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Go live Time : 01 December 2022, 02:37 AM

Cannons at Kavanaugh

By: Jim Bennett Sep 28, 2018 Politics

So my first Canonizer.com post that I linked to my Facebook page did somewhat what I expected it would do – it generated a furious Facebook thread that, alas, did not lead anyone to actually use the Canonizer website. We’re trying to figure out how to make the user interface more user friendly in order to encourage adoption of the Canonizer model, but we probably still have a ways to go. In the meantime, I’ll continue blogging here instead of at my old digs at stallioncornell.com, and perhaps eventually my persistence will persuade people to use this site to find consensus instead of generating controversy.

If you’re looking for the Facebook thread on my last post, don’t bother. I pulled it down after it became unnecessarily vicious. If you didn’t see it, you didn’t miss much; it was generating far more heat than light. It’s likely that the Facebook thread for this post will be equally vicious, in the which case I’ll probably take it down, too. I’ve reached a point in my life where, while I have a great deal of patience for opposing points of view, I have zero patience for unkindness and vitriol.

That’s why I’ve taken to “snoozing,” for 30 days, everyone in my Facebook feed who is raging over the Kavanaugh nomination. I’ve also changed my privacy settings so that people cannot post things on my page in an attempt to goad me into a discussion in which I don’t want to participate. The result is that my current newsfeed is little more than travelogues and cat videos, which is actually far more pleasant than I expected it to be.

I don’t really want to use this post to argue about the hearing yesterday or today’s vote, where Kavanaugh has been recommended to the full Senate pending an FBI investigation. I have yet to see a truly productive discussion where people with opposing points of view on this subject treat each other with dignity and respect, and I don’t want this to be one more excuse for people to scream at each other.

Instead, I want to tell you about some interesting things happening behind the scenes.

I’ve gotten several private messages from Kavanaugh supporters who are reluctant to announce their support, like the one from someone who said “I’m not up for getting bitched at either.” But the most telling was this one:

"I have many friends of both liberal and conservative persuasions. I just did a search on Facebook for “Brett Kavanaugh” – ONLY my liberal friends are posting about him. What does that say?"

What, indeed?

I want to repost something I wrote back on the day before the 2016 election:

"I do think the “Shy Trump” effect is a thing, although I only have anecdotal evidence to back that up. I have no idea how big it is or if it will provide any surprises in the vote totals. I only know I have several friends unwilling to admit their support for Trump, given that they are largely disgusted with him and don’t want to appear to be in league with Trump’s vocal legion of racists and bullies. The shy folk are good people who have nowhere else to go, and they’re especially worried about the Supreme Court, and they’re willing to back a loathsome man like Trump in the hopes of preventing SCOTUS from devolving into the extraconstitutional Superlegislature the Left so desperately wants it to be."

I was right. (That doesn’t happen very often.) The Shy Trump voter turned out in force and shocked the world by rejecting a candidate that the New York Times assured us had a 99% chance of getting elected on the day she lost.

I think the phenomenon hasn’t gone away. If anything, I think it’s increased. And I think what happened yesterday has galvanized and united those “Shy Trumpers” in a way that Democrats have not yet begun to understand.

Because as the screams intensify, and as all the Kavanaugh supporters go deeper underground to avoid getting “bitched at,” the Democrats are under the illusion that they’re winning the war of public opinion. After all, they’re shouting at a decibel level that is several orders of magnitude louder than anything coming from the other side, which has been cowed into public silence. Democrats are making the mistake of interpreting that silence as agreement.

It isn’t. It’s precisely the opposite.

The relative silence on the other side is a sign of a fundamental breakdown in a communication. With the exception of rigid partisans and Alex Jones-style cranks, those who support Kavanaugh now recognize that anything they say, no matter how mild, is likely to get shouted down mercilessly, and any attempt to justify support for Kavanaugh will get them labeled as a misogynistic boor who applauds sexual assault. So they’ve simply gone radio silent.

No, I’m being disingenuous. I should say “me,” not “they.” I’ve gone radio silent. I’ve hit the snooze button. I no longer believe that a conversation about Brett Kavanaugh can be in any way productive. That does not mean that I have no opinion on the matter. Far, far from it.

I have no hard data, but I am convinced there are legions like me who have hit similar snooze buttons. And I think they are likely to turn out and vote in November, and that they will vote to make sure that what happened in this shameful process does not happen again, which means that the so-called “Blue Wave” all but crashed yesterday on the floor of that hearing room.

Instead of yelling at me on Facebook, I would invite you to join or create a camp using the link below. I think Canonizer has the opportunity to find consensus instead of controversy, and I’m eager to see this catch on.

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