Howie: Democrats Civil, Trumpists Intolerant Name-Callers

While working the Democratic booth at the Brown County Fair, I had a Trump supporter come up to me unbidden and, without preface, call me an “f—ing idiot.” When I offered a question, he repeated the insult. I responded simply that I wasn’t interested in discourse with an individual who would speak in such an offensive, bullying way and turned away from him.

Arch-conservative Gordon Howie is finding at the Central States Fair what I found at the Brown County Fair: Democrats seem to be better at staying mild and civil amidst honest policy disagreement, while Trumpist Republicans get hot and ugly fast. Interestingly, Howie connects this uncivil behavior to pre-Trump Republicans:

My personal experience may not be typical, but as a conservative Christian who is not and has not been part of the “establishment” in the Republican Party, I have been treated better overall by the Democrats than the Republicans. When I ran against Daugaard for Governor and Rounds for US Senate, it was people from my own party who were the most unkind. It was Republicans who belittled me and maligned me. When I served in the State Legislature, it was the Republican leadership that tried to crucify me for bringing pro-life legislation. Let me be clear, it wasn’t ALL Republicans. My point is, that overall, I have been more warmly received by Democrats than by Republicans, even though it is Democrats with whom I have the most disagreement.

Now, I see a repeat of the intolerance from Republicans who are Trump supporters. I am not a fan of Donald Trump. I might end up voting for him, but it won’t be without an internal struggle. In the meantime, when the subject comes up in Republican circles, I tread lightly. Why? Because many of the Trump supporters I know (not all) go ballistic if they smell resistance to Trump. With some I have had reasonable discussions. They seem to be in the minority. I am just not interested in fighting about it. You are entitled to your opinion and welcome to embrace the principles you hold dear. I can respect that. For Heaven’s Sake, can’t you do the same? [Gordon Howie, “Name Calling Doesn’t Change Minds,” The Right Side, 2016.08.23]

Howie says he will follow Senator Ted Cruz’s advice and vote his conscience in November. We should all vote our conscience… and speak with conscience as well. If I have reason to fight hard with anyone over policy, it’s Gordon Howie. But at least I can talk with the guy without having him resort to f-bombs.

28 Responses to Howie: Democrats Civil, Trumpists Intolerant Name-Callers

  1. working the dem booth at the fair this week, I’ve never experienced vitriol at our booth.

    repubs are “up against the wall, mother f****rs”:) grace slick, 1968ish

    they are certainly about to lose all their power. but this speaks to the VITAL difference between the dems and repubs. they are not the party of compassion. as grudz would quote janna as saying, “republicans are busy looking over the shoulder of EBT recipients in the checkout aisle raising hell over twinkies!!!!!!!”

  2. Democrats / liberals / the left are not exempt from employing vitriol in support of their position. All of us need to remain civil and intellectual. And yes, each of us needs to vote our conscience.

    (I don’t have any particular knowledge about which side of the political equation is -more- consistently “hot and ugly.” But it can be seen on both sides.)

  3. chief spokesperson for the GOP of the state of SD: “I am surprised by this decision, as I have heard very little support in South Dakota for renaming Harney Peak,” Gov. Dennis Daugaard said in a statement. “This federal decision will cause unnecessary expense and confusion. I suspect very few people know the history of either Harney or Black Elk.”

    Of course Sen. Johnny-come-lately Thune stated he was upset by the [obscure federal board of bureaucrats (the board’s)] “unilateral decision” to rename one of the state’s best known landmarks.

    “The national board’s choice to reject the state’s recommendation to leave the name as-is defies logic, since it was state officials who so carefully solicited public feedback and ultimately came to their decision,” Thune stated. “I’m also disappointed the board grossly misled my office….”

    good press for the state, eh boys?

  4. Exactly, spot on. I believe trumpet is staging a lot of protesting for publicity and negative press against D party. The stuff is just too fake, he waits at podium as on cue for performances. Just an observation…..i heard the “c” word come out here locally against a candidate. This is a very imbecile way to debate politics and hypnotizes the masses in the same mind set to be perceived as the norm. And yes the person using the word is a trump supporter…

  5. in addition perhaps to Roger C.’s posts in similar threads, there were “repeated complaints from Black Elk’s associates that the media misrepresented him. They blamed the pressure for Native people to represent a certain image frozen in time, and not accepting that Black Elk willingly moved on.”

    It seems Catholic word smiths are busy. It is no surprise that Harney, over his some 50 years after the slaughter at Blue Water Creek, was able to spin his “woman-killer” moniker in Indian Country to something more pleasant for his legacy.

  6. One of the keys to success in life is to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.

  7. Rachel Maddow sums up the racial situation in the nation: at 6:00 and at 7:30 (“pray for Nice”)

  8. I dunno, I am pretty regularly told on this site what type of person I must be because I am registered republican. I mean, you don’t have to tread off your own digital footprint to see it swinging both ways.

  9. I’m with you, Dicta. F-ing idiocy knows no party. Neither you nor Cory is a f-ing idiot, Dicta.

  10. F-ing a. F-ing a.

  11. C.H.was it that first generation old man clalling you a name again forget your doing great.

  12. Mr. Howie, as most are aware, is insaner than most. However he is also generally a very polite fellow. I am not surprised that he does not want to argue with backers of Mr. Trump but then neither do I. Unlike Mr. Howie, though, I will not be marking my mark next to Mr. Trump’s box.

  13. Timoteo, I’ve heard Lefty vitriol from Bernie people disdaining Hillary and the whole party. But at our Fair, I didn’t see Dems wearing shirts like the Trump shirt I saw referring to Hillary a b—-. I didn’t see Dems going to the GOP booth and shouting “f—–g idiot” at anyone. This is subjective observation, perhaps colored by who targets me and who doesn’t, but I don’t sense the aggression from Clinton supporters that I do fro Trump supporters. Does that difference exist? Are Trump backers feeling more defensive and thus lashing out more angrily? Or does Trump simply thrive more on anger?

  14. Different guy, Moses, but thank for the encouragement!

  15. C-word, b-word… why? Why must it come to that?

    Dicta, you are right, you and other registered Republicans do catch some unnecessary grief here. If Gordon Howie can appreciate civil discourse, so can we. Fight less, debate more!

  16. Braden Bury

    I agree that Donald Trump has driven xenophobia through his followers and is directly affecting our racial tensions in our society. I am in high school as a Sophomore and I think it’s mind blowing how racist some teenagers are towards minority groups. Also the effect isn’t just here obviously, but around the nation. As seen here: Safety or prejudice? County fights mosque plans

  17. Braden Bury

    Also on another example: Diners banned after ‘we only tip citizens’

  18. Joan Stamm

    My grandmother told my sister and me as we were growing up,” People that have to swear are two ignorant to use the proper language.” She only went through 2nd grade.

  19. barry freed

    You returned fire with a mature and respectful: “Ammosexual” , of course.

    O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as others see us!
    It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
    An’ foolish notion.”

    Robert Burns

  20. Jon Chapman

    I had a Trump supporter come up to me while I was hanging at the Dem booth at the Sioux Empire Fair who could not stop repeating Trump mantras/anti-Hillary vitriol. Nobody even tried to argue with him and he eventually walked away. I think his brain has truly been broken by this election.

  21. Jon, that’s an interesting anecdote. Are GOP booth staffers experiencing a similar phenomenon of Hillary supporters who feel the need to walk up and vent?

    Barry, civil discourse does not preclude using incisive language that aptly describes a cultural phenomenon. We can speak civilly of people whose ego and sexual identity is deeply entangled with their love of firearms, and we can speak civilly of how such attitudes are dangerous to civil society.

  22. barry freed

    Reflecting on conversation I had with Mother Teresa one sunny afternoon, I can confidently attest she would say to you: “That is not the way”.

  23. Troy Jones

    Dicta, you are correct. I seldom get responses which aren’t vitriolic, insulting and/or demeaning.

  24. Darin Larson

    Troy, “seldom?” really? Just because a response challenges your position doesn’t mean it is “vitriolic, insulting or demeaning.” I’m not saying it doesn’t occur; this is the internet and it occurs everywhere on the internet. Yet, “seldom” seems like an overstatement. I don’t think you would be here as often as you are if you were being treated as shabbily as you portray.

    Compare the level of discussion at DWC to DFP and I think it is clear which site has true debates and which site is a shallow pool of insults with generous helpings of censorship thrown in for good measure.

  25. Darin Larson

    Trump has given license for the crazy bottled up inside of some people to be let out. The Republican governor of Maine who is a Trump supporter let the crazy out recently calling a Democratic legislator a c_____sucker among other obscenties:

    From MSN:
    Republican Gov. Paul LePage unleashed an obscene tirade on a Democratic legislator, leaving him a voicemail message that said “I am after you” and telling reporters he wished it were 1825 so he could challenge the lawmaker to a duel and point a gun between his eyes. The governor later apologized to “the people of Maine” but not to the legislator.

    LePage said in the Thursday voicemail that he wanted to talk with Rep. Drew Gattine of Westbrook about the legislator calling him a racist. Gattine has denied calling LePage a racist.

    “I want you to prove that I’m a racist,” LePage said, adding that he had spent his life helping black people and calling Gattine a vulgar name related to oral sex. “I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you.”

    “When a snot-nosed little guy from Westbrook calls me a racist, now I’d like him to come up here because, tell you right now, I wish it were 1825,” LePage said, according to the Portland Press Herald. “And we would have a duel, that’s how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you, I would not be (Alexander) Hamilton. I would point it right between his eyes because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he’s been in this Legislature to help move the state forward.”

    So much for civil discourse!

  26. The invitation to a duel seems most troubling, and more explicit than Trump’s coy shrug toward exercising Second Amendment rights to stop President Clinton’s liberal Supreme Court nominees.

  27. Darin Larson

    Cory, just like Trump, when LePage is called out for suggesting the duel, he claims he was just joking. LePage has apologized to the citizens of Maine for his comments, but he has refused to apologize to the Democratic legislator. He appears to be a more belligerent and profane version of Chris Christie. Listening to the tape of the phone call, LePage is so furious he appears to be having a mental breakdown while revealing himself to be a bully of the worst kind.

  28. troy and dicta and barry want respect for their republican positions often quite unpopular here. it is not easy to communicate clearly and respectfully, especially in the media sensitive world we are evolving in, and in written medium. there are no easy solutions, but your willingness to stand up are appreciated. sarcasm and insincerity isn’t. you get back what you give, perhaps. venturing into a liberal blog perhaps demands less bwaghhaha and personal attack and more liberal thought process. we are tired of Rush, O’reilly, Colter, Hannity, Savage, Fox et al. And we are tired of low intelligence attacks on our democrats as leaders by an obstructionist party intent on savaging rather than salvaging the entire residency and the impact of the nation on the world. imo.