Here’s the problem with crossing into the territory of believing that President Trump is himself not just bad on domestic racial issues, not just someone born in 1946 whose views contain old-fashioned xenophobic ideas, but is actually a legitimate Nazi/David Duke dog-whistling white supremacist: it means that all of his supporters, whether they support him for his conservative justices, his tax cuts, or even his anti-interventionist inclinations, are necessarily supporters of white supremacism. And that makes his supporters – all of them, not just many of them as Hillary Clinton claimed – deplorable. Worse than that, it renders them unacceptable to embrace in any polite, enlightened, tolerant society.
You see where this logic leads. If Trump is a white supremacist, and his supporters are all therefore supporters of white supremacism, and they therefore need to be viewed as dark influences within American society, then you can’t exactly be paying them money now, can you? Buying things from the KKK booth at the farmer’s market doesn’t go over well in Bushwick, even if they do sell the best heirloom tomatoes, the kinds that will look all colorful and glistening in your caprese salad tonight.
It’s fitting that the Castro brothers, who believe The Alamo is un-American, would set about creating another one within America today, pushing Trump supporters even of small size into a box in the hopes of eradicating them. Jonathan Tobin worries about where this is heading. “It would be comforting to think that Castro’s tweet is a turning point that will inspire both parties to step back from the brink and return to a more civilized manner of political warfare. But the anger at Trump and the conviction on the part of many liberals that he and his supporters really are white supremacists who are responsible for mass shootings has created a new template for political discourse. There may be no turning back,” he writes. More on this here.
Well, we can already see where it is heading, because it is already here, right now. It’s not just SoulCycle and Equinox having to issue statements distancing themselves from their Trump supporting investor, Stephen Ross. Taking the logical next step beyond saying you shouldn’t buy from the white supremacists, yesterday Above the Law editor and MSNBC Contributor called for ‘pitchforks and torches’ outside the home of Ross’s house in the Hamptons, with the eager endorsement of MSNBC host Chris Hayes. I wonder if anything bad could follow from that.
In the past, capitalism had a way of winning out over what is now the comprehensive digitally woke agenda. Witness these tweets from NYT reporter Nick Confessore, who is very concerned about the bathroom products being purchased by the Times, because a Trump supporter owns that company.
It becomes exhausting to engage in this kind of behavior. Is shopping at Whole Foods good because Jeff Bezos and Trump hate each other, or bad because Amazon is a monopoly-minded company that underpays their employees and takes massive government contracts? What if your Uber driver voted for Trump? What if your waitress voted for Trump? What if, heaven forfend, the guy who delivers your copy of the New York Times voted for Trump? How can you support the media and feel sufficiently woke at the same time? Life, it’s just so hard.
It’s particularly hard if you’re CNN, and you’re paying billions in rent to the current billionaire target of hate.
Everyone who watched the most recent Democratic debate in Detroit was helping a major Trump supporter’s multi-billion-dollar client sell advertising. Patrons of the companies that advertise on CNN are similarly complicit, as is anyone who has ever clicked on a link to a story on the CNN website. Among the network’s top advertisers is AARP, the senior citizen advocacy group with nearly 40 million members. Sorry, Games of Thrones fans but HBO is also a tenant of Hudson Yards, among other WarnerMedia subsidiaries, which is bad news if you get phone or internet service through AT&T.
Ben Dreyfuss of Mother Jones had a good reaction to all of this: you must chill.
The era of comprehensive digital wokeness is going to be so exhausting. Better to just not buy anything, or make sure the government runs everything. But wait, if Elizabeth Warren really does engineer a public option takeover of broadband, and a Republican wins in the future, can anyone in good conscience make use of it?