Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Don't feed the trolls: Daddy edition

Don't negotiate with hostage takers.

Unless you have to. And that is the twisted moral jujitsu that hostage takers use against their targets---use the moral conscience and concern of decent people by threatening the lives and welfare of those in your control to get what you want out of them.

Trump and his crew use this tactic as expertly as any gang of terrorist kidnappers. Last fall Trump unilaterally ended DACA, taking hostage the lives and futures of hundreds of thousands of  our population, in order to force the creation the border wall and restrictive immigration policy that he wanted. It didn't work. So now he takes a new population, infants, toddlers and children hostage, held in hidden locations, in order to work his will.

Trump's actions shock the conscience of all who still have a conscience, and emotionally outrage the majority of Americans. But this is what the Trump crew is using as leverage. Emotional responses to the horrifying fate of the hostages plays into their twisted, yet effective, tactics. Emotionalism reads as 'mommy voice'---soft, emotional, unreliable, weak. The hostage takers rely on toughness, the 'daddy' voice of those strong enough to do what is necessary, no matter how painful. The worse the situation that they create, the tougher, more 'daddy' * they appear.

But the real voice of the hostage takers that of Corey Lewandowski--- that of an unpleasant, not so smart 12 year old who mocks his classmates, steals their lunch money, punches them in the stomach and laughs when they cry.

How to respond?  Dealing with these assholes is tricky. Emotional responses feed their trolling. But ignoring them while the lives and futures of hundreds of thousands of the DACA population and now thousands of vulnerable children and their parents seems impossible. What to do? What is the policy counterpart to Plath's outcry?

There’s a stake in your fat black heart   
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.   
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.

*admittedly, 'daddy' of the abusive kind.

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