The Alt Right and the Bigger Asshole Rule

The fallout from Charlottesville and yesterday’s unhinged remarks from Trump has certainly been gratifying.  For example, I have never seen such a broad consensus for taking down Confederate monuments. Even the bleeping National Review is running an op ed calling for moving all Confederate monuments to cemeteries or museums. So many CEOs resigned from Trump’s manufacturing council the last couple of days that Trump disbanded it.  Congressional Republicans are lining up to declare their opposition to white supremacy in all its forms without falling back on “but both sides do it” rationalizations. Yes, there are some exceptions, they they are a minority.

I see this as validation of my “Bigger Asshole” rule. In brief, all public demonstrations should be viewed as public relations. Their purpose is to win the public’s sympathy and support for you and your cause. If, however, the demonstrators come across as bigger assholes than whatever they are protesting, this will backfire, and the public will side with the protestee and not the protesters. Likewise, if the institution or group being protested comes across as the bigger asshole, the public will side with the demonstrators. In brief, whoever is the bigger asshole loses.

And the Alt Right plus Trump definitely are the bigger assholes. I understand some of the counter-demonstrators did punch back and did swing some bats, but I’ve heard relatively little about that (although I don’t watch Fox News). Usually if a thousand lefties march peacefully for something and one guy breaks a window, it gets reported as a riot. But this time the focus and blame have fallen entirely on the righties.

This is why nonviolence wins in the long run. Let’s hope we can keep this up.