speech, short-circuiting a search for solutions.

i find the tendency of those who most execrate political correctness to also protest a lack of civility in their most intense interlocutors exceptionally ironic. like hearing someone wearing a "fuck your feelings" t-shirt tell you how uncivil you are. or hearing alan dershowitz compare being left off the guest list of a couple of dinner parties on martha's vineyard to being blacklisted and deprived of employment.

One could call the incident involving Tomi Lahren an example of uncivility. The reason that this sort of behavior can occur is because the uncivil party knows that real retribution is very unlikely. In other words, they are cowards.

'the uncivil party knows that real retribution is very unlikely'

You mean like this? 'Huntsville police said the incident started at around noon when Sealy, a counter-protester got into an altercation with another person at the rally.

Lt. Michael Johnson said Sealy is accused of picking a fight with a protester and pushing the protester. The protester pushed Sealy back, knocking him down. That's when Sealy is accused of pulling out a gun.

"Families Belong Together" events are being held in cities across the country on Saturday to rally against the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant families in the U.S. Protesters are demanding that separated families be united.

According to the Alabama State Department of Education, Sealy is a certified high school English teacher.'

Sounds like someone was prepared to deal with the results of being uncivil even if real retribution is very unlikely. Or in other words, they were a coward. Though not this guy, tossing his hat into the ring against incivility, so to speak - 'The video shows Sealy putting the gun back in his waistband and backing away from the crowd, then turning around and walking quickly in the opposite direction.

Of the few protesters who followed him, most did so with obvious caution — one man still holding his “Brown People Are Still People” sign as he watched Sealy go.

But a white-haired man nearly sprinted in pursuit, tossing his cap to the ground as he chased Sealy toward a tree line.

Sealy didn’t make it that far. A police cruiser soon rolled across the grass to meet him, and then a second car approached from his left.'

#5. You talkin' to me? YOU talkin' to ME?! What USEFUL purpose does "positive sentiment" accomplish? Are you simply wanting to increase the uniformity of the echo chambers that compose most of internet media? Ooh, TC, you're wonderful!
Anyway, reducto ad absurdum, just replace "incivility" with "violence" and the answer is obvious: OF COURSE it's effective! The problem with the way you frame it (one of the problems, anyway), is the (implicit) assumption that civil discourse can always change minds and/or behavior. It's obviously not true. What I really don't understand is why this is posed *here* as a moral question when I'd expect the discussion to center around the cost(s) of civility vs incivility. Is the fact (?) that the American Revolution was accomplished by a small fraction (I've read 12% - 19%) of the population relevant here? There are of course degrees of incivility, from refusing to serve someone all the way up to gas chambers and train schedules (or fire bombing civilian populations). I don't see how treating violence or incivility as a binary is useful, since aggression is a facet of human nature and always will be. I doubt the beast can be caged, although perhaps it can be chained...

I think you missed the click on the zero hedge bookmark.

1.You are more fun than anyone or anything I know, including bubble wrap.
2.You are the most perfect you there is.
3.You are enough.
4.You are one of the strongest people I know.
5.You look great today.
6.You have the best smile.
7.Your outlook on life is amazing.
8.You just light up the room.
9.You make a bigger impact than you realize.
10.Bill Maher tiene una boca de caca
y no es biólogo

10 to 1.

Not 9 to 1.

1I deeply love my body
2My body is free from all diseases
3Every part of my body is in best of health
4I feel extremely healthy and energetic today
5 I have a superb body
6 I love myself and allow others to love me
7 Today I choose to honour my beauty, my strength and my specialties

8 Today I transcend all my inhibitions and fears
9 I can master anything when I do it for sufficient times
10 Success is my birth right. I can succeed in anything that I wish for
I believe I have the will and the strength to fulfill all my dreams
11 bill maherr tiene una boca de caca y no es un biólogo

sí, diez a uno es mejor

g - alas, the world doesn't contain 10 times more good than bad things, and this is even more true for the topics most in need of attention and communication, as they are usually conflicts with high stakes or problems that will result in harm if not solved.

"And the Left is picking more issues that, whatever you think of them, don’t have as much upside with the American public, such as say bathrooms in North Carolina or the abolition of all profit. The Left is a lot “less cool” than it likes to think"

Looks like Tyler is guilty of Mood Affiliation here. All sizzle and no steak today!

Tyler often tries to be a contrarian, but in this he has definitely been led along to follow someone's agenda.

"I’d like to punch him in the face”

Trump said this in front of a crowd of supporters, after a protester was removed from one of his rallies in Las Vegas on 23 February 2016

Crickets from the right.

In June 2018 a previously unknown woman says "please leave my restaurant."

The right says "oh my God, this is the end of Civility in America!"

What bullshit.

A public official was ejected from a restaurant due to her political beliefs. She did nothing but go there for a meal.

A group of activists tried to shut down / disrupt political rallies by making it impossible for the speaker to be heard.

One =/= the other.

There is no inherent right or public norm to go on private property and scream in someone’s face or shut down an event.

If you want to scream and shout do It on the sidewalk.

You are so funny. You ignore actual incitements to violence by a presidential candidate to his supporters. (When did that last happen? A hundred years ago? Never?) Instead you follow the script, and try to make a quiet and private conversation on a restaurant patio into something else.

Your defense is dishonest.

Civility dictates not throwing people out of restaurants for mainstream political beliefs.

If someone is trespassing on private property and shouting in one’s face, civility has already been breached. You get to toss someone out of a restaurant for that.

That’s the difference.

I think we all understand the extreme left position: Trump is hitler and thus #resistance is justified. You don’t let Nazis sit down at your restaurant, you toss them out and follow them across the street to shout in their faces.

Most Americans are not Maxine Waters. This is not a good development in the US. And certainly is not helping democrats.

'Civility dictates not throwing people out of restaurants for mainstream political beliefs. '

I'm guessing you were born after 1964, right? Because back then, throwing black people out of a whites only restaurant had nothing to do with how mainstream that black person's political beliefs may have been.

And of course, that black person was engaging in extremely incivil behavior by demanding to be treated like a white person.

Obviously people should not be thrown out of restaurants due to their race either. That’s also uncivil.

Did you have an actual point?

Absolutely - the last time 'civility' was a major issue in American politics was when a bunch of 'troublemakers' started acting in a way that was considered offensively and unacceptably rude to the point of illegality. Such as demanding service in a whites only restaurant.

This sentiment would have been considered rudely incivil on its face by a majority of citizens in my home state in 1964, for example - 'Obviously people should not be thrown out of restaurants due to their race either.' It was not polite agreeing with the status quo that led to your (using the apparently approved vocabulary of the owners of this web site) virtue signalling statement becoming a common perspective.

That is a bizarre comment, but how different really is it from Tyler's whole essay?

We could talk about Trump's incivility all day: "blood coming out of her wherever"

But you know, let's start the clock when an absolute nobody does something.

I guess ultimately we can consider this a huge endorsement of the left, because the strongest position the right wing has in America at this moment is that a restaurant owner did a bad thing.

Shit, the Democrats are looking good.

It was a fat commie perpetual student who stormed the stage at a Trump rally. It was a Clinton supporter who murdered a lot of policemen in Dallas. It was a prog boomer Clinton supporter who shot and nearly killed a number of Republican congressmen (Scalise was one), etc etc.

She did nothing but go there for a meal.

Well, that's not accurate. She chose to work for the Trump administration. That is a thing that she did, in addition to going there for a meal.

And the job she took was to spread lies and behave in an uncivil fashion while trying to defend indefensible policies and people.

No. It isn’t just normal political disagreement

Civility is a fancy word for politeness that connotes a kind of high class formal courtesy. It is the domain of the powerful, it serves to lubricate their interactions, and it is often deployed to delegitimize other voices. When you kvetch that protesters are "uncivil" (whether they be civil rights activists or anti-abortion protesters) you are participating in a judgment against them without having to engage in the merits of their protest. Maybe you justify that to yourself by saying that you want to help them get their message across in a more effective way. But that is really just concern trolling if you express that idea in a way that promotes the idea that such protesters are uncivil. Instead of getting captured in a secondary discussion about "civility" (which will only serve to defend the interests of whatever powerful groups are evoking it regardless of the justice of their position), you should focus like a laser beam on the justice of their claims.

This. Is it right or wrong to deport someone who has lived in America for most of their life, because of the lack of proper papers?
If your answer is that it is wrong, and those cries of injustice have gone unheard for so many years, to the harm of many, many innocent people, and continue to go unheard, to continued harm to innocent people, how dare you complain about incivility? The millions of Americans in everything but the paper work, deserve to be outraged by the institutionalized injustices that they suffer under.

So if we deport them immediately after crossing, no harm no foul.

But for the kids who grew up here, we make an exception.

Because that’s literally the offer on the table. You’re playing a motte and bailey game here.

Your actual position is: open borders now and forever.


For years I was confused by the "open borders" thing. I thought the far-right was misrepresenting everyone else, claiming that they wanted wide open borders and no limits on immigration.

It turns out that's not it. To the modern right, open borders means open even a crack. If one guy crosses and is legally made a citizen, in legal immigration, that is an open border.

What you want now are fully closed borders, and no more Mexicans.

45 million immigrants

33 million 2nd generation

25% of the population, the highest since the 1800s.

But Okay, having any limit at all is fascism?

There has never been a time in the last 100 years when America did not have immigration law with limits.

There has never been a proposed immigration bill that did not have limits.

Thus "open borders" has always been a canard.

Limit being % of population.

At some point there is a function with the general property of f(i,a) where i is the inflow of migrants and a is the rate of assimilation.

If i > a forever, then it stands to reason that we will not be the proverbial melting pot anymore. Hence the backlash across the West.

Being a Burkean conservative, I do not want to roll the dice forever. We could stand to do a 20 year period of lower immigration. There is a natural tension of needing the dynamism of immigrants and wanting to retain a high trust society.

Painting everything as fascism is not helpful.

You did a trick there. Were you consciously aware?

It is not having immigration limits that looks fascist, it is a practice of explicit cruelty in order to create a disincentive that looks like a cruel authoritarian state.

Trick? ...what?

We’re immediatey back to the motte and bailey. Which is what this entire debate is.

Motte: we are not in favor of open borders, or against enforcing the law. Just don’t separate families or detain people, or deport illegal immigrants who have lived here for years.

Bailey: any limit on immigration that is actually enforced is the same as Nazism. It goes against the Statue of Liberty to limit immigration. Abolish ICE.

Retreat to the motte every time, people are not buying it.

'any limit on immigration that is actually enforced is the same as Nazism'

No one says this, apart from the imaginings of those claiming it.

That's silly.

Most Americans support immigration limits and oppose "zero tolerance" separation.

You can't make a good answer to that, so you bait and switch.

You brought up family separation. I did not.

Another motte and bailey. Again. Every comment you make is a motte and bailey.

Maybe you want some theoretical abstract immigration law on the books but to never enforce it. But just say that then. That’s not far off from mainstream democrat opinion.

Instead of beating around the bush, what limits would you accept and how would you enforce it?

What should qualify as asylum?

How can you not understand?

You brought up fascism and I explained why people are throwing it around this month.

Did you really believe it was just the limits or were you really just playing?

How about this, you learn something, when you hear about the fascism of ICE it isn't about policies we have actually had in place for a hundred years, it is the new stuff invented in the last few months.

That does not seem to be the case when I read the comments on this thread.

But fine.

What should the limits be, and what should the enforcement methods be?

As I have mentioned before, my girlfriend escaped a communist dictatorship and lived in a refugee camp. Let's use her rules: "You don't have to take everyone, but keep families together, and take care of them, until you find where they go."


We accept anyone from a communist dictatorship: Cuba, Venezuela, China, Vietnam, NK, Laos.

Anyone else aside from war refugees from our bordering nations we return to the first non civil war state they passed through.

I would support this with money and my vote.

The Hierarchy of Bad Ideas on Immigration:
1. Open Borders - strawman territory
2. Unlimited market-based immigration without eligibility for welfare, with screening for security threats (the actual libertarian ideal).
3. Current system with fewer restrictions on employment based visas and normalization of status for DACA/DAPA immigrants (what we're willing to negotiate for)
4. Current system with LESS immigration and more enforcement in exchange for DACA/DAPA status (what Trump actually wants, worse than current system, borderline fascist)
5. Deportations of DACA/DAPA immigrants (actually fascist)

So enforcement in exchange for DACA is borderline fascist.

You were saying, other anon / clock?

2 is not in the choice set, as much as I would lean towards it personally. Welfare and immigration are a set. They go together.

3. Misses the point IMO. Even Trump wants to move to a points based system.

4. Maybe, I would not call this fascist. Trading points for chain would be a deal Republicans would take. Democrats would never accept this.

5. The courts would never allow this.

The current system is what gives rise to people living as legal pariahs in the US despite having resided in the US for many years, including since childhood, being married to Americans and/or having US citizen children. The current system hence involves deep institutionalized injustices that need to be rectified. Doubling down on unjust laws with stricter enforcement is "the boot stomping on a human face forever" of every totalitarian system, whether you call it fascism or something else.

"You were saying, other anon / clock?"

This is a big grey area. In many respects immigration is good, but at the same time we have a right to want good people. What is a bad person? We certainly don't want recent violent felons, but suddenly ejecting someone for a 20 or 30 year old misdemeanor seems kind of bs.

Ultimately if we want to be both responsible and compassionate someone is going to have to make a big table of "how bad a crime/infraction and how long ago?"

The fascism is not in the not letting in new immigrants, it is in the expelling people who have lived here for many years, who have been here since childhood or are now married to or parents of US citizen children. For all intents and purposes, someone who has been here for 20 years is an American, and they should be legally recognized as such.

A 20 year SoL on deporting illegal immigrants doesn't bother me much. What does is that any attempt to remove people who have somehow crossed in at some point in the past is a crime against humanity. Note that "parents of US citizen children" being an un-deportable class, which transforms every Alex Jones rant about anchor babies from crazy to prescient.

We should let in more people but have the power to expel them later if we wish, and it's been made very clear over the past generation that there are enough people with de facto veto power over deportation that the only way left for people who want any kind of enforcement is to Build The Wall. Which is stupid in lots of ways, but all the less stupid ideas are off the table.

'We should let in more people but have the power to expel them later if we wish'

You do know that this is the case already, right? 'A federal judge last week stripped U.S. citizenship from a native of India accused of using one name to enter the country without any papers and another to later file for permanent U.S. residency after marrying an American citizen.

Judge Stanley R. Chesler, of U.S. District Court in New Jersey, wrote in a Jan. 5 opinion that Baljinder Singh, also known as Davinder Singh, illegally obtained his naturalization and ordered Singh’s certificate of naturalization cancelled and his citizenship revoked.

“The defendant exploited our immigration system and unlawfully secured the ultimate immigration benefit of naturalization, which undermines both the nation’s security and our lawful immigration system,” said Chad Readler, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s civil division.'

This will undoubtedly become more common, and it is unlikely to be opposed by something like 99.9% of Americans.

Well, the terror of anchor babies it itself kind of odd. Anchor babies require the parents to wait 18 years before that kid is an adult before that child can sponsor them to become legal residents. The sort of person who worries about anchor babies is the sort of person who doesn't want ANY legal immigration, considering how hard and slow that path really is.

If "parents of US citizens" is an undeportable class, in doesn't matter how old the baby has to be to sponsor them for citizenship.

Undeportable is not equivalent to immediate citizenship sponsorship. Besides, many of the parents of Americans are actually *married* to American citizens. You could theoretically deport a single mother with a small child together, without breaking up the family, and I wouldn't object to that, but you shouldn't be deporting the husband/wife of an American citizen who has children with them - that's splitting up families. And if they've been here long enough that their kids are adults, the kids are US citizens and should e allowed to sponsor their parents.
Basically, I just think the laws that say people have to leave the country for 10 years before applying should be repealed so that these people can follow the current process and become legal residents through the standard family sponsorship process. If the came to the country illegally, there should be a statues of limitations - if you've been here 20 years, forget it- just let them apply to become legal residents through parent/child husband/wife routes. Or have some generic process where if you show continuous residency over 20 years, you just get a green card.

You’re a libertarian. You understand the role of incentives in determining outcomes of policy.

If the game is come here and hide for 20 years or have a kid and you’re fine, what do you think the outcome will be?

How many millions do we let in? What % of our population is the limit?

What will the affect on our institutions be?

Undeportable is not equivalent to immediate citizenship sponsorship

And it doesn't matter. BECAUSE YOU HAVE DECLARED THEM UNDEPORTABLE. Citizenship or not, they are here to stay. It's equivalent to "get here and have a kid and you can never be sent back." Which may be your policy goal, fine, but don't act surprised when people for whom it isn't a policy goal don't care about "well the baby can't sponsor them for citizenship yet."

"In 1903, Congress transferred the Bureau of Immigration to the newly created (now-defunct) Department of Commerce and Labor, and on June 10, 1933 the agency was established as the Immigration and Naturalization Service. ... There were a number of predecessor agencies to INS between 1891 and 1933."

That's actually not the offer on the table. Trump refused to sign that offer and insisted on adding reductions in the number of *legal* immigrants as well. Which is only going to result in more people in the future in the same situation.

Instead of getting captured in a secondary discussion about "civility" ... you should focus like a laser beam on the justice of their claims.

LOL. Just because you think this is Truth Light And Justice vs. Literally Hitler doesn't mean everybody else does.

So the term "justice" triggers your contempt. Understood. The idea is that we would all be better off if we focused on the correctness / incorrectness of the claims being made and the ethical ramifications thereof instead of tsk-tsking the mode of communication. Do you disagree?

I don't give a ____ about your notions of ethics and justice. I think they are impractical, socially destructive, and fundamentally wrong. In your head, it's about Literally Hitler and that notion will shortly be used by the Left to justify all manner of violence. So I'll let others debate civility and "justice" and I'll keep my guns and vote for Team Strongman.

What is your notion of ethics and justice?

I think this whole discussion about civility is silly. We had the same thing in Canada, and most of it was simply that a conservative was Prime Minister.

There are real and difficult differences of opinion that mean someone winning and someone losing. And these aren't minor issues where some forgettable small group gets the shaft, but a substantial proportion of the population.

Ultimately this is an indication that the post war centrist position has failed. When the center left and center right were not screaming at each other it simply meant that the differences were minor, more about apportioning the spoils. There was a common assumption of morality.

The issues at play now have no common ground, especially since the assumptions of morality are now in the issues rather than something ostensibly above it all in religious belief. Someone who believes abortion is murder will never see eye to eye with someone who believes that a woman is the only one who can decide what happens to her body.

Someone who sees global warming as a looming catastrophe cannot tolerate someone who doesn't.

Etc. These issues have become transcendant. We saw that over the last weeks with immigration. Somehow the international order needs to be turned over because some kids have to live in a facility.

Part of it comes from the hallowed halls of the academy. Again, the religious comes to mind; people come out with an conception of reality that doesn't jive with what they run into. The automatic reaction is to dive back into the catechisms, and bemoan the unfaithfulness of the ungrateful masses.

The worry is that the fistfights are profitable for the media. They are in the throes of failure and change, and clickbait works as a profit center.

With blue and purple dots in mind, what do you consider uncivil? Is an angry woman uncivil? A protest? A sit-in? Kneeling during the Anthem?

See Trevor Noah's exchange with Tomi Lahren. What is type of incivility will you deem acceptable?

Perhaps if the Jews had been more uncivil, there might have been fewer gas chambers. There are some issues where the moral imperative of the immediate situation in terms of human rights does not permit time to waste trying to be civil with those who are more than willing to use force, rather than polite words, to get their way.

Shorter Hazel:

No. Lots of people I don't like aren't Hitler. Some of them are Mao, or Stalin.
But seriously. We're talking about a situation where guys with guns are arresting people for the "crime" of living and working in the country where they have lived and worked for most of their lives. While they are not putting them in gas chambers, "ethnic cleansing" has been equated to genocide in other historical situations (i.e. Bosnia, Croatia in the 1990s). it is not absurd to compare mass deportation of people on an ethnic basis (and lets face it, the vast majority of the potential deportees are Hispanic) to be kinda-sorta similar to the actions of other political groups that have done similar things in the past.
To all intents and purposes, DACA protected aliens are basically Americans who are denied the legal right to vote or have a job (sound familiar at all?). There is no moral basis for them to be denied that right - they just don't have the official papers. Trump and his supporters insist on finding that group of people to be undeserving of the same moral rights as other Americans, and are willing to use violence to ship them to another country. That's as close to ethnic cleansing as America has ever come. Right up there with the internment of the Japanese. In a very real, analgous way, many undocumented immigrants are like any other institutionally oppressed ethnic minority - not just in a figurative way, but in the fact that they are institutionally discriminated against and legally denied the same rights as other Americans. We like to think that America lives by the rule of "equal justice under law", but we have created a class of Americans who don't get equal justice - they are legal pariahs. Can that not be likened to the status of Jews in Nazis Germany ? Merely because some people are offended by the analogy does not make the analogy inaccurate.

Actually I should modify one thing - it's not as close to ethnic cleansing as America has ever come, because America did some similar things to Native Americans and others in the past. We just like to think that America doesn't do those things any more. (Except that were sort of doing it right now...)

Yea yea you're opponents think that too though. Your post comes eerily close to something a second amendment nut would say about Germany and Jews.

What's worse:
A) Not being allowed to own an 'assault rifle" ?
B) not being allowed to have a job ?

Well the gun nuts like yourself would say that if you take away their assault rifles then taking away a job is that much easier. It puts people in a subservient position.

The "dreamers" already had their right to have a job taken away. Are you suggesting they should pool their weapons and form a militia? That's a pretty radical position.

And slacktivist has an even better take -

(One hopes that merely linking to the writings of an evangelical Christian are not too controversial for this website to handle.)

Well, it's sort of strange how, to follow the analogy, kitten-burning continues to be official government policy.

I don't think I should have to remind anyone that there are still millions of Americans who can't legally work, or vote, whose legal status is still "institutional pariah", and who continue to live with the threat that they will be caught and deported.

Apparently everyone is in unanimous agreement that that is wrong, and yet, it keeps happening, by law. People keep getting deported. They keep getting denied the right to have a job. They keep having their lives ruined.

Interesting perspective. I was going more along the lines that basically everyone is opposed to illegal immigration (where 'illegal' is not a precise term agreed on universally).

And yet many of the fiercest opponents of illegal immigration assume that they are in a minority, and an oppressed one at that, while the majority of Americans (in my opinion, easily 99.9%) do not support illegal immigration.

But true, the people separating children from their parents come a lot closer to kitten burners than most people would have considered imaginable before Trump's election.

I read your link. Does he wish the commenters to be more sophisticated, or more hard-hearted? Because the latter seems the likelier way he will ever get to his ideal, more limited number of comments on a kitten-burning story.

The fault lies not with the commenters, who depending on the moment in history one drops into might be callous destroyers of excess kittens, or vicious burners of kittens, or horrified witnesses or stoppers of kitten-burnings, but of whom all one can say for sure is that they will never have any original, breakthrough thoughts on the matter. The fault lies with his newspaper for highlighting the story. A Christian so smart and diligent he needs only a church of himself, should have known that, and fought it, however "amused" he may have been.

Basically, see above, but the real point - at least in my eyes - is how many people seem to believe that they are displaying moral courage when opposing something that basically everyone opposes. Vanishingly few Americans are for illegal immigration, accepting the idea that 'illegal' has various definitions (think children who grew up in America, to stick with the example).

So, here is part of the first post from Fred Clark - 'The AKBC, again, is on the correct side of this issue. Its members, quite rightly, are vehemently opposed to something to which they ought to be vehemently opposed. But that isn’t what motivates them. What drives them, their central organizing principle, is the notion that they represent a beleaguered and controversial minority view. They imagine that their stance against burning kittens — sweet, adorable, innocent kittens — is something that separates and distinguishes them from most other people. They imagine that their opposition to burning kittens is a brave and exceptional stance that elevates them above most other people.

In other words, the central concern of the Anti Kitten-Burning Coalition is not a defense of kittens, but an accusation against most other people. They are not driven by their opposition to kitten-burning, but by their opposition to a make-believe faction of other people whom they imagine favor kitten-burning. That this vast bloc of pro kitten-burning people cannot be found and does not exist does nothing to dampen their enthusiastic campaign against these supposed monstrously cruel others. It is a delusion, but the AKBC enjoys this delusion.'

Basically, no one in America supports 'open borders,' and yet as can be seen in this comment section, many people think that a large group of such supporters actually exist.

"Basically, no one in America supports 'open borders,'"

You apparently don't read either the Wall Street Journal or Crooked Timber. Or a thousand other sources on the libertarian and/or far left parts of the spectrum. (Or else you think we don't, so that you can misreport their positions without being challenged.)

Vanishingly few, indeed. The media much prefer to poll about legal immigration than illegal, I've noticed. And yet when even those polls reflect a certain negativity, they are often moved to write articles explaining that the results are yet murky, the wording of the question must have confused people, with some effort we can tease out the opposite meaning ... Meanwhile, polls that detect a hint of support for their pet cause do not prompt such scrutiny or suspicion. Those are Good Polls on their face.

"... and yet as can be seen in this comment section, many people think that a large group of such [open borders] supporters actually exist"?!

Speaking for myself, no. It is precisely the smallness of the group that frustrates this non-libertarian commenter ... What matters is their all-out-of-proportion influence, which has the perverse [can something be perverse if it's intended?] effect of making the mainstream position seem the radical one. Last month a prominent NY Times editorialist looked forward to the replacement of one underclass by another, because they will be "better Americans" (by which he seems to mean, happier to work 80 hours a week building my unexpectedly-affordable new house on its expensive dirt, and "more religious" but not in a way that I ever plan to allow to harsh my mellow). The New Yorker moves the ball further - "Trump’s Opponents Aren’t Arguing for 'Open Borders'—But Maybe They Should." Growing list of Democrats - including some of those anointed "prominent" by the media - call for abolishing enforcement of immigration law inside the country. (Good news for Scrooge McDuck!) The citizenry - sorry, what we used to call citizens, not the trending shading of "Americans" to mean citizens-of-somewhere-else-but-at-this-moment-within-our-borders - is being asked to accept an ever-more-strained version of "I am not for open borders, but ..." An end to enforcement of petty crime just became the official position of my city - a position they never took before, but only now, for this special class of newcomers who deserve consideration that the prior class of petty criminals did not (see above re *better* - they and their kids are even better than the old thieves when they're stealing the bike out of your garage! I'm still waiting for the NY Times to find the bright spot in how much better the immigrants are at subsidized daycare fraud in Minnesota). Ditto the local "urbanists" who bemoan all these damn NIMBYs and speculate on the basic unfairness that local decisions are made by the hated old Boomers who live here, and love to vote - instead of by all the people from other countries they hope to import, who aren't even here yet, but somehow "deserve a voice"? No doubt they aren't for precisely "open borders" either, despite the signs festooning their yards with the hard-to-parse words, "In this house we believe no human is illegal." ("In this house": apparently they were careful to marry within their in-group, and did the near-miraculous, have children who think just as they do. God, it makes them nuts when the Boomers put out those same signs.) Ditto the helpful activists letting people know that if they bring their family to the border, they will be allowed to pass into the interior; then complaining when 42,000 people show up in one month, 16,000 before a timeout is called the next, and central-air-conditioned family housing wasn't already prepared for them - in some of the poorest counties in Texas. Ditto those "border hawks" not amending the laws in Congress, if they want to see them amended, instead relying on pressure on federal employees and emotional appeal (their magazine contest-winner being a woman who self-separated from her middle-class husband and three young children without saying goodbye, to re-enter the United States despite having been deported by the Obama administration in 2013, curiously choosing to make that $6000 trip with her crying (who'da thunk?) fourth child in tow). Can it be far off that, in order to eliminate dangerous crossings, we must normalize the automatic entry of everyone into the United States, and sort it out later ... in hearings; the scheduling of which hearings, though in the environment of the new absence of enforcement in the interior, will mean we are still "not for open borders"? A public radio reporters the other day explained that anyone who speaks to a member of the American government, even if all parties are standing in Mexico, must be admitted to the United States if they utter the open-sesame word "asylum." It seems like the definition of being "against open borders" could devolve to "we recognize there is a line on the map, and on either side of it are different taxing entities," but who knows if even that will hold.

Immigration advocates such as yourself often accuse others of disingenuousness - that there can be no principled opposition to immigration, or population growth; that anyone espousing such is only (thinly) disguising their xenophobia, their evil natures.

So why don't immigration supporters embrace the open borders label, if by their own logic it is merely an extension of their group's greater "goodness," their conviction that total freedom of movement will only make the world more peaceful, wealthier, with an *inarguably* better result for the remaining non-human residents of the planet as well? It can't be for cynical reasons. Why hide that light under a bushel?

The Unified Theory of Hitler.

Traditionally all rival factions agreed to observe the Gregorian Calendar, of 365 days, leap years, and time progressing inexorably forward. Working from this universal premise was far more critical to peaceful political functioning than most understood. That’s because reasoned debates over past events and future direction are not possible in its absence.

Though without much exertion one will find an increasing migration on the left to the newer Hitlerian Calendar. The fundamental premise of this model is that the only events in history occurred in Germany between 1923 and 1945. Thus every year is one of these years, with time moving not linearly but circuitously. Under this temporal scheme events like the Haitian massacre, Barbary slavers, Red Terror, Mao’s 20 million rotting corpses, and Pol Pot’s soccer field of skulls never happened, as they would violate the similar laws of Hitlerian Physics. These hold that only Hitler may occupy any given space in time.

Strangely, the Germans even have a term for resetting that calendar - die Stunde Null.

'Stunde Null (German: [ˈʃtʊndə ˈnʊl], "Hour Zero") is a term used by Germany referring to May 8, 1945 at midnight (in English the term is mostly used to refer to the end of World War Two). This was a term that was used to mark both an ending of World War Two and the start of a new, non-Nazi Germany. It was in part trying to separate the current Germany from the guilt of the former Nazi racial state. The term itself is meant to imply “an absolute break with the past and a radical new beginning”, or a “sweeping away of old traditions and customs”'

Like I said.

Unless that is your web site, you said nothing at all.

"Don’t say anything on-line that you wouldn’t say to a person face-to-face. (And I really do hope this constrains you.)"
I do and it does not.

The very basis of society is the creation of norms and boundaries, that are enforced by a variety of means, from mild criticism through shunning and shaming up to outright coercion and violence.
Obviously it is difficult for a diverse society to come to agreement on where the boundaries lie, and the various interests and values are always going to be in tension.
But a successful society learns to develop respect and tolerance, and consensus on the boundaries.

Right now in America the boundaries are shifting, and people who once were on the favored side, are now suddenly finding themselves on the outcast side.

The uncivil behavior is really just the majority telling the minority that their views are hateful and unacceptable.
People like Sarah Huckabee Sanders should ask themselves why ordinary Americans find their behavior so repugnant as to chase them out of restaurants.

What do you mean "ordinary Americans?" In a lot of areas, she'd get offers to pick up her tab.

What's an "ordinary American?"

I agree, A-G, that was a terrible post by CP. “The majority telling the minority” — no, actually polls show the majority disapprove of the restaurant owner, just as polls show the majority blame the illegal immigrant mothers more than the government for separation. You’d think that on an economics blog people would do more than just repeat the MSM talking points. I’d have more respect if they said “I agree with Frank Lloyd Wright that the masses = them asses and as a self-righteous elitist disapprove of these deplorables who unfortunately are in the majority”. But such self-awareness isn’t possible when you’re hysterical.

I would if I could try to "sound more intelligent than those you are arguing against," but sometimes all one has to offer is a simpleton's bewildered impression, to (non)-wit:

So the Jews did exactly that - became less "civil" - and yet the the near-entirety of the Left and a seemingly-permanent anti-Semitic fringe on the Right, united in condemning them, to the tune of hundreds of UN resolutions. They didn't like them being *quite* as invulnerable as they made themselves. A certain threshold of Jews must die every year, or the universe is not satisfied; and that has not been met in the last 70 years. This attitude would appear to derive from a much deeper place than this, er, fascinating discussion of civility can touch.

Sorry, reply meant for dear Hazel.

Um, I like your top.

It seems like, in commerce, explicit proactive stances can serve one's purpose better than implicit reactive ones. If you believe some customer is so counter to what you believe in, rather than address this obliquely in the moment, present a visible statement of beliefs in the window, at the door, at the counter, etc.

If you put these beliefs out there, and this supposedly adverse customer wishes to engage in commerce anyway, consider this a small victory and serve them as you would anyone else. If such statements of belief deter such customers, then you have avoided the adverse interaction already, though possibly at the cost of some other business (though possibly gaining some as well).

I'm curious if this would be considered overly aggressive/uncivil still. That seems like a difficult argument to make. If so, is a Coca-Cola ad promoting diversity also uncivil, given that they obviously will sell to anyone?

"...the abolition of all profit."

I wouldn't describe this characterization as uncivil, but it's not a very charitable representation of the left. I'm not sure it passes the "don't discard and dismiss" guideline either.

"When people are uncivil, and organized into groups too, they are stupider. You too." Simple does not equal stupid.
Mobilizing public opinion often requires simple messages. Think "no taxation without representation". *When in the course of human events*, change becomes necessary, people are mobilized through simplicity. If the Minutemen were smarter or if they thought more about whom they were fighting, would America be better off today? Would the world be better off today? Not everyone needs to be smarter all the time. Smart does not equal good or morally superior.

"Disruptive" behavior in the 60s was self-defeating. I both served in the Army and marched against the war. Although I was hardly unique in this respect, my experiences did give me a look at the times from both sides of the conflict, and I remain convinced that the protestors, far from shortening the war, actually prolonged it. Let's not forget that it wasn't until broad public opinion turned against the war that the government began to look for ways to end it. By allowing opposition to the war to be conflated with ideas, attitudes, and actions that were offensive to Middle America, the antiwar movement enabled politicians to cast it as anti-American (remember the right castigating the McGovern campaign as the party of "Acid, amnesty, and abortion"?), and for Nixon to successfully appeal to the "Great Silent Majority" to effectively marshal support for continued bombing and invasion. But this time could be different. Protestors in the 60s alienated their parent's generation (often deliberately, with intent to shock), fomenting a backlash at the polls. But it's going to be hard to create that kind of division this time around. For the most part, sides have already been taken. Sure, "incivility" may roil the Trump base, but it's not likely to increase it. And it's hard to imagine the opposition being offended by anti-Trump actions anywhere near as much as they're offended by Trump himself.

"I'd like to punch him in the face"

Donald J. Trump

A friend of mine, pretty nice person really, posted the same words on Facebook in 2012 when she saw that Mitt Romney was flying on the same commercial jet as she was.

I don't do politics these days. Agreeing or disagreeing with emotional hysteria leads nowhere, and it's wearying.

If a Nazi or a terrorist showed up at my door, you bet your ****, I'll be uncivil.

1) People say things like "Trump is okay on some issues, but he's so boorish, etc." Don't these fools realize that a "polite" version of Trump would have gotten buried! "Boorishness" was his only path. And thank god he took it!
2) Words are overrated. Generally speaking, people get more worked up over ideas than words. How ideas are expressed does matter, sure, but political contention is usually about conflicting interests over real things. Trump is "controversial" (among the fake news media) because he has taken on issues that are controversial (to the fake news media).
3) In the eyes of the liberals, there is no way to "politely" argue for immigration restriction, no matter how carefully worded. Because it is the idea itself they object to.
4) In Tyler's lingo, you might say everyone is assumed to be arguing in a Straussian (dishonest) manner and a sort of "reverse Straussian" filter is automatically applied. The actual words usually don't make a lot of difference. Because we know what you "really" mean.
5) There is a fine line between enforcing "civility" and full-on political censorship. Particularly, if you define "incivility" as anything implicitly racist, sexist, homophobic, microaggressive, etc.

Lack of civility wins you the White House. Lack of civility also increases your ratings. In other words, the incentives are there and Americans are responding quite well to them. Those who clamor for civility are tilting to windmills.

Don’t presume you have such a wonderful sense of the motives of those you disagree with.

The MR obsession with signaling, and making claims about why people do certain things, seems to violate this.

The very common characterization of behavior as "virtue signaling" obviously and explicitly does so.

Valid point. "Virtue signaling" is a phrase that should have been retired several years ago.

I like when Tyler says something is cool or not cool. He's almost always wrong.

Oohh, that was a cool thing to say Ken.

Story from today's NYT:
"In Los Angeles, Where the Rich and the Destitute Cross Paths"
So where's the progressive outrage?

Seems to me there is something of a "Prisoner's Dilemma" here. Total utility is maximized if everyone is civil, but your individual utility is maximized when everyone is civil to you, but you don't have to be civil back.

Are there major US cities where the rich and the destitute don't cross paths?

To Hazel Meade and Anonymous,

I know that you probably won't care about my views at all. But I have been catching up on my MR posts, and I just want to say you 2 are extremely crazy deranged people.

Not quite as nuts as that Brazil fellow, but roughly in the same range. I just wanted you 2 to know that. Get well.

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