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Declarations of War
Leftist Writers Declare War on Trump
I often talk about the fact that the traditional publishing industry is extremely leftward leaning, and screen out rightward leaning writers. Here's a great example that AoSHQ brought to my attention. The other day, LitHub, which is a a sort of online magazine by a bunch of publishers (and as you can expect, extremely leftist), published an "Open Letter To The American Public" signed by 400+ writers declaring their oppostion to Trump. ( You can find it right under the article "Where Trans Bodies and Straight Fragility Meet: On Public Bathrooms, Anti-Trans Policies, and What Belongs to You.")
It has a couple of famous authors on it like Stephen King and Amy Tan but the rest are not well-known. They then posted it as a petition and it's got a bunch of signatures from the public now, I expect.
Here's the painfully pompous text of their Declaration of Anti-Trumpness:
Because, as writers, we are particularly aware of the many ways that language can be abused in the name of power;Let's break it down.
Because we believe that any democracy worthy of the name rests on pluralism, welcomes principled disagreement, and achieves consensus through reasoned debate;
Because American history, despite periods of nativism and bigotry, has from the first been a grand experiment in bringing people of different backgrounds together, not pitting them against one another;
Because the history of dictatorship is the history of manipulation and division, demagoguery and lies;
Because the search for justice is predicated on a respect for the truth;
Because we believe that knowledge, experience, flexibility, and historical awareness are indispensable in a leader;
Because neither wealth nor celebrity qualifies anyone to speak for the United States, to lead its military, to maintain its alliances, or to represent its people;
Because the rise of a political candidate who deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers, shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and minorities, demands, from each of us, an immediate and forceful response;
For all these reasons, we, the undersigned, as a matter of conscience, oppose, unequivocally, the candidacy of Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States.
I don't know who wrote it, but it's pretty obviously based on a formal declaration of war format ("whereas; whereas; ..., whereas; therefore") with the weaker "because" switched in. Here's the deal, writers, and you should know this, as archaic as "whereas" sounds, in legal documents it means "taking into consideration the fact" WHEREAS (and here I use it to mean "in contrast to") the word "because" introduces a reason or explanation. In practical terms, "whereas" asserts while "because" excuses - using the former is a declaration of authority, using the latter makes you sound like a whiny teenager.
Now you may think I'm being nit-picky, but their very first "because" clause states that as writers they are "particularly aware" of the ways language can be abused. So right off the bat they are not very convincing about their qualifications as writers. Maybe they should have gotten an editor involved. (By the way, I'm thinking of setting up shop nitpicking manuscripts at this level of detail, what do you think?).
The next clause talks about "pluralism, principled disagreement, consensus through reasoned debate", so I am waiting for their impassioned open letter to the protesters at Trump rallies who violently riot to attempt to shut up Trump and prevent attendees from hearing him. I'm sure they'll publish that any day now, along with their declaration against censorship of rightward leaning writers.
Then they slam America for having "periods of nativism and bigotry" while talking about "bringing people together rather than pitting them against each other. Like how the #BlackLivesMatter movement gets offended when even other leftists like Hillary Clinton suggest that All Live Matter, right? Or like how more and more Asian students now hide their race on college applications just to compete with Black and Hispanic students with less impressive academic records.
Then they talk about dictatorship depending on "manipulation and division, demagoguery and lies" which is very true. Just look at how Hillary Clinton has been lying consistently about Benghazi and about her illegal private email server.
Then they claim to believe that "knowledge, experience, flexibility, and historical awareness are indispensable to a leader" - I am pretty sure these are people who all voted for Barack Obama in 2008, over John McCain. So is this a new belief they've acquired in the past 7 years?
Then they have the utter lack of self-awareness to say that "neither wealth nor celebrity qualifies anyone" to speak for or lead. Newsflash, dudes, you yourselves pine for celebrity to achieve some wealth via selling your books, and here you are telling the American people who not to vote for. You are in the business of selling words and you think people who have achieved celebrity by selling things they actually built are beneath contempt.
And the last clause is where they take the gloves off:
a political candidate who deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers, shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and minorities, demands, from each of us, an immediate and forceful responseI was tempted to link each of those to recent videos showing the Left doing those very things, but I know how annoying unexpected videos can be. Here they are instead:
Protesters Riot in Albuqurque
College Protestors Storm Stage to Intimidate Gay Conservative Speaker
Hispanic protester spits on Asian Trump supporter
Trump Rally Attendees Forced to Walk Gauntlet of Abuse
And yet the Trump supporters are the base and violent ones.
On the bright side, I am glad they signed this "open letter". It gives us a handy list of authors to avoid when looking for books that are free of political correctness and group think.