Be better than “Fuck Trump”

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“Fuck Trump” is having a moment. Robert DeNiro said it on the Tonys. It’s a T-shirt.

And it’s unworthy of any of us.

Passion is fine.

But if you seek change, work for change. And recognize that change will require persuading some people who are on the fence. They’re unlikely to respond to such a statement. There is a middle ground, surprisingly enough, so let’s not drop nuclear weapons on it.

There is no response to “Fuck Trump” except “Fuck you, then.” Not much of a debate.

Stupid and valueless slurs should remain off the table. When there is another president — which will happen, one of these days — then such a statement should remain off limits for criticizing them as well. If it’s off limits for them, it’s off limits for Trump.

Are you biggest enough to show respect to the office, even if you don’t respect the occupant?

It might be the only thing that holds the country together.

16 responses to “Be better than “Fuck Trump”

  1. If Trump were an Australian Prime Minister, you would be 100% correct, because we have compulsory voting here.

    But in America getting out the vote of those who need no persuading to vote for your side is as important, perhaps more important, than getting voters who are “on the fence” to come off the fence onto your side.

    Motivating those who dislike Trump (and/or his policies) to visit a polling booth may well be a matter of stirring up those visceral emotions embodied in that four-letter epithet.

  2. I get what you are saying but would it have been possibly a good thing for people to openly say Fuck You to Hitler? Could it have helped turn the general public? Maybe not, but it felt like DeNiro expressed what so many are feeling and sort of made it a little more OK to get feisty and angry and then go do something to get rid of Trump. Trump is not like other presidents and I hope there is never another one like him. We need to fight back in all the smart ways (voting, working on issues everyone cares about, etc.) but really Trump has deserved a good old F U for so long. These are not normal times. People need to get angry.

    1. Why don’t you get angry about the following instead:
      40 million citizens on food stamps
      $20 trillion national debt
      Worthless healthcare insurance
      VA admin on life support
      Illegals that pay no tax or not enough tax for what they consume. Hint: It costs about $10,000 per year per student for public education.
      Rogue nations that hate our guts.
      Half the country believes Trump is addressing the issues above. I’m tired of people that want our President to fail (it means our country fails).
      Hollywood Robert needs a reality check. He does not represent American taxpayers.

  3. “People need to get angry.” Is unadulterated nonsense that’s been regurgitated over and over again since the past election, please don’t splash your angst on me. Had you said “people need to get busy in small ways to make this nation better”, you might have gotten my praise yet unfortunately bellyaching seems to count for action. Me, i’ll Be voting my conscience again… which ignored the two major candidates for a couple of proven executive branch veterans.

    1. Unfortunately, because America does not have preferential voting, your conscience vote was a waste of time, since it had no influence on the final outcome.

      Voting for Ross Perot in 1992 delivered the presidency to Bill Clinton on a minority of the vote. Voting for Ralph Nader in 2000 delivered the presidency to Bush Jr on a minority of the vote. Voting for minor parties and independents in 2016 could have been what delivered the presidency to Trump had Hillary Clinton’s majority of the vote been more evenly distributed.

      The outgoing US ambassador to Australia said one thing you might consider when thinking about how to get busy in small ways to make your nation better: he wished he could take Australia’s electoral system back home with him! 😉

  4. Completely agree. “F -you!” is not an argument. It convinces no one of anything. And it plays directly into the hands of Trump and his supporters.

    “F-you!” is toddler-level emoting. All it can accomplish is to evoke similar emoting among its audience.

    Anger is one thing. “F-you!” gives no indication that the speaker understands or has intelligently processed what he is angry about, or whether he has any solutions. It conveys weakness.

    With each blurting out of insults and profanities, we seem to increasingly resemble “Beavis and Butthead” Nation.

  5. I had a conservative friend tell me that “F Trump” from De Niro only showed the (a) liberals as speaking out of both sides of their mouths, and (b) liberals as behaving in ways that seeks to shut down anyone who believes differently than they do. Actually, he said “Nazi-like behavior,” but, hey, irony.

    He also said, and was joined by several others that Trump has done great things while in office (though couldn’t enumerate any that the left would think were good), and that the suppressive speech and behavior on the part “the liberals” (he things the left is a monolith, after all) shows that the “oppressed right” is correct to believe that the liberals continue to ignore those who elected Trump, and will be the reason that Trump is re-elected in 2020.

    As Josh said, the only response to “Fuck Trump,” is “No, Fuck You.” Unproductive – perhaps counterproductive.

    We sent troops into Iraq in an effort to “win hearts and minds” more than to win the war. Perhaps the anti-Trump folk need to adopt that mind set, too. We are, after all, dealing with many zealots in the Trump camp.

  6. If I said, “Fuck Trump” no one would listen. DeNiro has a celebrity following, as does Trump. If he motivates some fan to get off the couch and vote, even more power to him.

    In actuality, Trump has us fighting a culture war, not a political war. It’s a war that smells of testosterone toxicity. If a celebrity like DeNiro want to take off the gloves, let him — it’s his reputation in this bar fight. But it reduces everything to simplistic dualism.

    He’s playing into Trump’s hands. Might as well come out in cloaks and duke it out with folding chairs. Trump will do anything to get media attention every day, and DeNiro’s comment gives him more juice. The media’s covering it gives him more juice. Bloggers repeating it gives him more juice. People sharing it on social media give him more juice.

    The more we focus on name-calling, shaming, porn stars and the like, the fewer problems we solve. The more he can have us focus on an anecdotal problem that he chooses to solve, the less we focus on systemic problems — including the ones he’s creating and adding to. Look over here, and not at my hand grabbing your wallet or your health care.

    There will always be those who throw mud. There will always be those who are civil. While I champion civil discourse, I’m not about to throw shade on a show of spine.

  7. “Fuck Trump” upsets Trump supporters. That is fine with me. They’ve aligned themselves with a man who is bigoted against minorities, disrespects women, is employing Nazi-like tactics against immigrants at our southern border, insults the prime minister of our closest ally, sucks up to dictators and mocks the disabled…I could go on. Trump supporters are not “on the fence.” A hearty “fuck Trump” is warranted. But we have to follow up with action. CALL your representatives. Be polite, even to the Republicans. Donate to causes that protect our freedoms, like the ACLU and the SPLC. And vote.

    1. Yes, it is totally warranted and if Mr. DeNiro gets one person to get up off his or her butt, get angry, and take action, that FU was worth it.

  8. This is from a friend. Provides another perspective: “Abusers count on your silence and politeness. They have dozens of phrases taught to us over and over—don’t make a scene, be fair, consider both sides, preserve decorum, be open minded, don’t make accusations…oh, it goes on and on.
    Those of us who’ve been abused in whatever way recognize this for what it is: shut up and let me do whatever I want to vulnerable people. Shut up and let me keep my unwarranted power. Shut up and let me keep my unearned comforts.
    You know this. You don’t have to be nice anymore.
    Invective and strong words and loud and impolite deeds and calling out is not new. We’ve done it in politics and social interactions and romantic relationships for centuries.
    If you or someone vulnerable is being hurt, if there’s injustice, you are under no obligation to pad your words or see the other side. There is no other side of abuse.
    There are lots of ways to stop being an abusive asshole, though, and start changing things, even if you’ve been a jerk. I have a whole list of stuff I work on in myself, every day. Things I try to do or stop doing so things will be better for others. Not calling Trump and all who support him and GOP wretched Nazi-loving scum has not appeared on that list.”

  9. Trump is complaining about fake news again. Now he is targeting Google, Facebook, and even Twitter, which he uses regularly. With all of the lies he has told during his time in office, I think that he is the main source of fake news in our country. He wants to be an autocrat in a democratic society, and the American people WILL NOT AND SHOULD NOT stand for it! His disrespect for John McCain over the weekend just emphasized his pettiness. That, and his juvenile name calling of people who criticize him ( that’s if he can’t get them fired, or take away their security clearance ) is evidence of him being unfit to serve as POTUS. DUMP TRUMP!!!

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