Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” Fourth Rule: Make your enemy play by their own book of rules.
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” — Matthew 7:3
There is a serious feeling that a lot of the moral outrage over trump and the Stormy Daniels case is filling a gap left behind by a still jilted Clinton camp and because the Russian story hasn’t provided nearly what the outrage has implied. More interestingly, we are seeing the return of the moral argument as a sort of retroactive “You own this liar” motif, as if voting for Hillary was the morally superior option.
Let us very quickly, go over the sins of Mrs. Underwood. There is of course the “Deplorables” comment, symbolizing her disdain for those who disagree with her for any reason (she walked it back, but if you want to play moral absolutes, I’m going with her first answer). There is working with the DNC to rig the primary. Defending her husband from women who accused him of sexual harassment and assult and now saying all victims should be believed. She once stated having a private and public position, which basically indicated she was lying even to her supporters. There also seems to be, within the Clinton camp, a very low view of “taco bowls”, also known as “needy Latinos” also known as Hispanic Americans.
Are we still playing the moral argument here? The Left seems to reiterate every day that Trump supporters must own the worst aspects of their candidate while refusing to own, or perhaps passively accepting the faults of their own. The latter makes the argument more insidious and hypocritical. To use the argument “Yeah, she was bad, but your guy on the other hand” and not afford the other side the right to use that same argument only shows that your attack is coming from a position of weakness and desperation.
But there is another angle to consider when the left brings in the evangelical and Catholic support for Trump. Firstly, I must mention the American culture’s fairly hypocritical approach to Christianity. When the Pope comes out in support of gun control, the Left is quick to demand that all Catholics should fall in line. When they run opposite the liberal mindset, the response is always an attempt to coerce the Christian to fall in line. They will, as Erick Erickon says, be “made to care”
In this, the left finds an actual moral structure to base their disdain for Trump with. “How can you be a Christian and support Trump?” Throughout the 2016 election, I do not remember hearing anyone switch out Trump with Clinton. An evangelical could vote for the intolerant, bitter, hypocritical white woman and feel no shame. There is, like everything with this branch, an insidious second level to this line of thinking to this. Firstly, there are no moral candidates in politics anymore. Secondly, the speaker of this particular platitude has no moral compunctions about voting for someone who is themselves greatly flawed. “We’re both wrong, but you’re worse” is can be charitably described as maybe “moral opportunism”, but is perhaps more accurately described as “hypocrisy”.
It is hard to believe we are still having the moral argument after the 2016 election, and that one side in particular seems to be monopolizing it with absolutely no sense of irony. Whatever the Left may accurately say about Trump and Daniels, their impact is considerably forfeited considering the 2016 election. The motivations for these attacks are not some sudden discovery of the importance of truth. A movement most symbolized by ignoring every single flaw of their own candidate while calling everyone who supported Trump (or didn’t support Hilary) a racist/bigot/xenophobic etc. etc. and ascribing the worst aspects of a candidate to every single one of his supporters has the right to be heard and that’s it.
But wait, one might say “all of that is just what you do in politics. That was in the election move on.” How desperate of them to treat the moral high ground they have forfeited as something to which they are entitled. If all the shit talk is just politics and was just in the election, then why did it feel so genuine? Why are the same arguments being used two years later? Why the endless personal attacks?
I want to attack one last excuse for guilting other people over supporting a flawed candidate while trying to couch your own support of the opponent with “well, my candidate didn’t win”. It does not matter that the candidate you supported didn’t win. The problem is that your candidate was also morally compromised and you voted for them anyway.
But this is what we’re doomed to now, isn’t it? Just endless attacks on one side while ignoring the flaws in the their own. But there can be hope for change (not the Obama brand. Actual hope for change.) Think on what bothers you about your side, particularly the people in power that you put in power. Work to get them out of office and put a better moral candidate in under your party’s flag. You want the moral high ground back? Apply your arguments to yourself, and do with your party what you demand the other side do with theirs.