"Fire and Fury" is Gossip

By Stephen, 5 January, 2018

I am skeptical that saying the president has lost it is and is "like a child" is helpful in an era of blue lies. We would actually do much better if we (liberals) steelman Trump — quite a job — but find something we can defend Trump against overreach, which at the same time makes the other accusations feel more real (it's no longer a spitting contest.) I think the accusation that "100% of the people around Trump…question his intelligence and fitness for office" is already being disputed by some people who would have to be in the 100%. Trump, imo and before framing this down to merely effects of old age, has made evil decisions, used racism for the purpose of obtaining power, etc. "Like a child" is not the right key, is not our frame. I do think encouraging supporters of the Trump movement to lock down in their support of individuals who will wind up fighting in the future is a powerful political tool, acceptable (if not beautiful) within civility conversations. If people feel specifically loyal to Trump or Bannon before they fight, it is a more fragile movement opposing us than one of pure loyalty, where Republicans can call each other racist and incompetent in the primaries and then unite again. In an era of blue lies, we have to put chisels in the cracks before the fractures, or only the smallest flakes will be removed. Trump being a loser is something that every time a left-y person says it, causes more wagon-circling: we shouldn't make that accusation. Just point out the evidence, without any conclusion. { SMART vocab: say why, but skip the conclusion. }

Radical Civility Cycle: Reflect and Agree

A lot of Trump supporters feel that they are on the losing end of innuendo and gossip — and with Fire and Fury, they're probably right. That makes this a good time to agree that this is too gossipy, and perhaps reflect back that we all should stop accepting innuendo in politics — people on the border of being reasonable might be motivated to be more reasonable now, and it may stick..

If you are willing to agree that this is gossipy, what do you want past Trump supporters to see and agree on?

When Trump was running, this is what I saw: He tried to divide ordinary Americans. I'm not saying that conservatives or liberals do this. A lot of politicians on both sides, a lot of nonprofits trying to get funding, they try to divide us. For me, the recent accusations are scattered. I am furious that people were willing to vote for the man behind the Birther accusations, a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth who screws over the small businesspeople who work for him, a man with multiple accusations of racism and overt and nasty sexism — he brags about worse than what Bill Clinton tried to keep secret. We should not have elected such a man, should not have given him our trust. And who is behind him?


We are looking to be saved. Half of American voters looked to a benevolent billionaire (who inherited, not even self made) to stand up to other billionaires; half turned to someone who got rich by keeping the very rich satisfied. People doing work create the wealth. We need working class and middle class and professionals creating the wealth to run this country — not turn on each other because we disagree on social issues.