Bath, chemical sprays, concealed handguns, feel safe, John Banzhaf, nonlethal weapons, Parkland, rime Prevention Resource Center, school attacks, school resource officers, Uvalde, Virginia Tech, virtue signaling
At the beginning of each school year, I update the School Attacks series, which identifies the threat schools face, and provides means to deter attacks, or when they occur, end them with as little injury or death as possible. Enter “school attacks 2022” in the SMM homepage search bar for the most recent series. While that series is focused on K-12 schools, at least in part because those schools are arguably most at risk, and particularly in the lower grades, kids and teachers are unable to resist armed attack, the lessons generally apply to colleges. In fact, the most destructive school attack of the modern era to date, in terms of dead and wounded, is the Virginia Tech attack of April 16, 2007. The deadliest in American history remains the attack on an elementary school in Bath, MI on May 18, 1927, an attack accomplished entirely with the use of explosives.
John Banzhaf is a professor emeritus of law at George Washington University. He has had a long career advocating in “the public interest.” More recently, he has provided a list of ideas he believes can deal with school attacks, as The Washington Examiner, reports:
Banzhaf passed along his new security list of easy fixes that he published last month in University World News. ‘Those in charge of educational institutions, as well as those who teach there, should carefully consider taking some simple, proven, and inexpensive steps to substantially improve safety and reduce the chance that they and-or their students will be injured — or possibly even killed — by an active shooter on campus,’ he wrote.
Let’s examine Banzhaf’s list:
(1) Install classroom doors that can be locked from the inside.
Such locks must also incorporate an exterior key, or teachers who have to step out of their classroom for a moment can find themselves locked out by mischievous students.
(2) Mark each room with an easy-to-find identification and make up-to-date floor plans easily available for first responders.
Schools are like mazes for the police, virtually none of which have ever entered a local school. This is particularly true for schools with additions made after they were first built. Floor plans are fine, but must be relentlessly updated, and always have the potential to dramatically slow any police response.
(3) Provide all administrators and campus police officers with master keys.
Most Americans schools have no school resource officers. Every principal of every school should have master keys, and so should the custodians, the school nurse, a number of teachers, and a set must be kept secure in the office area.
(4) Get police door-opening tools such as the Halligan carried by firefighters.
A reasonable idea, but finding such tools might be a problem for responding police, who should first be finding and assaulting the attacker, rendering breaching tools superfluous. Here we assume Uvalde was a bizarre aberration. The nearly 400 officers there had all the tools they needed, but chose to do nothing.
(5) Install magnetic door-open sensors so administrators can see which doors are open or properly closed in schools.
Another reasonable, but expensive, idea. Locks of this sort are often used not for safety, but for controlling staff. The cost alone makes this unlikely for many schools. A truly effective video system is also cost-prohibitive.
(6) Make it easy to text via cellphone in an emergency.
This too is expensive. Many schools, and not just rural schools, have poor cell coverage, and the very construction of schools makes connections iffy, even in areas with good general coverage. Installing boosters and other infrastructure may be beyond a school’s financial abilities. By all means, there are apps that might help. Uvalde had such an app., but in practice it proved to be worthless. The SMM Uvalde archive is here.
(7) Distribute kits to help quickly stop the type of bleeding left by standard AR-15 rounds.
A reasonably comprehensive medical kit should be in every classroom, and should include quick clotting materials and tourniquets. However, this would tend to intrude on the territory of school nurses, and would also be expensive. While a number of more recent school attackers have used AR-15 pattern rifles, they have not been the most common weapon used. The Virginia Tech attacker used two common handguns.
(8) On school apps, make sure it’s easy to find ways to contact police and officials in an active shooting case.
This relates to Banzhaf’s sixth suggestion. An easy to use, effective app can be helpful, but again, at Uvalde, it wasn’t. It’s all too easy to adopt such things, but then proclaim everyone “safe” and do nothing else. This also relies on the police to respond, which will take minutes at best when seconds matter.
(9) Install one-way peepholes in office and other doors.
One can argue this might be useful in some circumstances, but virtually every door in a school has a window, or large panes of glass abutting it. An attacker with an ounce of intelligence will simply wait until the peephole is shaded—someone is looking through it—and shoot through the door, or the peephole. Such devices might buy a few seconds or minutes, but unless defenders can attack back, that will be their only, limited, effect.
(10) Make a limited availability of guns and post signs stating, ‘Warning, some professors are armed.’
I’ll address this shortly. Note the order of the last two suggestions.
(11) Supply nonlethal weapons, such as bear spray or poles.
Oh dear. Suffice it to say the problem with such “nonlethal” weapons is they are very short-range–essentially hand-to-hand–devices, which must completely expose the defender to the short-range gunfire of an attacker. Both “weapons,” unless employed by complete surprise, and unless the first application immediately incapacitates the attacker, are going to result in dead defenders. Chemical sprays and “poles” are dangerous delusions, “feel safe” virtue signaling.
Banzhaf, who many might consider an “expert” in such things, is surely well-intentioned, but clearly inexperienced. College campuses, which are apparently his focus, present unique dangers, akin to those faced at Parkland, a campus of thousands of students spread across at least 12 separate buildings. The SMM Parkland archive is here. In his tenth suggestion, Banzhaf does hit on the only means of deterring attacks, and of stopping them with little or no loss of life when deterrence fails: arming willing staff.
This policy has several components:
(1) Only willing staff must be involved. No one can be forced to go armed.
(2) All handguns must be effectively concealed on the person–always. A gun locked in a desk, or in some central “armory” will be of no use to a teacher and students attacked on a playground, in a hallway, in the library, on an athletic field, or in a college, walking between buildings.
(3) The fact of the policy must be regularly, constantly advertised, not only by signage, but by frequent media accounts which clearly state staff are armed and capable, but which never reveal how many or where they are. In a given school district, even if no one in a single school is carrying, they share in the deterrent effect, which will, tragically, tend to send attackers to other school districts who rely on “feel safe,” virtue-signaling methods.
(4) Any such policy must be constructed so as not to make carrying and concealment impossible. Rules that mandate a single gun, cartridge or holster are obstructive and unrealistic. Training requirements must not be unreasonable, excessive, and must not ignore differences in anatomy.
As you’ll find, gentle readers, should you review the School Attacks series, educators tend to be leftist, and this is particularly so in colleges, where they tend to be flaming, true believing leftists. They’ll argue allowing teachers to carry guns will result in terrible carnage. Teachers carrying guns somehow destroys a pristine educational environment. It’s not a teacher’s job to be police officers, and they’d have to be trained to be police officers to carry guns. Teachers have to focus every second of their efforts on teaching, not on shooting attackers.
All of these arguments, and more, are nonsense—dangerous nonsense. We now have substantial experience with school carry, and all of these inflammatory arguments have been proved false. The Crime Prevention Resource Center is an excellent resource on this issue.
What teachers need to know is how to shoot straight, and when to shoot. Police officers are comprehensively trained because of the requirements of their jobs. Their firearm training is only a small portion of their overall training, and as I’ve often written, most police officers are far from expert shooters. Far more citizens take the time and money to become competent shooters, and every firearm teacher knows many women are excellent students, usually having none of the preconceptions and bad habits of men. Teachers carrying concealed do not despoil a mystical educational environment. Done properly, no one will ever know they are carrying, their attention is not diverted, and if an attack occurs, they, their students, and the parents of their students, will be very glad indeed they took a few seconds away from lessons to keep everyone alive. Should no attack ever occur, the school environment remains unsullied. Naysayers might want to focus on what kind of environment will obtain after an attack. That environment will be very different if many teachers and kids are killed, as opposed to the death of an attacker before they could harm anyone.
As I’ve previously written, the good news is school attacks, at K-12 schools or colleges, remain rare. The bad news is at most American schools, there is no deterrence, nothing stopping an attack, and the odds always fall against someone, somewhere.
Banzhaf’s suggestions are not without merit, but we must understand only one policy, regardless of efforts to harden a given school, can deter and stop attacks. Anyone not advocating that policy, first and foremost, is willing to accept some unknown number of wounded and dead if and when an attack occurs. That’s a high cost for virtue signaling.
I’ve made this suggestion before…. an audible ear piercing alarm with strobe light in classrooms or in the least the hallways… set off remotely by any teacher. Mounted much like the typical emergency lighting when power goes down. In lieu of that… teachers can carry those personal ear piercing personal alarms around their necks. Either way, the audible sound (and certainly the strobe) disorients the shooter, not to mention sending the kids into grabbing their ears and screaming themselves and adding to the distracting panic. The disorientation buys time.
“(1) Only willing staff must be involved. No one can be forced to go armed.”
Well, wait… that doesn’t take into account the statistical possibilities of my kid being in a room where the teacher doesn’t want to carry, and my kid dies. Will parents have a choice as to their kid being in an “armed room” or not (that alone removes the “conceal” part of conceal & carry, does it not?)? And if not, will mom & dad have to sign some waiver against suing someone after, in the event my kid is killed or injured? If my kid dies then it’s the unarmed teacher’s fault, or the school district, for not being armed?
I see this as nothing but a minefield.
Now……. if a teacher being armed in school is made mandatory, that makes more sense. Although, now you will have teacher unions all over the mandate, existing teachers objecting to the idea flat out on moral grounds, a different kind of minefield. And we are in a period of reductions in teachers anyway.
Mike McDaniel said:
As I’ve so often written, the real issue is what is a given school able to do, when and where an attack happens, to save lives. Unless they’re ready, then and there, to use deadly force, some number of children and teachers are going to die. At prtesnet, most American schools are apparently comfortable with that.
One could just as easily presume that there’s real life legal issues, and not just some political morality against guns and carrying them in classrooms, that might be feeding their apparent “apathy” toward saving lives. I know it’s popular with the Right that self-defense trumps the law.
Mike McDaniel said:
And that presumption would be presumptuous–wrong. Except in states that specifically prohibit it, there is no legal restraint on teachers carrying concealed weapons, only ideological restraint. Self-defense does not trump the law, it is the law, not only natural law, but common law, and now, statutory law.
I made no mention of any illegality regarding teachers carrying. I was making an observation that teachers carrying in schools would open up legal, and more likely civil, issues, beyond just the teacher… examples I already illustrated.
Self-defense can only be determined by law… not simply claimed or asserted to justify an act… which was my meaning.
Mike McDaniel said:
While lawyers can sue a ham sandwich for inadequate lettuce, the liability you suggest doesn’t exist.
If your ham sandwich scenario is factual, which I agree it is, then there indeed a liability. My kid dies in a school room because a teacher feared using his/her firearm to defend my kid… or my kid was not allowed to be assigned to a classroom with an armed teacher… we can line the lawyers right up. Liability galore there.
I think he needs to add ‘enforce existing laws against people before their behavior escalates to murder’ to his list. There is a large amount of statistical evidence that people don’t just start with murder. In the vast majority of criminal cases, murder is the pinnacle of an escalating pattern of criminal behavior.
There are also instances where had school shooters been arrested for, prosecuted for, and convicted of crimes they appear to have committed prior to their spree, they would not legally have been allowed to purchase the firearm they used to commit the spree.
“if a teacher being armed in school is made mandatory, that makes more sense.”
I’ll quote the original post here:
“educators tend to be leftist, and this is particularly so in colleges, where they tend to be flaming, true believing leftists. They’ll argue allowing teachers to carry guns will result in terrible carnage.”
As mentioned, most educators are leftists and leftists are notoriously angry at the world and prone to violence. They themselves know this…that’s why they’re anti-gun: they know themselves and they know they can’t be trusted to have a deadly weapon on hand at any moment…they’d use it in a moment of anger. Of course they project this upon everyone which is part of the reason they are unilaterally opposed to guns, but the basis of this opposition is rooted in their knowledge of themselves.
In my humble opinion, if someone truly believes that they are not emotionally stable enough to be trusted with a firearm, we should probably believe them.
Forcing emotionally immature, angry, unstable people to carry firearms is probably a bad idea.
“….most educators are leftists and leftists are notoriously angry at the world and prone to violence. They themselves know this…that’s why they’re anti-gun: they know themselves and they know they can’t be trusted to have a deadly weapon on hand at any moment…they’d use it in a moment of anger.”
Very good observation! And being made during a point in time where most (if not all) violence/shootings of recent times have been conducted by Right Wing homophobes, racists, and neo-Nazi anti-Semite nutjobs. You are wise beyond your years.
“most (if not all) violence/shootings of recent times have been conducted by Right Wing homophobes, racists, and neo-Nazi anti-Semite nutjobs.”
That’s funny right there.
Someone apparently lives in an alternate reality
Mike McDaniel said:
If D/S/Cs didn’t have their alternate reality, they’d have no reality at all.
The point is that you apparently do realize, alternate or not, it is a reality.
Mike McDaniel said:
There is only one reality. All else is delusion.
You state the relative obvious. Although, people often act according to their own perception of their reality.
Here’s how the alternate reality works: A violent attack occurs. The left and the media (redundancy alert) immediately start blaming the right, make claims that the attacker is a right wing, homophobic, MAGA supporting insurrectionist and harp on that for days and days and days.
Right up until the details about the attacker start coming out, which reveal that he’s either a leftist or is just a loon with no discernable/cogent political positions, at which time…..crickets.
So people like Doug here insist that violent attacks are committed by right wingers because the only version he ever hears is the false narrative that comes out before any real details are available.
Take, for example, the recent Colorado Springs shooting in the gay bar. Even though the police have said repeatedly that they don’t yet know the motive, every left wing politician and media outlet have been banging on and on about right wing homophobic violence.
And yet, today, we find:
“In new court filing, public defenders for the suspect in the mass shooting at a Colorado gay club that left 5 people dead say that their client is non-binary and that “they use they/them pronouns.” The lawyers refer to their client as Mx. Anderson Aldrich.”
Yup, sure sounds like a homophobic MAGA insurrectionist to me.
And, of course, Doug will go to his grave believing that this was just another instance of “right wing violence” because he would never, ever deign to get his news from unapproved sources.
Like I said…alternate reality…meaning, of course, “alternative to actual reality”.
Also, “people like Doug” might also subscribe to assign “Right Wing violence” regarding the Conservative gun laws in Colorado and local wishy-washy enforcement of their red flag laws that allowed this kid to get a gun to begin with.
While you are patting your own biased back that when you first heard of this crime you immediately assumed it had nothing to do with anything “Right Wing” (surprise, surprise there).. I read early on that he had a past of being bullied, hence was very likely due to his being “different”, because as we know… being “different” generally solicits being picked on by others… in grade school and in adult life. He shot up a bar because he was a jilted lover? Nah.. I read it that his emotional issues from being bullied for likely displaying effeminate appearance or actions.. and this internal emotional identity conflict led to him lashing out at a gay bar as his way of lashing out at a possible reason for having suffered through his young life. Remember, it’s being reported that his parents were hardly competent in their own roles and were no help to this kid’s self-esteem, and likely added to his issues with their abuse.
Now, I will totally admit.. my speculation is entirely only my speculation… not founded on any damn facts other than what the news presented… and my personal interpretation of the possibilities.
So, I return to the State of Colorado’s Conservative county sheriff good-old-boy ignorance in being unable to follow their own red flag laws.
By the way.. the idea that the shooter was binary was presented by the defense… and not yet established fact. If so, then this likely will change the local DOJ intention of filing hate charges against him.
“Reality” is not a belief of convenience to feed your own bias.
Mike McDaniel said:
No. It’s waiting for as many facts as possible and weighing them against objective reality.
In that case, you should refrain from having opinion about Biden, his son, in fact, all of your D/S/C’dom, until any full investigation resulting in indictments and a trial are fully adjudicated, before your speculations.
Although.. it appears even when there’s been copious investigations and court determinations that there were no widespread voter fraud anywhere in the country.. you insist on the continued denial. So.. apparently your “reality” is determined by political expediency rather than fact.
Mike McDaniel said:
Nah. All I’ve seen thus far is what appears to be very suspicious circumstances. Experience suggests that is often evidence of fraud. Now we waidt to see if there are any competent investigations.
By the way…believe it or not, I had been predicting this from the moment I heard the news. It just sounded like a case of “disgruntled bar patron” or “jilted lover” more than the attack of an anti-gay bigot.
But, as I said, there won’t be any “mea culpas” coming from the media or the myriads of left wing politicians who’ve been blaming everyone from Trump to Desantis to “libs of tik tok” for this attack….the story will just die an ignoble death.
Oh well, at least we won’t have to keep hearing them bang on about it any more.
“Also, “people like Doug” might also subscribe to assign “Right Wing violence” regarding the Conservative gun laws in Colorado and local wishy-washy enforcement of their red flag laws that allowed this kid to get a gun to begin with.”
So “right wing violence” is now defined as “laws Doug doesn’t agree with” rather than actual, you know, violence…which is most often perpetrated by leftists (when a political affiliation can be discerned).
Gotta love liberal logic: Saying the wrong words is violence, but burning down half a city is free speech. Defending oneself against a violent attack is vigilante justice, but bashing someone over the head with a skateboard because you don’t like their politics is “speaking truth to power”. I could go on.
“While you are patting your own biased back that when you first heard of this crime you immediately assumed it had nothing to do with anything “Right Wing” (surprise, surprise there)..”
Of course I’m biased – I’m human. The important part is to recognize my bias and be open to alternative information. As a result, although I drew a conclusion based on my experience and biases, I didn’t insist to the world that my conclusion was established fact (unlike leftist politicians and the media) and I would have changed my conclusion had evidence to the contrary been presented. It wasn’t; in fact evidence supporting my conclusion was presented…but do you think the leftists who have been, for the past week or so, blatantly ascribing this attack to the right will admit that they were wrong? Don’t be silly. Their biases are a matter of religious faith: it doesn’t matter how many times their initial conclusions turn out to be wrong and the perpetrators weren’t actually right wingers, they (in this case, “they” includes you Doug) have *faith* (it’s possibly one of their catechisms) that most if not all violent attacks are committed by the right, even though this assertion is proven false in instance after instance after instance…including the example at hand.
“I read early on that he had a past of being bullied, hence was very likely due to his being “different”…lashing out at a gay bar as his way of lashing out at a possible reason for having suffered through his young life…”
Thank you for your psychological evaluation Dr. Doug, but I’m at a loss as to how this is relevant to the discussion at hand.
We were discussing your allegation that most if not all recent violent attacks have been committed by right wing homophobes etc.
That entire diatribe was a non-sequitur. Being psychologically damaged doesn’t somehow magically transform the perpetrator here into one of those “Right Wing homophobes, racists, and neo-Nazi anti-Semite nutjobs” that you claim are guilty of most if not all the violent attacks.
“So, I return to the State of Colorado’s Conservative county sheriff good-old-boy ignorance in being unable to follow their own red flag laws.”
Again, a non-sequitur to the discussion at hand, but an interesting one.
Red flag laws are a blatant violation of the due process protections of the constitution and will eventually be thrown out when they finally make their way to the Supreme Court. I applaud the Sheriff for not enforcing an unconstitutional law.
I would also remind you that County Sherrif is an elected position so if the residents didn’t like his position on the issue, they shouldn’t have elected him.
With that said, considering the nature of the previous incident that could have resulted in the red flag law being instituted, the perpetrator should have been in prison, not just had his guns taken away. Why aren’t you casting equal blame toward the District Attorney’s office who declined to prosecute what appears to me an open and shut case?
“By the way.. the idea that the shooter was binary was presented by the defense… and not yet established fact.”
Agreed, but I suspect that a half-way competent attorney would decline to make such a claim on a client’s behalf absent some sort of factual basis. Time will tell. I’ll be happy to admit I’m wrong when the evidence supporting your claim that this guy is a right-wing homophobic, racist etc etc etc comes to light.
“‘Reality’ is not a belief of convenience to feed your own bias.”
Sage words that perhaps you should reflect upon for a while.
There is so much to unpack here… where do I start.
Let’s start here… while Mike tends to put up with me being the resident contrarian to most of his politics, I am not a flaming Liberal by any definition (a California Indy actually). Hence, while it’s convenient to assign me to that “grouping” because no one else on this blog makes any sort of dissent to what Mike posts politically (this is pretty much a Conservative Kumbaya blog), I am not the “resident Liberal”. To that note… Conservatives tend to assign a wide range of issues as platform Liberal concepts, which they are typically not. Most often what Conservatives blather about Liberals are one-off blatherings from fringe Democrats, many not even holding public office. (The usual, “AOC said this!”, “Bernie said that!” and somehow Socialism is right around the corner.). Now, you might suggest the Liberals do the same toward Conservatives. Some. But Trump and his base have made some pretty extreme remarks that include racism, homophobe remarks, religious representation in government… and this is the base that loves Trump hence will support sending him and his minions to elected office to affect public policy. There’s no such “love” between Liberals and Biden. Support as an alternative to Trumpian Republicans.. yes. Moral support, sure. Worship? Nope.
One more thing before I over-eat turkey. That county sheriff should be enforcing all laws without prejudice to personal politics. Oh sure, the citizens could vote him out if they are so inclined… but is not a sheriff not doing his job not himself unlawful? Until the law is changed, it is still the law, created pursuant to the Constitution of the state and federal government. This nonsense is precisely the reason Jan. 6th was an insurrection and not just a bad day at the Capitol.
This turkey is heading to the turkey.
Ok.. to get back to your original dispute with my following retort….
“Very good observation! And being made during a point in time where most (if not all) violence/shootings of recent times have been conducted by Right Wing homophobes, racists, and neo-Nazi anti-Semite nutjobs.”
You are correct. I’ll cite the same “human bias” defense you used. So let’s remove “Right-Wing” and provide a correction.
“Very good observation! And being made during a point in time where most (if not all) violence/shootings of recent times have been conducted by homophobes, racists, and neo-Nazi anti-Semite U.S. citizens, likely suffering from mental challenges, and with vague party affiliations… using weapons obtained legally because of little or no adherence to legal vetting, or no vetting required.”
Does that make you feel less persecuted?
“but is not a sheriff not doing his job not himself unlawful?”
Colorado’s red flag law says that a law enforcement officer *can* request an extreme risk protection order, not that they are required to do so. Failing to do something that is optional is not a crime in any jurisdiction of which I’m aware.
You could make the argument that he was negligent in choosing not to request an ERPO, but I would counter that the DA was even more culpable for choosing not to prosecute the three felonies that the perpetrator was charged with considering it was pretty much an open and shut case from what I’ve seen.
Had he been convicted of any one of those three felonies, he would have been in prison instead of shooting up a gay bar and, when released, would be forever banned from owning a firearm – after having been afforded due process under the law…unlike what occurs under the red flag laws.
Either way, the Sherrif made a judgement call that was his to make, he broke no law, nor even oath of office, by exercising that judgement. If his constituents disagree, they are free to refuse to elect him next time or even demand his resignation, but to claim that he broke the law in some way is simply fantasy.
“Does that make you feel less persecuted?”
That’s quite a stretch. Calling someone out for making a claim that is not supported by the facts indicates that I feel persecuted?
I think we’re wandering into that alternate reality again.
ps. Mea Culpa. I don’t know you and I jumped to a conclusion about your political leanings based upon this one interaction. Not very sporting of me and I apologize if I…um…caused you to feel persecuted or something.
These are trying times… and moral persecution reflects the fear within all of us of the reality that exists that no one believes exists for them. Simply one conundrum of many. No offense, just clarifying, hence no apology necessary. We are largely here for the mental exercise and not to expect to change the world on our opinions alone. We are in a venue where the unknown is commonplace. You have a basic civil fairness… and I tend to challenge opinion because I learn from the experience, which is why I follow this blog. Even when I was more a Reagan Republican I was a moderate.
Mike McDaniel said:
Indeed. All police officers may exercise professional discretion. It’s impossible to enforce every law–police officers enforce only a fraction of those on the books in an entire career–and it’s unwise, even unjust to enforce many in some circumstances. Without discretion, every officer would be, for example, required to ticket every traffic infraction they saw. I doubt many would want that.
Contrast the reasonable exercise of discretion, with the wholesale, purposeful refusal of the federal government to enforce immigration law. That’s, at the very least, dereliction of duty.
One more thing. I didn’t mention this in my previous comment because it’s another non-sequitur, but worthy of a response nonetheless.
“Trump and his base have made some pretty extreme remarks that include racism, homophobe remarks, religious representation in government… and this is the base that loves Trump hence will support sending him and his minions to elected office to affect public policy. There’s no such “love” between Liberals and Biden. Support as an alternative to Trumpian Republicans.. yes. Moral support, sure. Worship? Nope.”
I think you’ve fallen once again into the trap of taking the “reporting” of the main stream media a bit too seriously.
Feel free to cite your evidence of Trump making racist or homophobic remarks…and I’m not even sure what you meant by “religious representation in government”. Religious people make up a large part of the population, you don’t think they should be represented in government? Maybe that’s not what you meant…I don’t know.
The base “loves” Trump and “worships” him? That’s nothing more than a caricature of the MAGA movement. I’m sure there are a few fanatics who would profess love and worship for The Donald, but I’ve never met any. The people I know supported Trump in 2016 because they supported the platform he ran on. Clamp down on illegal immigration, grow the economy, trade deals that favor the US…or are at least not detrimental to us, avoid foreign wars and entanglements, international policies that place the interests of Americans first, energy independence, bring industry back to the US, etc etc etc.
Many of us had our doubts about whether he was sincere during his campaign, but he pleasantly surprised us by actually trying to fulfill his campaign promises (and succeeding in many instances despite strong resistance even from his own party).
Do I worship him? Heck, from what I’ve seen I don’t even like him much. I think he’s a braggart, a boor, and emotionally immature, but I don’t have to like they guy to appreciate that he fought hard to fulfill his campaign promises and put the interests of the US and its citizens first. Of course I don’t deign to speak for all MAGA Republicans, but the ones I know feel pretty much the same way. The fact that the media tends to portray us as some sort of extremist, fanatical Donald worshippers doesn’t make it true.
We just want our country to be prosperous, secure and free and if we have to hold our noses and vote for a guy we don’t particularly like to move in that direction…well…you play the cards you’re dealt.
Here’s an important observation, especially within this blog. Mike, et al, speak as if they are speaking for all MAGA people, or in the least all Republicans. There are so many sub-categories of MAGA/Trump world that no one speaks for all, not even Trump himself. For me the question is more about Trump the person… and if anyone falls into supporting him then to me they are enabling all he stands for. This idea that “Yes, he’s all that, but look at all the good he’s done!” doesn’t wash with me. I’m not for making deals with the devil. To me this is not in the least comparing Biden with Trump. Toss someone else against Biden… and fine with me.
Mike McDaniel said:
I speak for myself–I’ve always made that clear–though I’m reasonably sure many agree with me; they keep reading and commenting. “MAGA republicans” is an uncomplimentary term D/S/Cs apply to others. I surely want America to be great, but I do not belong to any such organized group. As I keep saying, no one worships Trump. No sane person worships any politician or thinks them a savior. That’s reserved for D/S/Cs.
Mike McDaniel said:
what you said. What frightens me, however, is when people like Fetterman are elected, did anyone hold their nose?
“We are largely here for the mental exercise and not to expect to change the world on our opinions alone. We are in a venue where the unknown is commonplace. You have a basic civil fairness… and I tend to challenge opinion because I learn from the experience, which is why I follow this blog. Even when I was more a Reagan Republican I was a moderate.”
Fair enough. I also enjoy these interactions and often learn from them as well…as long as they stay reasonably civil and this one with you has done so. I thank you for that.
Mike would have cast me out into the wilderness years ago if I was anything but civil… but I have no doubt our past exchanges have frustrated him to consider otherwise at certain times.
Mike McDaniel said:
Unlike far too many, I support free speech, though I do insist on politeness.
Sorry, I just can’t seem to help myself. One more and I’ll quit.
“if anyone falls into supporting him then to me they are enabling all he stands for. ”
That’s incredibly naive of you. Electing politicians almost always comes down to the least bad option.
I’m not sure I even understand what you mean by “all he stands for”. Energy Independence? Secure borders? A strong economy?
What does he stand for that I should be ashamed to be associated with? Are you still claiming that he’s a racist? A homophobe? A religious zealot? (that one’s a laugh).
Sure, he’s been portrayed that way (at least the first two) in the media…primarily by taking things he’s said out of context or intentionally misinterpreting them…but I simply don’t believe any of that’s true.
I suppose you could be talking about the fact that he’s been divorced twice and is currently married to a woman who’s young enough to be his daughter. Or the widely publicized fact that he’s been serially unfaithful to his multiple wives. Or the fact that he’s boastful and vain. Those are all valid moral failings but I doubt that they could be classified as “things he stands for”. Even if they were, I didn’t vote for him to be the pope and I don’t support him for his morality…in fact I wouldn’t say I support *him* at all. I support his policy positions – he just happens to be the vessel. The vessel may have a bunch of cracks in it, but if that’s the only thing I have to carry my water it’s better than dying of thirst.
Apparently you are one of the “Yeah, he’s all that, but look at all the good he’s done!”
“I’m not sure I even understand what you mean by “all he stands for”. Energy Independence? Secure borders? A strong economy?”
Those things are typical of any president. Hell, any American for that matter. What differs is the degree and policy mechanism for getting there… and policy goals. No question our energy independence is under strong debate with the climate crisis.. and exactly what energy policy should be pushed forward. Secure borders? MAGA people like to say “our borders are wide open”. Huh? Biden kept Trump’s Title 42 and over the last couple years he’s sent back 2 million of those 3 million alleged to have tried to get in under Biden. A strong economy? I am guessing you are suggesting the economy was great under Trump and now sucks under Biden. A shared point here… a sitting president has little or no direct responsibility for the condition of the economy. Trump had “good times” simply because of the economic upswing at the end of the Obama term (and given what I just said, I am not necessarily attributing Obama for directly improving economy inherited by Trump). Biden inherited the pandemic downswing that affected the world’s economies. Remember the stacking up of ships offshore because there was no one still working to unload them due to the pandemic? The current biggest economic problem is the Russia-Ukraine War destabilizing world markets.
Not sure where you’ve been during his term to not comprehend the general objections that apparently most voters do not support. He has an abrasive (socially psychotic… even diagnosed by his own professional niece as well as the psych community in general) personality and complete inexperience in politics, and his “experience” in business is upscale commercial real estate, He does quite well in branding his name. Not sure how that qualifies him to be president. He thrives on the chaos he causes with his innumerable lies; he’s authoritarian in his persona (where’s the compromising generally required in political negotiation?) He’s got any number of pending legal actions, some criminal, and many of his cohorts have already been tried and sentenced for various violations. Then there’s the election denying.. and the Jan. 6th responsibility.
But, hey… some people like at that in a president. But apparently elements of his own party are tired of him.