Some years ago, while on a trip back to the UK, I was walking with a friend through an ordinary English town. It was late, and the pubs were disgorging their inebriated clientele onto the streets. As is routine with me I dialed up my awareness and adjusted our path so as to stay reasonably clear of where people were clustering. My friend, a lovely man with a standard middle-class occupation, was talking happily about his most recent trip to India where he’d been working with a software development team.
What he wasn’t noticing, but I very much was attending to, were the four men who were now moving to intercept us. I made eye contact and reached a conclusion. I interrupted my friend and told him to switch on. Unfortunately his world wasn’t one in which situations like this develop so as the four men approached and I prepared to kick off my friend stopped in his tracks, confused by what was happening. Fortunately our assailants were neither skilled nor sober, so although we got banged up we walked away from the encounter, which is something none of the four were able to do.
My friend, being nice, was totally unprepared for random violence and had no means to cope with it. He simply froze. My reaction was different because my childhood was unstable and often violent and so from my early teens I acquired as many useful skills as I possibly could. When my friend felt confusion, I felt fear — and fear reliably delivered a dump of adrenaline that sharpened my reflexes while increasing my muscle power and decreasing my sensitivity to pain. I’ve been afraid many times so I’m used to the feeling. I know how to use it, rather than let it overwhelm me. I’m probably not a nice person, so I’m unhesitating about inflicting maximum damage on anyone who wants to try to f*ck with me.
Nice people don’t spend thousands of hours practicing unarmed combat. Sometimes they do sign up for sanitized martial arts classes but I’ve never seen one that was in any way realistic (and I speak as someone who wasted considerable time gaining black belts in various Japanese and Korean styles). Krav Maga, which when properly taught is the only useful self-defense method, wasn’t available when I was younger. So I had to cobble together things for myself: things that work when you’re afraid and up against people who are bigger and stronger and are carrying knives and iron bars and guns.
But most people, because they are nice and they want to be nice, stand zero chance when things go sour.
There’s a direct parallel between being mugged and what’s happening in our politics. In the USA Trump has mugged democracy. The Democrats stand around, confused and unable to respond appropriately, because this sort of thing just isn’t supposed to happen. Meanwhile, Republican politicians, like any gang of weak opportunists, cling to the bully because he’s getting away with it. In the UK Boris Johnson is likewise mugging democracy and he too is supported by a gang of inadequate opportunists for the same reason.
Meanwhile in both nations nearly half the population is so ignorant and so breath-takingly stupid that they actually are cheering on those who are destroying their countries, imagining that this is “patriotic” behavior.
This is the same reason why the West was supine when Putin invaded Ukraine. Accustomed to endless arcane discussions over minutiae about farm subsidies or development fund applications, European politicians stood frozen as Putin and his gang of thugs invaded a sovereign nation with total impunity. Nice people simply can’t cope with those who are prepared to violate norms of behavior. Nice people freeze and do nothing.
Street protests and strongly-worded diplomatic notes are as effective in such circumstances as trying to reason patiently with an intruder who is using a machete to slaughter your young children. But nice people don’t know what else to do. So they stand there passively while the muggers take what they want.
I could have entered into a discussion with our assailants about the fact that their intended actions were illegal. I could just as effectively begun a discourse on Plato’s notion of reality or Wittgenstein’s private language theory. Instead I did what the situation required, which was to apply maximum violence without any warning. Speed, Aggression, Surprise. So my friend and I got to walk away albeit shaken and bruised while our would-be assailants weren’t going to be walking anywhere for a very long time thereafter. I have no guilt whatsoever about doing my very best to cripple them for life. Because that way, they won’t get to f*ck with anyone else, ever again.
If the Democratic Party wanted to defeat Trump in 2020 they wouldn’t be virtue-signaling to each other about health care plans or basic income or anything else that the perpetual vote-spoiler Sanders loves to blather on about. They’d understand that they need to reduce Trump’s base of support. As the overwhelming majority of Trump supporters are utterly ignorant and have very low IQs, the only way to do this is in the same way that Trump acquired them in the first place: speak their language and give them sound-bites their tiny minds can vaguely grasp. Go for emotion, not reason, because these folk are utterly incapable of even the most rudimentary capacity to reason about anything.
What would that look like? It would use Trump’s habit of using denigration. Start by refusing to call him President; simply call him Donald-run-away. Point out that Trump ran away from the draft by pretending to have bone spurs while others served their country. Point out that Trump ran away from repealing Obamacare. Point out that Trump ran away from making Mexico pay for his wall, stealing taxpayer money instead. Point out that he’s running away from Congress. Keep hammering the Donald-run-away theme. Don’t deviate, don’t get sucked into policy debates. Keep it simple, monosyllabic whenever possible, and relentlessly mocking and denigrating. Refer to Trump as Feeble Donny, Donny the Screw-Up, Donny the Baby-man. Never call him President, never react to his bluster and constant whining. Just keep punching and kicking and never let up for a moment.
Perhaps two or three percent of his mindless supporters will gradually begin to feel embarrassed about voting for Donald-run-away. And that may be all it takes to (a) close the gap in 2020, and (b) make it more slightly difficult for other Republican politicians to emulate and defend Trump. Because who wants to defend a run-away, a baby-man, a screw-up?
Of course none of this is going to happen. The Dems will stand there, frozen with confusion, and Trump and the Republican Party will mug them again next year. Because nice people always lose when confronted with the dregs of humanity ready and eager to violate all civilized norms.