The Eclectic Quill

Website of Joshua McGee

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It is not “intolerance” to oppose Trump and his supporters

It is all the rage in some conservative circles online to point at people who oppose Donald Trump, or who oppose supporters of Trump, and say "Look at you, preaching tolerance all the time, and now you show that you are nothing but a bigot!"

OK.  Let's break this one down.

"Tolerance", properly construed, is merely a convenient shorthand for recognizing the humanity of others and their right to carry on in any fashion that does not actively harm another person.  It is not magnanimity to "tolerate" gay people, or fat people, or people in wheelchairs, or people with a different skin color — rather, it is an act of wickedness to ostracize them.

Likewise, no one argues that we should tolerate a man who is assaulting someone in the middle of the street.  It is an immoral act to permit an assault — when you prevent violence, you are not denying a man his right to harm others, you are supporting his victim's right not to be subjected to violence.

I would go a step further: it is an immoral act to tolerate someone who stands by and watches a man commit violence against another human being without attempting to intercede, let alone someone who cheers that man on.  Such a person is not expressing a simple difference; such a person is enabling an unjust act.  And that gets us to Trump and his supporters.

No, I will not "tolerate" Donald Trump.  No, I will not "tolerate" your right to support Donald Trump.  To do so would, itself, be an injustice.  Trump is — with every breath and every joke and every grope — degrading and insulting and injuring and threatening and violating our fellow citizens.  To oppose him, and the people who enable him, is not called "intolerance".  To oppose them is called "morality".

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Vedder Tuesday ⅩⅩⅩⅤ: Present Tense

It's a good lesson, the temporal positioning.  We remember our pasts.  We formulate our futures.  We live our presents.

Do you see the way that tree bends?
Does it inspire?
Leaning out to catch the sun's rays --
A lesson to be applied
Are you getting something out of this all-encompassing trip?

You can spend your time alone
Redigesting past regrets;
Or you can, come to terms and realize
You're the only one who can forgive yourself
Makes much more sense to live in the present tense

Have you ideas on how this life ends?
Checked your hands and studied the lines?
Have you the belief that the road ahead ascends off into the light?

Seems that needlessly it's getting harder
To find an approach and a way to live
Are we getting something out of this all encompassing trip?

You can spend your time alone
Redigesting past regrets;
Or you can come to terms and realize
You're the only one who cannot forgive yourself

Makes much more sense to live in the present tense

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Vedder Tuesday ⅩⅩⅩⅠ: ½ Full

Yes, "Occupy Wall Street" is on my mind.  Yes, that's why I selected these lyrics today.

Climbing over mountains
Floating out on the sea
Far from lights of a city
The elements they speak to me

Whispering that life
Existed long before greed
Balancing the world
On its knee

Don't see some men as half empty
See them half full of shit
Thinking that we're all but slaves

There ain't gonna be
No middle anymore
It's been said before

The haves be having more
Yet still bored

Won't someone save?
Won't someone save the world?

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Domain Knowledge

I've come to recognize an unflattering character trait in myself:  I become uncomfortable when someone's knowledge in any domain is not a subset of my own.  Usually this leads me to study rather than pretend -- usually -- but, still, kind of icky.

So, if you were wondering why I know large amounts about a vast field of subjects I have no real reason to -- something multiple people have brought up recently -- that's the primary answer.

That's also a bit more than I'm comfortable admitting anywhere.

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Vedder Tuesday ⅩⅩⅧ: Faithful

You thought I had stopped this feature, huh?  Well, I have.  I've just had these lyrics cycling in my mind for hours -- about how myth can control us -- and how we can reclaim the notion of faithfulness, as faith in our loved ones.

Plaque on the wall says that no one's slept here
It's rare to come upon a bridge that has not been around
Or been stepped on
Whatever the notions we laced in our prayers,
The man upstairs is used to all of this noise
I'm through with screaming

And echoes nobody hears, it goes, it goes, it goes
Like echoes nobody hears, it goes, it goes, it goes
We're faithful, we all believe, we all believe it (4x)

And echoes nobody hears, it goes, it goes, it goes (2x)
We're faithful, we all believe, we all believe it (3x)
So faithful, we all believe, we all believe it

Myth is belief in the game,
Controls that keep us in a box of fear
We never listen
Voice inside so drowned out, drowned
You are, you are, you are everything
And everything is you
Me, you, you, me, it's all related
What's a boy to do?
Just be darling and I will be too  --
Faithful to you