RedState's Watercooler, 11/15 Open Thread: Another "Grandfather's Son" Moment


Welcome back to another installment of the Watercooler, RedState’s daily Open Thread! Today, we’ve got…


“My Grandfather’s Son,” Another Take


Like Justice Thomas, my primary parental figure in early life was a grandparent, and as a retired USAF Master Sergeant his wisdom has been a valued star to steer by–particularly with developments of the past year, some bits of his insight have come into focus understanding why so many, particularly of his generation, have forged unholy alliances with unsavory sorts like Donald Trump and Roy Moore.

Some of my grandfather’s E-7 Wisdom… if he were alive today, he wouldn’t directly confront anybody to their face, but he’d tell us over the dinner table, “The Radical Left wants us literally dead. Donald Trump is a vile, reprehensible creature, but he’s offered to stand with us. Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP ruling elite have sat on their hands. When your back is to the wall, and some people who’ve presented themselves as friends turn their backs and walk away while others actively collaborate with the enemy, you take the help of anyone who’ll offer it and sort out the details after the immediate threat has passed.”

Perhaps a better illustration of this is the opening monologue at the start of every episode of the old TV series Burn Notice: “When you’re Burned, you’ve got nothing… you rely on ANYONE who’s still talking to you: an old friend who used to inform on you to the FBI, a trigger-happy ex-girlfriend… family too, if you’re desperate. Bottom Line: as long as you’re Burned, you’re not going anywhere.” (Sorry, this is the final-season version as opposed to the Season 2 iteration I had in mind, but… when the pressure’s on you take what you can get.)


Basically, McConnell & Co. have put a Burn on the Conservative movement, no matter what side we as individuals take on Donald Trump, and the policy goals we all share but disagree on how to implement and who best to implement them. If you want to talk to the Reluctant Moore/Trump voter rather than just argue with them, you first need to *understand* the perceptions and frame of mind that have led them into an Unholy Alliance, if a temporary one, with individuals they might otherwise find unacceptably reprehensible, much as for many such individuals in their younger years they remember the US making an unsavory, uneasy truce with Stalin to defeat the immediate threat of Hitler and Tojo. Were my grandfather still among us, I believe he would ask “even if Donald Trump does betray us in the future, how is that any different from the long history of what Mitch McConnell and his cronies have done for decades and continue on an ongoing basis?”

What I’m trying to say here is, a little less invective and a little more effort at understanding would go a long way in if not healing the rifts in our shattered community at least maybe starting to stabilize them a little. None of us is infallible, and we all make mistakes, and sometimes when they perceive their backs as being to-the-wall people have to make least-worst choices–and as the old saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If you want to try to wean people back from Trumpism, the first thing you need to do is make sure they know that when the Left makes its plays you’ll stand with them. THEN you can start trying to convince them they’re not under Existential Threat… without the immediate pressure of that perceived threat–and remember, “perception is reality”–well, to have effective communication you need to be doing so on the same level of Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy, and it’s hard to talk abstract Self-Actualization Principles with someone who’s locked on the Hierarchy level of Basic Physical Safety/Security. You can talk to them, but before you try to get them UP to your level you need to come down to theirs and help them build a solid foundation to climb the “pyramid.”



This Week In History

  • Sunday, 11/12: First documentation of a meteor shower, 1799; Atlanta torched, 1864; Ellis Island closes, 1954
  • Monday, 11/13: Patriots take Montreal, 1775; Denny Party lands at Alki Point in present-day Seattle, 1851; Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedicated, 1982
  • Tuesday, 11/14: Lincoln approves Burnside’s disastrous offensive against Richmond, 1862; first battle in Ia Drang Valley, 1965; Apollo 12 launched, 1969
  • Wednesday, 11/15: Articles of Confederation adopted, 1777; Sherman begins slash-burn March to the Sea, 1864; first stock ticker debuts, 1867
  • Thursday, 11/16: Fall of Ft. Washington, 1776; Battle of Campbell Station, 1863, Oklahoma statehood, 1907; Operation Paperclip brings German rocket team to US, 1945
  • Friday, 11/17: Ft. Buchanan established to secure Gadsden Purchase, 1856; Siege of Knoxville begins, 1863; SALT I talks begin, 1969; “I Am Not A Crook,” 1973
  • Saturday, 11/18: railroads establish first Time Zones, 1883; final report on Iran-Contra, 1987

Today’s Birthdays: Jurist and judicial-restraint advocate Felix Frankfurter, 1882; Patton’s nemesis Erwin Rommel and FDR right-hand man Averell Harriman, 1891; politician Howard Baker, 1925.

Holidays Around the World: It’s America Recycles Day. It’s Republic Proclamation Day in Brazil, Peace Day in Ivory Coast and National Tree Planting Day in Sri Lanka.

This Week In History is compiled with assistance from and Wikipedia. Something interesting not listed here? Please share in the Comments section–this is an Audience Participation Encouraged featurette.



Gratuitous Gun Giveaways

*Note: FMG Publishing giveaways require you to provide an FFL dealer’s info at entry. Aero Precision giveaways give me one entry each per person who uses my referral link.


Quote of the Day

This seems to have some relevance…

So, let us not be blind to our differences – but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.–John F. Kennedy


As always, the Watercooler is an Open Thread. And as so eloquently coined by ntrepid, “Thanks for the click! Your effort helps fund future posts of this nature.”

“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”–Voltaire


Copyright Diamondback, 2017; publication license granted exclusively to RedState. If you’re reading this anywhere BUT RedState or its affiliates, you are seeing STOLEN PROPERTY.

By WarX, edited by Manuel Strehl (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
(Image by WarX, edited by Manuel Strehl at Wikimedia; used under Creative Commons Attribution license)


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