Monday, May 22, 2017

Not a Chance

"I was the first guy on TV to say 'Give Trump a chance.' I f---ed up. Sorry," Chappelle said during a routine at the event, according to MSNBC's Willie Geist.
Dave Chappelle Regrets Saying to Give Trump a Chance: "I F---ed Up"
I don't get it. I don't understand how in effect saying, "Hey, let's allow the President to actually do some things, and then judge whether or not he's any good," counts as "fucking up." Because that implies that the correct course of action was not to extend to President Trump any benefit of the doubt - once the predetermination was made that Donald Trump was going to be a bad president, the appropriate thing is to act as if he's already done it.

This isn't a matter of tit for tat or raising the overall level of discourse. David Chappelle giving President Trump a chance before deciding to criticize him will not make a lick of difference when the political pendulum swings back the other way. I don't believe for a moment that people make their decisions that way. If right-leaning celebrities decide that a Democratic president is the worst thing ever (and I suspect that many of them will decide just that) they'll choose to criticize, or hold their fire based on what they think is best for them in the moment (whatever criteria they use to determine that), not on what others have done in the past.

As far as we in the public are concerned, whether or not we decided to give President Trump a chance or protest everything that seemed to offer a reason was immaterial. Regardless of what one thinks of the republican form of government, the fact remains that President Trump had the support of enough of the Republican voter base that most Republican members of Congress couldn't simply dismiss whatever he put forth out of hand without jeopardizing their own re-election chances. And so to the degree that the viewership of Saturday Night Live leans Democratic, the fact that they are of a mind to oppose the president doesn't matter in the slightest. The election was in November. The shouting that came after the vote tallies was simply the last resort of people who were, for the time being, politically powerless.

And in that sense, declining to "Give Trump a chance," is simply another form of partisan virtue signalling. While that may have its uses, declining to participate in it shouldn't be considered fucking up.

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