Friday, May 18, 2018


... members of political tribes seem to have trouble recognizing that they, too, can push people away and energize them to vote for the other side. Nowhere is this more on display today than in liberal control of the commanding heights of American culture.

... Liberals often don’t realize how provocative or inflammatory they can be. In exercising their power, they regularly not only persuade and attract but also annoy and repel.

... It’s one thing to police your own language and a very different one to police other people’s. The former can set an example. The latter is domineering.
--Gerard Alexander, "Liberals, You’re Not as Smart as You Think," New York Times, May 12, 2018

Conservatives, I guess, are never guilty of offending liberals through an arrogant sense of superiority -- if I imagine that they are, it must be because I'm a hypersensitive left-leaning snowflake. So I suppose I shouldn't be appalled to learn that not one but two Republican candidates in the Georgia governor's race are trying to intimidate undocumented immigrants with their big vehicles.

One of the candidates you've probably heard of.
It's the kind of message you don't expect to see on a US election campaign bus: "FOLLOW ME TO MEXICO."

Those are the words on the back door of a repainted school bus Michael Williams is using to drum up support in his bid for the Georgia governor's seat. He's dubbed it the "Deportation Bus" and says it's a show of support for the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration....

"We are going to implement my 287(g) deportation plan. That's going to fill this bus with illegals, to send them back to where they came from." Williams says.
For good measure, Williams says he's not conducting "one of those pansy political bus tours," as metal guitars play in the background. Can you feel the hair growing on your chest?

I know, I know: Williams isn't much of a threat. He's way back in the polls. The bus broke down on the road yesterday. Cracker Barrel told Williams the bus isn't welcome at its restaurants. DeKalb County police suggested that the Williams campaign faked a claim of violence directed at the bus.

But Williams isn't the only candidate threatening undocumented immigrants with a big vehicle. Here's Brian Kemp, who's a front-runner in the race:

Kemp says:
I'm Brian Kemp. I'm so conservative, I blow up government spending. I own guns that no one's takin' away. My chainsaw's ready to rip up some regulations. I got a big truck, just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take 'em home myself. Yep, I just said that. I'm Brian Kemp. If you want a politically incorrect conservative, that's me.
The macho strutting -- explosives! a rifle! a chainsaw! a big truck! -- is laughable, but the point is that Kemp, who has an excellent shot at being the next governor in this still-red state, is saying, "Vote for me -- I'll go out of my way to offend liberals."

What the Gerard Alexanders don't understand is that there are large swaths of America where people like Kemp and Williams are at the "commanding heights" of the local culture, and are just as "domineering" and offensive as Alexander claims liberals are. In fact, I can't think of any Democrat who's ever made an ad or a speech saying, "I'm really going to make those right-wing yokels squeal. I'm going to wear a pussy hat and use a non-gender-binary bathroom and deliver all my speeches in Spanish, while eating all my meals from Whole Foods. Take that, deplorables!" A Democrat might attack conservatives on policy with this much relish, and might personally be a lefty cultural cliché -- but no Democrat would devote an entire ad to offending the other side culturally.

And yet it's our side that's accused of this, while conservatives aren't.

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