Jon Del Arroz Off BayCon 2017 Program, Claims Decision Is Politically Motivated

Jon Del Arroz

San Francisco-area writer Jon Del Arroz has spent the past few Memorial Day Weekends speaking at BayCon, but he wasn’t asked back in 2017. He says it’s because he’s a Trump supporter. Del Arroz’ version has been discussed or reblogged today by Vox Day, Nick Cole, Declan Finn, Superversive, Brian Niemeier, and Marina Fontaine, who characterize him as a martyr of science fiction’s culture wars.

The BayCon committee, however, says he had just been rotated off programming for this year. They had already pre-invited him to return in 2018.

Del Arroz, in “Bringing Home The Baycon (Or What I Learned From Being Blackballed)”, accused BayCon of trying to destroy his career, of bigotry — and of simple bad manners.

A couple of weeks ago,  I found out that I had been blackballed from speaking at my own home convention, a place I’ve loved and cherished for almost a decade. This was a wanton act of discrimination, and perhaps more importantly, a show of utter disinterest in promoting prominent local science fiction authors. With a supposed emphasis on diversity, this act done to a Hispanic author casts an even darker shadow. It’s about as disturbing as it gets to see folk that you considered friends for years treat you with that level of disregard, while in the same stripe ignoring attendees who deliver me death threats.

Most shockingly, the event organizers (of whom I know very well and very personally) in question did not respond personally, but delivered a form letter to explain the ostracization. It’s disingenuous and displays a dismissal and dehumanization of which I could hardly conceive….

The reason I was disinvited was because it is well known that I support the President of the United States, duly elected and all, and that I’m happy about the way the country is being run. You know, like most normal people are. That’s the only thing that’s changed between then and now. It’s the same dangerous rhetoric out there that many of these folk who run the convention post on such a consistent basis that has turned Facebook from a “fun catching up with friends” website to a hellhole of fear, anger and hate (which as Master Yoda taught us, leads to suffering!). It’s impossible to communicate anymore, and as such, there is a small but vocal power structure of people in the convention scene and publishing that can’t tolerate the concept of seeing my pretty face. I am a minority that’s been discriminated against, not because of my race, but because of my ideas. In Science Fiction, ideas are everything, and it’s frightening to think about those being shut down as a consequence. These people want my career to fail, and they believe they can accomplish that by silencing me and giving me the cold shoulder.

BayCon chair Chris Castro answers that politics never entered into the decision, it was the result of an overall change in policy designed to freshen the program, Castro wrote on Facebook:

This was shared before, but I want to make sure everyone has had a chance to read how our process for implementing programming this year has changed.

http://baycon.org/bcwp/programming-2/

There never has, nor ever will be any decisions made to invite or not invite guests based on their political beliefs or personal philosophies. Every decision we make in regards to who participates in our con as a guest always takes into consideration our theme and focus for the year. Each decision is made professionally, communicated professionally, and always comes down to a group decision by executive and programming staff.

BayCon always seeks to make each convention weekend a fun, engaging and safe place for fans to connect with each other, geek out, and enjoy themselves without harassment. Our decisions are always made with this goal in mind.

The linked text includes this explanation —

“But I’m always on the program!” Going forward there is no such thing as a guest who is guaranteed to be on the program every year. The overwhelming feedback we’ve gotten has been that our attendees have their favorites, but they want new voices and new ideas mixed in with the classic program items and long-time guests. In order to make room for those new voices we will be asking some of our long-standing guests to step back and take a year off now and then. Not receiving an invitation one year does not mean you are off the list, just that this year was a better fit for other participants. At the discretion of the board, the chair and the programming staff, some guests who have been accustomed to an annual invite will be finding themselves with a year off. We encourage those people to come to BayCon as attendees both to enjoy the convention and to support their fellow panelists until they are asked back themselves. “Not this year” is absolutely not code for, “never again!”

Susie Rodriguez, of BayCon’s programming staff, answered File 770’s question about Jon Del Arroz specifically.

Jon has absolutely been a valued member of our program and our community in the past. This year he was not issued an invitation. When he contacted me to ask if he’d been accidentally overlooked, I sent him the following:

“Dear Jon,

Thank you for your interest in BayCon 2017. We have made some changes to the programming which are discussed in detail here: http://baycon.org/bcwp/programming-2/

At this time we are not issuing you an invitation for this year’s convention. You are definitely on our guest list for 2018 and we hope very much to see you there.

Sincerely,

BayCon Programming”

It is not a form letter. It is a personalized letter that was created for him and only him. As you can see, it even included a pre-invitation to participate next year, a thing that is not part of our standard rejection letter.

We are sorry he feels the need to conduct himself in this manner and that he has decided that being off the program for a single year constitutes a blackball. We are choosing to respect his decision not to participate in BayCon in the future and letting it go at that. Other guests have been rotated out in the past and while there are sometimes hurt feelings, this reaction has been unique.

I will reiterate Chris’s words above. Political beliefs and personal philosophies are not a litmus for choosing guests. Who a guest voted for is simply not an issue.

There’s only so many places to use people on convention panels. BayCon’s effort to make room on program for new voices by cycling off some of the regulars addresses a similar problem our local LosCon has also faced. I am reminded that when a friend of mine was left off LosCon program after decades of participation he took it very personally and made the rounds complaining to everyone he knew, exerting all the emotional pressure he could to regain something he felt entitled to have. (It worked, in his case.)

But no, this can’t just be a case of hurt feelings. It must be the tragic fate befalling someone who is a lonely dot of red in California’s sea of blue.

65 thoughts on “Jon Del Arroz Off BayCon 2017 Program, Claims Decision Is Politically Motivated

  1. For what it’s worth, a few years ago I was also not included on that year’s Baycon programming after being a regular since 1997. I had no problem with it, since I don’t think anyone is entitled to always (or ever) be put on a particular convention’s program. And, as it happens, I’ve been invited back since, but haven’t gotten anything for this year’s (and I definitely do *not* support Trump). Again, no problem with the non-invite per se.

    However, I do think cons dropping regular program participants of long standing should do two things; 1) Send a note pretty much like Baycon’s, explaining that while appreciating one’s long participating, they’d like you to take a breather for this year. 2) In said note, depending on how/if membership reimbursement comes with being on program, offer for the next month or so the opportunity to join the convention at the price offered at the end of the previous year’s convention.

    To keep using Baycon as an example, their basic policy is if you’re on program enough for Year X, you’re comped for that year (I forget as to whether a guest is also included; doesn’t matter for the point I’m making). So if it’s reasonable that after being on program for Y years I anticipate (not expect) getting a membership for Year X by being on program again, I won’t buy my membership at the lower rate from the previous year. And when I find out that I won’t be invited, usually the membership rate’s gone up. Again, I’m not trying to require that conventions’ do this, but I do think it’d be a nice courtesy to offer it for a month or so after notifying past participants that they won’t be on program this year.

  2. Cora on February 9, 2017 at 8:53 pm said:

    The persecution complex of certain people is truly remarkable.

    And presumably self-fulfilling now. Who is going to want to invite somebody who will throw a tantrum if you then don’t invite them every year? Safer never to invite them at all…

  3. If I were doing convention programming anywhere, I’d think twice about including Del Arroz on a panel; he seems to have a high PITA factor on top of an uncertain regard for facts.

  4. Cora: The persecution complex of certain people is truly remarkable.

    I saw the story, rolled my eyes, and thought, “Oh, it must be awards nomination time again.” Cue another cycle of Puppies making huge dramas out of faux political attacks in order to obtain sympathy award votes.

    I note that Del Arroz had to present a heavily-edited version of the facts in order to construct his faux “blackballing” story, and that he made a big point of mentioning his novel as a Dragon Award contender. Quelle suprise. 🙄

  5. It seems as if claiming political persecution and attaching themselves to the Puppies is a marketing gimmick for certain authors, usually self-published. In the short run, it might get them sales and maybe a Dragon Award nomination. In the long run, it’s probably not a good idea, because it alienates a wider audience.

  6. Granted I don’t really try to keep up on everyone but I’ve never heard of him.
    And if his blog post is typical of how he is in real life, don’t care to.
    I made the mistake of reading the comments.

  7. ANd since I’m sitting here with the rain making me melancholy I hit some of the links on the Del Arroz article. Boy those people get a lot of pleasure out of being oppressed. They’re still talking about gatekeepers and how they can’t be honest about their politics because they’ll never work again and thank god for self-pub–which it never seems to come to their attention that they’ve just contradicted themselves.
    I see Mr. Wright bans people for calling someone or their actions ‘unchristian’. But after all, he is ‘one of the living grandmasters of science fiction’ according to the blurb for his book.
    Reading Mr. Del Arroz’s words on Vox’s site—there’s certainly the persecution complex. But after reading his take, I’m afraid I’m leaning towards PITA complex.

  8. Frankly, it would be perfectly legitimate if the BayCon programming committee had chosen not to invite him because of his political views if they thought that the majority of their attendees would not be served by his presence on programming. Not only do people not have a Ghu-given right to be on programming but conventions are private enterprises that are entitled to run their convention however they like and invite whomever they please to be on programming at their own discretion… or even whim. I agree, however, that it’s polite to notify someone who has been on program consistently in the past that they are not being invited in the current year.

  9. “Come and see the oppression inherent in the system”

    Seems like BayCon have an absolutely cast-iron explanation and have been perfectly reasonable about it.

  10. I am also not invited this year. Must be because Im German.

    I always wonder why people who cant stand being rejected (or even moved from a panel for ONE year), work in arts. ITS PART OF THE JOB! If you cant stand that, dont do that job. Do something else or self-publish if you must.

  11. @Hampus

    Wow.

    Looks like his publisher is Evil Girlfriend Media, small but with some good anthologies in their catalogue. I can absolutely see why they’d be unhappy at being associated with VD.

    Would it be too cynical of me to wonder if Del Arroz thinks the grass might be greener elsewhere?

    Looking at the full blog post makes it fairly obvious that the author’s real beef is that he didn’t get invited to programming in the first year he had a novel to promote. Basically this is about cash and a self-entitled belief that the con owed him a promotional platform.

  12. I could show him what a brush off from a con looks like. For several years, I tried to get something LGBT-related at my local con (at the time I was the head of a group of LBGT fans). Every year, my suggestion would get the response of “we’re sorry, but your suggestion does not mesh well with this year’s theme.” This was even when the theme was “space opera.”

    Finally, I sent a feeler, “We’d be happy to work with you to come up with panel topics that would work with the theme of your convention.”

    Their response: “we’re sorry, but your suggestion does not mesh well with this year’s theme.” (I suspect their annual theme was “and no LGBT-themed panels.”)

    I would have been overjoyed to recieve “not this year, but we want you next year.”

  13. Just another right wing delicate flower. You’re not being blackballed, sir. We’re just building a wall that’s a lot cheaper than 21 billion dollars to keep unapologetic fascists out.

  14. Mark: Looking at the full blog post makes it fairly obvious that the author’s real beef is that he didn’t get invited to programming in the first year he had a novel to promote. Basically this is about cash and a self-entitled belief that the con owed him a promotional platform.

    Never mind Baycon. He will take a truck full of his novels to Libertycon and he will sell them all! Just wait and see. His books sales will be bigly! They’ll be so huuuuuge, he’ll be on the Bestseller List! His novel is the best, absolutely great. Everyone says so. Things are going really well. You can see it everywhere.

  15. Has all the elements of a marketing campaign a la Mr CtrlAltRevolt.

    1) Express outrage about a perceived slight caused by evil lubruls
    2) Arrange for publicity and sympathetic squeals of outrage from the usual suspects
    3) Kching!!!

    Looks like he has had a bit of success in moving the odd unit, judging by the comments on his blog.

    May it bring him success and joy.

  16. @Ken – don’t you mean CtrlAltRevolting?

    Some pipsqueak decides to play-act Trump and the puppies all jump onto the stage – imagine my unsurprise.

    Welcome to 2017, the year of the flounce.

    Hey everyone! You are NOT entitled. You are not entitled to an award, you are not entitled to good reviews, you are not entitled to a place on programming.

    Here’s some tissues for your issues.

  17. accused BayCon of trying to destroy his career

    I have never heard of this gentleman before this, so they’re obviously not trying hard enough.

  18. Now I’m wondering how well BayCon would go with DaiCon. (And I have ELO’s Twilight stuck in my head.)

  19. Hoooooookay…..disclaimers up front.

    Based on the available information, I agree. This doesn’t look like a political decision. It does look like a case of hurt feelings.

    I’m not sure what sort of relationship had previously existed. But as this is this author’s “hometown” con, is it possible that the folks running the con might actually know this guy personally? As in have his telephone number? If he had spent a significant number of years as a guest, would it have killed someone to make a call? That’s just a thought, not a shot.

    Here’s the shot.

    In our current environment, we have people that feel empowered to drive executives out of their leadership positions within private companies. We have universities and media with a significant leftward bias when it comes to staffing (based on campaign contributions if nothing else). We have universities suspending classes after a close election in sympathy for the folks that voted for the losers, and as a result end up denigrating a portion of their student body and staff.

    (FWIW, Ms. Decocker appears to be a real person with a unique set of perspectives. She’s worked to reduce student drunkenness to in turn help reduce incidents resulting in sexual assault claims. She also works within the Society of Women Engineers to advance women in that field.)

    Hell, we had a pizzeria that was almost bullied* out of existence for not being willing to serve pizza to a gay wedding** that never was going to take place in the first place.

    * melting down their phone lines with abusive calls from people that were never going to buy a pizza from across the country is bullying.
    ** the person asking wasn’t actually planning anything. It was a “gotcha” situation.
    *** I disagree with the pizzeria owners…along with quite a few bakers and florists. But that disagreement doesn’t justify the uncivilized treatment they received.

    And now we have a con in San Francisco. Not exactly known for being the home to a significant population of Duck Dynasty fans. Where it would be “safe”, economically, to make precisely the sort of political decision that Mr. Del Arroz claims**** they have made. While the facts undermine the conclusion, it ain’t exactly a bad starting point.

    **** see disclaimers at the start.

    Building a civilization is a team sport. If we want to reduce unrestrained commentary, then everyone has to exhibit a bit of restraint. The Cntl-Left is as corrosive as the Alt-Right.

    Regards,
    Dann

  20. I can’t understand why someone would first say that it isn’t a political decision, only a case of hurt feelings, only to after that try to drag in every perceived insult that ever happened in the political world.

    Some people just feel cold without their victim sweaters, I guess.

  21. I’ve been a regular panelist at Baycon for a pretty long time. If anyone remembers, I was the guy on every programming item in 2010.

    I never expect to be asked to attend. I see it as an honor, and if I’m asked to take a year off, so be it. The only time I was ever mad about this was the year that no word came about panelist slots until mere weeks before the con.

    This has nothing to do with Jon’s politics or his race. Baycon is working to change and grow, and that means shaking things up.

  22. @Dann

    +1 to what Hampus said.

    You’ve just pulled the same move as Del Arroz, right after admitting he was wrong.

  23. I haven’t heard of him either. But you know what? That doesn’t matter.

    I dislike that argument. People at Baycon have heard of him and that’s what matters. Presumably they go to his panels and don’t dislike what they hear, or they’d have complained to programming and he’d have not been invited back in previous years.

    Can we please stop with the “I haven’t heard of them so they’re not important” argument? All of us haven’t heard of important influential people. It says more about the areas we pay attention to than the inherent importance of the person.

    That said, the guy’s a twit.

  24. @Ultragotha: Can we please stop with the “I haven’t heard of them so they’re not important” argument?
    Who is making that argument? Someone publicly behaving like a raging a-hole inclines me to never have anything to do with them or their work. How well known they are has nothing to do with it; I had exactly the same reaction to David Brin.

  25. Pingback: Jon Del Arroz Blames Not Getting Invited to BayCon 2017 on Politics, Despite Being Invited for 2018 | Nerd & Tie

  26. Not a minor factor by reasonable standards: Baycon had to shift to a smaller hotel this year, after decades at a big one.

  27. Building a civilization is a team sport.

    is this what we’re doing Dann? Or is it mostly about getting even for slights (both real and perceived) for the last 150 years? How long do we have to live with the ‘getting even’ bit before civilization appears?

  28. A few not entirely random tweaks of background information:

    BayCon is not held in San Francisco, it’s held in the San Francisco Bay Area. (SF proper is a tricky place to hold conventions for reasons of cost and appropriate facilities, but that’s another topic.) Historically, it’s typically been held in the South Bay (ca. 1 hour freeway drive from San Francisco), although last year and this one it’s been in San Mateo, which is pretty far north on the peninsula from its usual range.

    I realize this is perhaps a trivial difference to people outside of California, but invoking the specter of “San Francisco politics” when the convention has never actually been held in San Francisco prompts the correction.

    That said, BayCon is considered a regional convention for the whole nine-county Greater SF Bay Area…which puts something of a different spin on the concept of “hometown convention”. It draws from a fairly large population[*] for both panelists and members, spread across a wide variety of different interests. So this isn’t a case of an everybody-knows-everybody community. I’d find it entirely plausible that individual staff members involved in programming only personally know a minority of the potential programming participants.

    [*] At 7.65 million in population, if the 9-county Bay Area were a separate state, it would rank 13th in population in the USA…without dislodging California from first place by the loss.

    Disclaimer: I have been a programming participant at a number of BayCons across the decades since I first started attending (?in the 80s? I’d have to do some research). Sometimes I’ve requested and been accepted; sometimes I’ve been declined. Sometimes I’ve been invited without asking; sometimes I haven’t received an invitationt. It would never occur to me to read anything personal into any of those options.

    I am not otherwise affiliated with BayCon, although it’s usual for me to count at least one reasonably good friend on the committee at any given time.

  29. At 7.65 million in population, if the 9-county Bay Area were a separate state, it would rank 13th in population in the USA

    Euphoria?

    (The state of Euphoria appears in Changing Places, by David Lodge. It is, rather improbably, situated ‘between Northern and Southern California’. Its principal city is Esseph, and its major university is in Plotinus.)

  30. @clif

    Fair point.

    I don’t think it is an either/or condition. Both can occur simultaneously. Sometimes one activity can change subtly so that it goes from one category to another.

    @Heather

    Thanks for the scale reminder. There are places within California where that distance is still trivial! **chuckle**

    Regards,
    Dann

  31. @Dann

    I don’t think it is an either/or condition. Both can occur simultaneously.

    I don’t see how without one side simply capitulating and knuckling under. The last month (plus the next however many years) is producing enough hard feelings for centuries … I suppose it’s similar to the losers in the Civil War. Never forget and never forgive.

    My personal experience (with co-workers and family) has been along the lines of “either shut up and deal with it” or “leave” … not sure how that attitude equates to truly wanting to “work together to build a civilization”.

  32. @Dann

    Based on the available information, I agree. This doesn’t look like a political decision. It does look like a case of hurt feelings.

    In my book, it’s worth big points if you’re willing to admit that anyone on your side was wrong. I didn’t want that to go unacknowledged.

    The case of the gay pizza denial was a strange one. It seemed like the most unlikely thing to provoke national outrage. Do pizza parlors normally cater weddings out there? Why didn’t the owners say “we don’t cater weddings” and not “we’d cater a wedding, but not a gay one.” They definitely went out of their way to be offensive, but, again, I’m astonished that anyone cared. The key thing, though, is that it was a national reaction–not just the behavior of a few people. A shop that made a similar statement about blacks or Jews would have received a similar response. Do you think that would have been wrong too? Do you believe in a “right to discriminate?”

    There was an old idea that certain things were unacceptable in polite society. If you violated those rules, you’d be shunned by “all the best people.” In practical terms, you could lose your business. What I see happening is that we’re transitioning to a new definition of polite behavior, but the penalties for violating it haven’t changed much. The uncertainty in the interim understandably makes people uncomfortable.

    And, of course, there are the trolls who keep trying to invent new “rules”–not because they want to help anyone, but because they’re looking for ways to bully other people. Those are mostly on my side, and I agree we’ve been remiss about calling them out. However, they tend to be gutless, so they almost never attack anyone except other people on our side. They’re infuriating, but also almost ineffectual.

  33. In our current environment, we have people that feel empowered to …

    Shoot innocent people
    Prevent legal residents of the US from entering the country
    Use high office for profit
    Attack core principles that keep your country intact e.g. the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary

    Building a civilization is a team sport.

    Yes, it is.

  34. To quote the sage philosopher B. Bunny, “What a maroon!”

    I’ve been a program participant at my local very large convention, Arisia, for the last few years. They’ve always made it clear that they have more people asking to be on program than they have space for.

    There’s probably a certain level of fame/notoriety at which somebody might be guaranteed a spot. (Or there used to be; the field is much much larger than when I first got into fandom in my misspent youth.) What causes this guy to think he’s anywhere near that?

    By becoming a PITA, he’s likely turned his being cycled off for one year into a permanent disinvitation.

  35. @Clif: not sure how that attitude equates to truly wanting to “work together to build a civilization”.

    Oh it’s simple. They’re supposed to do the talking and deciding, and we silently do the work. In their pastoral fantasies it works wonderfully.

  36. i never heard of him is, i think, related to the impression that more noteworthy talent is more deserving of a place in programming than lesser talent. not necessarily the case, but one of those things. in other words, if this yahoo had the kind of profile he believes he had, more people should be upset (not).

    btw, i think this is the same guy i saw walking around a con with a (poorly) hand-lettered sign saying “professional author” taped to his back several years back. i suppose this is progress of a kind….

  37. There’s a pingback link to Trae Dorn’s comments at Nerd & Tie, but I wanted to just quote a specific passage that really stood out to me as (my favourite Josh Lyman quotation) ‘Ah, the rare valid point’:

    Del Arroz also stated, and I’m not kidding, “I am a minority that’s been discriminated against, not because of my race, but because of my ideas.” Besides the fact that this isn’t how being a “minority” works, the fact that he’s offended someone might judge him on the content of his actual thoughts… is weird? It’s weird.

    Judging people on their “ideas” is literally the only thing we’re supposed to judge people for.

    Disclaimer: Although I’m BayCon staff, I don’t speak for the convention or for Artistic Solutions. Thankfully, the redoubtable Susie Rodriguez and con co-chair Chris Castro do, and have.

  38. Hampus Eckerman on February 10, 2017 at 7:19 am said:
    “Some people just feel cold without their victim sweaters, I guess.”

    Well, as we snowflakes have been known to say to each other, “Winter is coming.”

    This guy strikes me as the perfect poster child for the Puppies.

  39. Sorry for the delay, all. Most of this was written last week, but things got busy.

    @clif

    I’m not suggesting that one side needs to simply knuckle under. I am suggesting that we all maintain a reasonable sense of scale and an awareness of the difficulties that are being imposed on others with a broader definition of “others”.**

    Nothing good comes out of taking turns being the target. The folks that you are now telling you to deal with it or leave, were told to deal with it or leave not that long ago.

    **Yup, me, too. It isn’t easy for me either.

    @Greg

    In my book, it’s worth big points if you’re willing to admit that anyone on your side was wrong. I didn’t want that to go unacknowledged.

    Right back atcha!!

    What I see happening is that we’re transitioning to a new definition of polite behavior, but the penalties for violating it haven’t changed much. The uncertainty in the interim understandably makes people uncomfortable.

    and

    And, of course, there are the trolls who keep trying to invent new “rules”-not because they want to help anyone, but because they’re looking for ways to bully other people. Those are mostly on my side, and I agree we’ve been remiss about calling them out.

    Thanks very much. I appreciate that perspective and that acknowledgment. Changing a culture is necessarily hard because we’re still human.

    To use an inapt analogy, getting a car out of ditch frequently involves more than just punching the gas pedal to the floor. That approach either puts you deeper in the ditch or shoots you across the road to the ditch on the other side.

    The case of the gay pizza denial was a strange one. It seemed like the most unlikely thing to provoke national outrage. Do pizza parlors normally cater weddings out there? Why didn’t the owners say “we don’t cater weddings” and not “we’d cater a wedding, but not a gay one.” They definitely went out of their way to be offensive, but, again, I’m astonished that anyone cared.

    I can’t say that it applies everywhere, but I’m willing to bet that in some small towns, the local pizza shop does cater weddings once in a while. Particularly if the small town is on the lower end of the economic scale. My impression was this was a small town pizza shop, but could be entirely wrong.

    A shop that made a similar statement about blacks or Jews would have received a similar response. Do you think that would have been wrong too? Do you believe in a “right to discriminate?”

    The short response is “no”.

    The longer response still arrives at “no” with some observations about using discretion when selecting the hill upon which one chooses to die for their cause and about different rights being in conflict. Do we want the government punishing churches for failing to teach a religion that conforms to government regulations?

    @Camestros

    whelp…while I’m at it….

    Shoot innocent people

    I’m not sure what inspires this. The one case I know of was at UW where an individual was surrounded by unfriendly people and fired a gun in may have been a legitimate act of self-defense. The police and the courts will have to sort that out.

    What I have seen is the Cheka Junior League beating people bloody for wearing MAGA hats and/or turning out for events of which the CJL disapproves. What I don’t see is many left of center politicians doing much to discourage such behavior. I do have some left of center friends that have made their disapproval known. Not many, but some.

    Prevent legal residents of the US from entering the country

    Which wasn’t the point of that poorly rolled out executive order. I really didn’t have high hopes for this administration, but they can’t even meet that low bar, apparently.

    Use high office for profit

    Three words….Clinton….Global….Initiative. Or is using high office for profit only allowable if one is sufficiently left of center?

    Attack core principles that keep your country intact e.g. the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary

    Such as when Mr. Obama attempted to lecture the Supreme Court at a State of the Union speech? Or when LBJ and FDR did much the same thing? I disapprove of such things regardless of who is doing it.

    Regards,
    Dann

  40. What I have seen is the Cheka Junior League beating people bloody for wearing MAGA hats and/or turning out for events of which the CJL disapproves

    I think I’m going to hang a “citation needed” on that. Also: “Cheka”? Really?

    And you’re still not addressing the fact that none of the politics you’ve trotted out are actually relevant to the situation by your own admission.

  41. “Cheka Junior League…”

    I can’t understand why people from the american right seem to revel in their ignorance about political ideologies. Cheka would be a name for Stalinists, a group that is more or less gone, or perhaps for Putin-lovers (Putin is often called a Chekist). While those responsible for the violence from the left usually are anarchists.

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