Inside the Anti-Trump Circus

My new photo essay is now online at both zombietime and PJMedia.

The zombietime version has bigger pictures, slightly updated text, and new ending:

Inside the Anti-Trump Circus: Protest at the California GOP Convention

The PJMedia version has comments and social media widgets and all the bells and whistles:

Inside the Anti-Trump Circus: Here Comes the Summer of Hate

Otherwise, both versions are essentially identical.

Basically, I went to a protest, took pictures, and uploaded them. Simple enough.

But I was faced with a dilemma: How can I summarize for my readers “what happened” at the protest? My problem was that all sorts of things happened, and it would be dishonest of me to cherrypick some single incident or theme and announce to the world that this one narrative summed up the entire event.

That kind of slanted reportage is Standard Operating Procedure in journalism and blogging these days, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. There wasn’t merely one single incident or headline that happened at the protest, as convenient as it would be for me to claim there was. So I decided instead to present every narrative from the event, and use the report as a platform to deconstruct media bias itself.

Anyway, read the report to get the whole story.

To whet your appetite, here is a teaser, one of the chapters lifted from the overall photo essay. This narrative (one of several that I explore) asks the question: Since the anti-Trump rhetoric has already reached (even now at the very beginning of the campaign) its hyperbolic maximum, is there anything left to say? I suspect the next six months will be one long ear-splitting scream of rage.

“Trump = Nazi” Is Already Mandatory

Normally, a debate only descends to “Godwinization” (comparing your opponent to a Nazi) as a final desperate measure when all other arguments have failed and all lesser insults have been exhausted. In contemporary politics, calling someone a Nazi is the most extreme position you can take.

But when it comes to Trump’s opponents, their starting point is to call Trump a Nazi; the general election hasn’t even yet begun, and the anti-Trump rhetoric is already turned up to 11.

It’s kind of hard to imagine where the conversation will go from here. How can you amplify your rhetoric when the very first thing you say is the most extreme put-down you can conjure?

A textbook example of the logical fallacy known as Reductio ad Hitlerum.

Clear enough for you? (Notice that this particular attempt at a swastika has an intriguing extra bend in its lower leg. Is this a tentative experiment at designing a new kind of ultra-swastika which applies only to Trump — or mere sign-making incompetence?)

Sometimes the Trump=Nazi theme was as concise as possible.

While other times it was incorporated into a longer message.

You don’t even need to actually spell out the word “Nazi” in your anti-Trump message: a simple swastika will get the same point across.

Some protesters, trying to think outside the Nazi box, got creative and called Trump a mere “Fascist,” but on the political insult scale, “Fascist” is actually a slight step down from “Nazi.” It’s truly quite a conundrum; once you’ve gone full Nazi, any further elaboration of your argument only softens the insult. So you’re stuck saying “Nazi Nazi Nazi” over and over with no variation.

Bingo! Here’s a solution: The term “KKK” is the only political insult nearly on a par with “Nazi,” so expect to see a lot of this in the upcoming months.

Click here to read the rest.

11 Responses to “Inside the Anti-Trump Circus”

  1. 1Scott on May 19, 2016 at 3:42 pm:

    Long time no hear, Zombie. Glad to see you are back. It is fascinating to see the ignorance and hypocrisy of this leftist anti-Trump movement…they call him a fascist. They obviously don’t understand what that word means. Obama hates Americans (he violates our Constitutional rights with bogus laws and executive overreach), so he’s a lot closer to a fascist dictator. They call him a racist. Again, Obama is a racist. He described his own maternal grandmother as a “typical white person”. They are calling Trump a rapist. Yet Bill Clinton raped multiple women, publicly ruined the reputation of another, and Hillary enabled the whole thing by denouncing these women and their allegations. They are always referring to the KKK and tying Trump to it, yet Bobby Byrd was a grand wizard. But that’s OK ’cause he was a Democrat. The “Z” in “NAZI” referred to socialism…a socialist movement in Nazi Germany. Socialism where the state, or government, owns the means of production. I haven’t heard Trump call for that. Obama took over 1/6th of the American economy. But Trump is the Nazi. I wonder how many idiot leftists drive Volkswagons? This was a car (the people’s car) that Hitler himself commissioned as part of the Nationalist NAZI movement. But it’s OK to have a peace sign in the back of your VW bus or Beetle.

    I just wish that one liberal…any liberal…would get a clue and stop with this whining and cease espousing false narratives. Hate Trump if you wish, but if you liberals really hate fascism, racism, rape, oppression of African people’s rights, want to uplift those of color from poverty, and want freedom for everyone, and want a better country, you’ll stop voting for those who keep their jackboots on the necks of all American citizens…the Democrats. Bernie, Hillary, it doesn’t matter. They are both fascist pigs. I am no Trump fan (and I didn’t vote for him in my state’s primary) but he’s better than a Democrat.

  2. 2Margaret Falkenberg on May 20, 2016 at 11:24 am:

    Great photojournalism, Zombie, thanks, and great to see you back.

    Any clues who was funding, organizing, and busing in these Situationist street theatre practitioners?

    Tastes like TomKat to me. David Brock? Jonathan Lewis? Your thoughts? I couldn’t help thinking that the attendees look primarily like ANSWERoids (spinoff from Workers World Party funded by Progress Unity Fund and Vanguard Public Foundation, though the latter I understand no longer exists).

    The histrionics of these “political” events never changes even as they morph around the edges in minor details. There is no way to “understand” their points of view because there is no reason to it. But it bears constant repeating:

    This is not the face of middle America. This is the face of Dionysian-cult emo-bots easily whipped into frenzies by their globalista handlers. Inventing new flavors of Extreme at the beck and call of their megamillionaire and billionaire wranglers…while pretending to be “for the people.”

    Thus I would differ with you on one point: it’s a circus, yes, but this isn’t a sideshow. It’s the freak tent. All that matters is they dramatize in the MSM the message that you, Mr. and Mrs. Middle America, are the enemy and better watch your step.

  3. 3Todd Dunning on May 26, 2016 at 12:28 pm:

    Zombie how terrific to see you back again. I’ve posted your Trump piece to the 2300-member California State Politics Facebook group. They will love it. I hope you get cranked up again like the good old days, and hope it’s been as rewarding for you as for your audience.

  4. 4rktman on May 28, 2016 at 7:11 am:

    Nice as usual and I gotta echo the other folks in saying it’s nice to see you back. Hope you’ve been well.

  5. 5Kun on Jun 5, 2016 at 7:01 pm:

    As far as the southwest stuff goes, the Aztlán thing isn’t the only position. Many leftists held that the southwest is inhabited by Chicanos, who are neither American nor Mexican in nationality. After the overthrow of capitalism in the USA these would be given the right to determine their own future either by establishing their own independent country or federating with the other parts of the (former) USA in a multinational socialist federation akin to the USSR. Although the Mexican-American War was considered unjust, it would seem most of those who identified as Chicano didn’t want a return of the territories to Mexico, only autonomy or independence for the Chicano nation.

  6. 6Scott on Jun 6, 2016 at 4:23 pm:

    Maybe you could help the Chicano movement out, Kun. Show them how socialism has failed the Venezuelans, and their people have very little food and there is rioting in the street among the proletariat. It appears that Communism isn’t such a hot system either. Kim Jong Un has announced to the North Korean people that they will experience famine…but it is all part of the “movement” toward equality. Of course he says this as he himself exceeds 250 pounds, but hey. SOMEBODY has to eat the food! Silly Prols…

    I think there is an important role for a hard working anarchist, Kun. You can make sure these oppressed peoples understand the pitfalls of failed economic societies as they push for these movements here. Oh, but you’d have to believe that Capitalism is better..,that’s right. You are one of many who benefits from a better way of life while criticizing it. Nevermind.

  7. 7neil lopez on Jun 7, 2016 at 5:20 am:

    No mistake no student taking over his computer, but my teacher, a high school computer science teacher showed my class an anti trump propaganda video, it was the college humor grinch video, I have video evidence uploading to YouTube now, is this allowed? Is it legal to show minors propaganda? I’ll be editing in the YouTube link soon

  8. 8The Sarcasm Dude on Jun 9, 2016 at 9:38 pm:

    So glad to see your work again. When there is an (R) in the White House it’s going to be fun again. I look foward to it because San Quentin probably won’t happen anymore. I am shopping for a new bullhorn. Cheers.

  9. 9Kun on Jun 10, 2016 at 9:27 am:

    I am not an anarchist, Scott. Venezuela’s problems have primarily been caused by a combination of over-dependence on oil (whose prices have dropped) and sabotage attempts by opposition groups who have been trying for well over a decade, through coup plots and other means, to get rid of the PSUV. The US government is, of course, hostile to the PSUV, and even a “progressive” like Bernie Sanders referred to Chávez as a “dead communist dictator.”

  10. 10Scott on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:11 pm:

    My apologies, Kun for the mis-label. I thought I remembered a conversation from a while back where you declared anarchy was the way to go. Well, at any rate, Venezuela’s problem isn’t oil (or too much dependence on it)…it’s communism/socialism. Whether the US Gummit is trying to overthrow their dictator or not, they’ll fail. All communist/socialist dictatorships do. Perhaps you believe in the propaganda spread by their dictators (Bush was the devil, the US is mean, cruel, heartless, etc) but that is simple obfuscation by incompetent leadership, foisting the blame on others while they continually fuck it up.

    You know that Obama employs the same tactic as Maduro, correct? He says he saved the economy from Bush’s terrible mismanagement. He points to the low unemployment rate (which the BLS manipulates by omitting those who have been unemployed and looking for more than 99 weeks) and low inflation rate as evidence that he did. Yet the U6 unemployment numbers say a record 94 million Americans are unemployed. That’s obfuscation, manipulation, and lying. All Democrats do that…like Billy C and the wagging finger…” I did not have sexual relations…: Oops. Or maybe Bernie’s idea that he’s going to lead a revolution could be a good example. Bernie, if he managed to win the nomination over the system that the Clintons rigged, would simply encounter more rational and power hungry establishment types who would prevent him from implementing an old, disproven, stupid system in our country. Bernie has no idea what communism is in reality. He BELIEVES in Karl Marx for sure….he’s ALWAYS sponged off of the government, and never has had a productive job where he actually contributed something useful. But ultimately he’s just a low life liar like the rest of the left.

    Not that the Republicans are great…I mean, who plots to take their lead nominee, as determined by the primary process, out and replace him with someone of the party’s choosing? We don’t live in a Democracy anymore, Kun. Hillary was going to win, election be damned. And the Republicans resent Trump.

    I digress. My point is we are marching toward Communism/socialism, but if our so-called leaders were smart, they’d eliminate vast swaths of our federal government, give freedom back to the people, and help our Democratic Republic survive. Instead we’re doomed to repeat the stupidity of the NORKs, Venezuelans, Cubans, EU, etc. All failures. And, identity politics and racism wins under the “progressive” label in the form of “Black Lives Matter”, “Chicano” or whatever race-based movement. Death, suffering, famine, hatred, etc thrives under a leftist regime.

  11. 11zombie on Jun 11, 2016 at 10:12 pm:

    Thanks for all the comments, folks!

    Scott and Kun — you guys should have your own “Point and Counterpoint” TV show, arguing about current events and grand historical-political theories. I’d watch it!

    Sarcasm Dude — is that really you? Wow! If so, folks ought to be apprised of who you are — “The World’s Most Sarcastic Counter-Protester,” made famous for his repartee at the Tookie Williams execution a decade ago! You can watch a highlight reel of him facing off against the commies here. Comedy gold!

    Margaret: I’m not really sure what percentage of the anti-Trump/full-time protesters are actually funded and directed by behind-the-scenes puppeteers. In my opinion, most of the people at these events probably come of their own volition — they’re so brainwashed, they don’t even need to be paid or told what to do. They’re like an army of self-directed Hypocrisy-bots.

    Todd — thanks for posting the link at Facebook. I have NO social media accounts, and am atrocious at promoting my own stuff. I need people like you!

    Neil — if you ever did get around to uploading that video to YouTube, definitely post the link here! Might be a good scoop.