When Hillary Bros Throw Big Words Around… | Uncivil Discourse on Blog#42

When Hillary Bros Throw Big Words Around… | Uncivil Discourse on Blog#42

I get a fair amount of heckler and hate mail from people who have impulse control issues. I guess it’s a symptom of the polarized society we live in. I’ve gotten everything from “you’re a traitor to your own race,” from someone who made assumptions about my background, to “I’ll have to have a good friend I trust read your essay to determine whether or not it is anti-Semitic,” to today’s gem “While you write well, you clearly lack the rigor that comes from deep academic training in philosophy, economics, history and the social sciences.” Whew!

Mr. McDonald used the term “academic rigor” interchangeably with intellectual rigor. The two are not the same. The former has to do with a degree of scholarly discipline that is expected of writers and researchers in academia, while the other has to do with the intellectual capacity to form higher order thoughts.

Intellectual Rigor

“Intellectual rigour is having clarity in thinking and an ability to think carefully, deeply and with rigour when faced with new knowledge and arguments. This capability involves engaging constructively and methodically when exploring ideas, theories and philosophies. It also relates to the ability to analyse and construct knowledge with depth, insight and intellectual maturity. A student develops this attribute as part of the challenge of ongoing and systematic study. Intellectual rigour is encouraged for example during an assessment exercise where a debate or discussion occurs about a challenging topic. The challenge for the student is to have the ability to consider other points of view and make a thoughtful argument.”

Credit: Southern Cross University

Mind you, this comes from someone who had never engaged me before in the pages of the New York Times or elsewhere, and found offense in the notion that centrism as it has been used since the 1990’s is a main culprit in the deterioration of the middle class.  But in true Hillary Bro fashion, my heckler hurls insults and accusations without advancing any counter-arguments.

Which brings me back to the whole Bernie Bro idea that was thrown around during the primary… Isn’t it funny how we now find out about fake Russian accounts from which $100 K in advertising was purchased to spread fake news in an election cycle in which over $2 billion was spent, and we are supposed to believe that those $100 K, precisely, are what inexorably changed the fate of the entire election?

How To Recognize a Bro

A blogger on The Hill writes about drafting Michelle Obama:

“As I’ve said before, the Democrats need an alternative plan to rebuild and unite the party if they have any hope in winning back seats in Congress in the 2018 midterms, nonetheless the White House in 2020.

This alternative plan requires a new, united opposition, led by a political leader with widespread popularity.

The only person I can see accomplishing this would be none other than the party’s most popular political figure: Michelle Obama.

Let me be clear: This is not an endorsement. I have been, and still am, critical of Barack Obama’s presidency. Michelle Obama would not be my candidate, and I do not agree with many of the positions I believe she would advance. But as an analyst, Michelle Obama is clearly the Democrats’ best chance to reunite the party and win back the White House in 2020.

Michelle Obama is perceived as a strong, well-qualified leader with immense national popularity. Broadly, the polls show she is respected by the American people and by the near-entirety of the Democratic Party.”

My heckler writes:

“With respect to Sanders, I am a fan, I was horrified however, that the FOX news characterization of HRC permeated the minds of Sander supporters to the point that they were willing vilify HRC once she got the nomination and bow out of fighting against a Trump victory….”

See the similarities?

Hillary Clinton has been a divisive figure for decades. This isn’t Fox News’ doing alone. Here, again, is the clip from Frontline I included in my post on the origins of centrism as we know it today:

I remind you, this clip is from a Frontline episode on PBS and NOT Fox News. The speakers, whom you should all recognize, are all former Clinton administration officials. The idea Clinton’s detractors most associate her with is triangulation. That is the main source of the public distrust in her. The Wikileaks emails did nothing to help her in this regard and while they may have been obtained in one fashion or another, their publication was never addressed by the Clinton campaign, from the point of view of what it was they conveyed.  The Clinton team attacked WikiLeaks, never explaining the content of those emails, leaving readers with the same biases they’d held for years.

So, my heckler’s attempt to associate me with the Fox propaganda machine either betrays his own lack of ability to decipher what he read or he’s just lobbing unfounded accusations to defend the indefensible. Oh, and my heckler encourages me to check his Google credentials this morning. He apparently has something to do with the Wealth & Giving Forum, an organization whose website claims to encourage wealthy people to give responsibly.

What I write about offends the .001%, and so it is no wonder Mr. MacDonald lashed out.


I don’t mind it at all when readers send me their thoughts through this blog’s emails or in social media. But using those as a means of retribution, in anger, is precisely what the Clinton campaign was describing when referring to the mythical Sanders supporter. I say mythical because in my years of engaging people in social media, I’ve yet to encounter a Bernie Bro, while I’ve encountered plenty of rude Clinton fans who simply cannot find it in them to engage those with whom they disagree in a manner that is respectful.

These kinds of engagements are designed to throw kerosene onto fire, rather than engaging in civil discourse. Projecting one’s behaviors onto others while accusing them of it is not new. We’ve been seeing the phenomenon from the conservative end of the spectrum for quite some time now. It’s ugly, no matter where it comes from.

Speaking of philanthropy…


Your contributions help me and my family get by during these harsh times and allow me to produce this blog. Thank you for your ongoing support!


Addendum

Mr. MacDonald doesn’t seem to be able to let go, as evident from additional emails…

Mr. MacDonald,

“Perhaps it’s because when I read nonsense that others might read and accept…”

You insult, throw criticism without so much as your own counter to any of the things you claim I get wrong? What I write is referenced, cross-referenced and include quotes that are linked to the original writer.

So far, the sum total of what you’ve written to me, publicly and in private over the last two days doesn’t amount to one coherent thought, save for the self-aggrandising and name dropping you’ve engaged in. The many paragraphs of text you have written to me mean absolutely nothing. They neither display your supposed mastery of the topics you claim to be expert on or correct the writings you claim to dispute.

But more than anything, your repeated emails – past the point where you were asked to stop – only go to show that you may have a serious problem with reading comprehension, in addition to a lack of ability to show any self-restraint – just like the Bernie Bros you described in your original email. If anything, with each email you send, you further solidify my point about the tendency of people with your bent to project their issues onto the world around them. Your behavior is typical of a Bro: harassing.

When Hillary Bros Throw Big Words Around… | Uncivil Discourse on Blog#42

This is the final time I ask you to stop sending me emails.

Rima REGAS (not Rigas)

On Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 3:08 PM, gmacdonald wealthandgiving.org <gmacdonald@wealthandgiving.org> wrote:

Ms. Rigas,

It’s “Macdonald” not McDonald. To answer your question, I do not know why. Perhaps it’s because when I read nonsense that others might read and accept (you do post a lot and you do get a lot of NYT readers to read your comments), I have this “tic” to counter it.

Also, I am not angry. I just enjoy exposing specious arguments, especially when they are presented as superior to all others under some self-annointment that “I know better and am objective and the rest of you are just influenced by the establishment and the news you read”, when that is so very far from the truth.

Glen Macdonald
Founder and Advisory Board Chair
Wealth & Giving Forum
www.wealthandgiving.org

On September 9, 2017 at 1:53 PM Rima Regas wrote:

Mr. McDonald,

Whoever it is you really are, if you are that far up the social ladder, why bother with spending all this time emailing me to insult me in French and Spanish? Is there some kind of significance in your use of other languages? Your laundry list of accomplishments doesn’t entitle you to shut me up.
We are all entitled to our views. But that is where it ends. You somehow feel you have a right to take to email and subject me to your angry diatribes. Agree or disagree with what I write, but your Bernie Bro behavior needs to end.
Rima Regas

On Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 10:22 AM, gmacdonald wealthandgiving.org <gmacdonald@wealthandgiving.org> wrote:

Rima,

Well I have been an academic, a business and investment professional, and a non-profit leader.

Je lis la presse francaise (4 joureaux) tous les jours. J’ai vécu trois ans en France et j’y vais deux fois par an depuis 38 ans.

I read the American press across to political spectrum. And I have done deep dives into political philosophy and economics.

Tambien yo lea la prensa espagnola et laitno-americana.

I lived in Mexico for a year where I was a scholar-in-rsidence on economic development while on a Fulbright scholarship and have traveled there regularly and to Asia, the Middle East and everywhere else in the world. I have published articles and be quoted in the press around the world on economics, business and philanthropy.

My Forum, wee link below, is highly respected for its objectivity and non-judegmental discourse and is one in which Fareed Zakaria, Vartan Gregorian, Bill Moyers and leading social entrepreneurs from around the world have been participated. You will probably dismiss all of them as “establishment”.  It is your specious defense — just like when other commenters take you to task —  because seemingly you have little else on which to defend your untenable positions.

Back to the foundation of my views: In addition to rigorous academic training around the globe, at 19 I biked 3500 miles across the the US and talked to folks in small towns in Kentucky, Kansas, Oregon and many other states about their values, hopes and dreams. A 22 I biked 1700 miles across three countries in Europe doing the same things.

Je lis les journaux académiques dans toutes les languages.

You make rash assumptions about people you do not know, like Naomi and me and where we get our news. And you assume that the basis of our thinking is the news when it is not. You are stuck in labeling and characterizing people around current day views about what’s a liberal, a Democrat of a Republican.

You see, people like me and Naomi (that I do not know but can tell) have a very solid foundation informed outside the news world so we can make good judgments about what is reported. You do not and your expressed false assumptions about other commenters only serves to undermine your objectivity and show how specious and, at times, clueless you are.

Bon courage,

Glen Macdonald
Founder and Advisory Board Chair
Wealth & Giving Forum
www.wealthandgiving.org

On September 9, 2017 at 11:23 AM Rima Regas <rima.regas@gmail.com> wrote:

Glen,

Assuming you get your news mostly from the Times, you have been conditioned. One of the pieces I link to is one that was published in Alternet, RawStory, and Salon in September 2015 about the way the primary was being covered in the mainstream media. http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/bernie-bias-mainstream-media-undermines-sanders-every-turn
I am sorry to see that you take offense at what I wrote about being conditioned, but it is a fact that we are a polarized society. This is no reflection on your intelligence but, rather, the fact that depending on where you stand in the political spectrum, you will be exposed to a certain set of facts that gain prominence and are given emphasis in that circle, over other news items.
As for academic rigor, Glen, the standards in the popular press are different from those used in academia. I am not an academic, so academic rigor does not apply. As for the rest of your characterization, maybe it has more to do with the bias with which you approach what you read?
I mean, this email you sent me is exactly of the kind liberals have accused Sanders supporters when they call them Bernie Bros. Going back and forth in the NYT comment section wasn’t enough and you couldn’t suppress the impulse to email me to insult me? If that doesn’t qualify as Bernie Bro behavior, then I don’t know what does.
Rima

On Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 6:39 AM, WordPress <mailhandler@rimaregas.com> wrote:

From: Glen Macdonald <gmacdonald@wealthandgiving.org>
Subject: NYT posts

Message Body:
Rima,
In my NYT reply to you, I was not blaming anyone for HRC’s loss. I was elaborating on my main point the centrism is not fluff and deals along the way are a must in the struggle. The “no-HRC” position of Sander supporters is an illustration of a similarly dangerous myopia.
With respect to Sanders, I am a fan, I was horrified however, that the FOX news characterization of HRC permeated the minds of Sander supporters to the point that they were willing vilify HRC once she got the nomination and bow out of fighting against a Trump victory.  Now that have want they wanted.
If you care to google me, you’ll see that I was inquiry in to social justice and conflict resolution matters and advancing goodness at institutes in Paris, Mexico City and Harvard (all before you were born) and subsequently though philanthropy and impact investing around the globe.
So I have not been conditioned by what Raymond Aaron would call being a “spectateur engagé”  and not the “establishment” thinking as you purport.
You however seem to be conditioned by your own bubble.  While you write well, you clearly lack the rigor that comes from deep academic training in philosophy, economics, history and the social sciences.  Your posts are one-sded and often shallow. I am sorry.
Que tengas un buen dia,
Glen


This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Blog #42 (https://www.rimaregas.com)

———–
On Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 10:22 AM, gmacdonald wealthandgiving.org <gmacdonald@wealthandgiving.org> wrote:

 

Rima,

Well I have been an academic, a business and investment professional, and a non-profit leader.

Je lis la presse francaise (4 joureaux) tous les jours. J’ai vécu trois ans en France et j’y vais deux fois par an depuis 38 ans.

I read the American press across to political spectrum. And I have done deep dives into political philosophy and economics.

Tambien yo lea la prensa espagnola et laitno-americana.

I lived in Mexico for a year where I was a scholar-in-rsidence on economic development while on a Fulbright scholarship and have traveled there regularly and to Asia, the Middle East and everywhere else in the world. I have published articles and be quoted in the press around the world on economics, business and philanthropy.

My Forum, wee link below, is highly respected for its objectivity and non-judegmental discourse and is one in which Fareed Zakaria, Vartan Gregorian, Bill Moyers and leading social entrepreneurs from around the world have been participated. You will probably dismiss all of them as “establishment”.  It is your specious defense — just like when other commenters take you to task —  because seemingly you have little else on which to defend your untenable positions.

Back to the foundation of my views: In addition to rigorous academic training around the globe, at 19 I biked 3500 miles across the the US and talked to folks in small towns in Kentucky, Kansas, Oregon and many other states about their values, hopes and dreams. A 22 I biked 1700 miles across three countries in Europe doing the same things.

Je lis les journaux académiques dans toutes les languages.

You make rash assumptions about people you do not know, like Naomi and me and where we get our news. And you assume that the basis of our thinking is the news when it is not. You are stuck in labeling and characterizing people around current day views about what’s a liberal, a Democrat of a Republican.

You see, people like me and Naomi (that I do not know but can tell) have a very solid foundation informed outside the news world so we can make good judgments about what is reported. You do not and your expressed false assumptions about other commenters only serves to undermine your objectivity and show how specious and, at times, clueless you are.

Bon courage,

Glen Macdonald
Founder and Advisory Board Chair
Wealth & Giving Forum
www.wealthandgiving.org

On September 9, 2017 at 11:23 AM Rima Regas wrote:

Glen,

Assuming you get your news mostly from the Times, you have been conditioned. One of the pieces I link to is one that was published in Alternet, RawStory, and Salon in September 2015 about the way the primary was being covered in the mainstream media. http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/bernie-bias-mainstream-media-undermines-sanders-every-turn
I am sorry to see that you take offense at what I wrote about being conditioned, but it is a fact that we are a polarized society. This is no reflection on your intelligence but, rather, the fact that depending on where you stand in the political spectrum, you will be exposed to a certain set of facts that gain prominence and are given emphasis in that circle, over other news items.
As for academic rigor, Glen, the standards in the popular press are different from those used in academia. I am not an academic, so academic rigor does not apply. As for the rest of your characterization, maybe it has more to do with the bias with which you approach what you read?
I mean, this email you sent me is exactly of the kind liberals have accused Sanders supporters when they call them Bernie Bros. Going back and forth in the NYT comment section wasn’t enough and you couldn’t suppress the impulse to email me to insult me? If that doesn’t qualify as Bernie Bro behavior, then I don’t know what does.
Rima
  • Alan B Saichek

    I am dismayed to read of, and witness, heckling, regardless of its source.

    In the original Blog#42 post, this observation alerts us to peril in triangulation:

    “The problem with that is that triangulation has not quite worked out that way. “Their car” wasn’t what was actually being fixed. What the “tools” did address, however, were the goals of the Republican party. ”

    This is an eloquent, persuasive and pivotal observation; it is pertinent, an essential characteristic of “rhethoric”.

    Recommended:
    “Rereading the Sophists: Classical Rhetoric Refigured”
    Susan C. Jarratt
    SIU Press, 1998 – Language Arts & Disciplines – 154 pages
    https://books.google.com/books/about/Rereading_the_Sophists.html?id=gqKZ5Or119kC

    “In places the book is spectacular. Jarratt carefully teases out the Aristotelian vocabulary and mind-set … showing that the absence of women from the canon prior to 1950 is not the fault of silent women. She gives a perceptive definition … “rhetoric, because of its commitment to action, must be able to move from critique to reconstruction.””
    — Jasper Neel, Vanderbilt University

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/20865841?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    • Thanks so much, Alan!

      I will look into the book. It looks very interesting.