In a recent speech by Donald Trump he claimed that he takes flak for too much honesty, while complaining that Hillary Clinton was too deceptive. Unfortunately things have gotten to a point where bluntness and getting into people’s faces has become equated with honesty while manners and thoughtfulness get associated with deception. This has mainly happened because Political Correctness—which came originally just from manners—has morphed into thought policing, and this gives cachet to anyone who breaks the corrupted rules. Blurting out purported knowledge by someone who knows little to nothing about it is not honesty, and yes everyone’s entitled to their opinion but no people are not entitled to their own version of reality, knowing that you don’t know while giving people the impression you do is dishonest. Looking at this presidential campaign, Trump’s positions often shift and maybe this comes from learning more about topics, but that can hardly be called honest.
On the other hand getting on at everyone over micro-aggressions and other malarkey can hardly be considered polite, and is always done with really bad manners to boot. That’s why the rise of shock culture comes as a direct response to the ubiquity of outrage culture. If people get labeled as Nazis just for any degree of skepticism about the sacred cows then that leaves no more extreme a condemnation for actual Nazis. Here’s a link to a recent video by some celebutards telling everyone they have to vote for Hillary Clinton because Donald Trump is ‘Orange Muppet Hitler’ and how everyone has to stand up against this ignorance and hate while themselves displaying a staggering level of ignorance and hate, and an almost complete lack of self-awareness.
I specify mostly because at least Downey shows a level of fun self-depreciation.
While I still favor Gary Johnson in the forlorn chance I end up switching to Trump’s bandwagon of deplorables it will be thanks in part to people’s inability to actually argue against anything he’s said. Truthfully his main flaws, corruption, dishonesty, greed, and divisiveness are all traits where Hillary easily ‘trumps’ even the Donald. It’s the crony-capitalist vs the capitalist’s crony.
What worries me is how well shock culture works much of the time. Milo Yiannopolous recycles many of his arguments from the far more eloquent Douglas Murray, but gets in people’s faces about it and that has given him far greater fame in large part because he can make some truly vile people lose their shit right in front of everybody. The problem with provocation is it can easily step over the line, it’s hard to be just the right level of mad at the right people for the right reasons, and it’s especially hard to maintain that. Debates are not really about swaying the other side, but about appealing to people on the fence and that’s why both types of tactics largely work and why making someone loose their mind can prove especially effective.
It’s a form of baiting an opponent and getting them to wast energy while looking ridiculous, but it can push people with second thoughts into recommitting since they see how bad the other side acts (especially through the prism of bias). Outrage culture and the provocateurs reacting to it undermine discourse in different ways with neither adding much to the traditions of reason and civilization, and that people have started juxtaposing honesty against manners shows how far things have fallen.
I hate this election I hate it so very much…
Post Script: Anyone interested in a far closer look at this stuff dealing directly with all the stories about the Alt-Right can look at this excellent piece by Sargon of Akkad, just the first few minutes before they go onto other topics:
This Week in Stupid Extras