If you missed the news, someone tossed a Molotov Cocktail-like projectile into a Republican headquarters building in Hillsborough, NC on Saturday night, and spray-painted a swastika-laced warning on the side an adjacent building: “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.” You do not need to be told, I hope, that this was a strange and horrific act, even if nobody was injured.
Police are investigating, but the culprit is still unclear at this point…which didn't stop licensed Twitter troll Donald J. Trump from weighing in, armed with his usual restraint:
Next, a Democrat who works at Harvard started a GoFundMe page, inspired by tweets like this one, in order to “enable the Orange County, NC Republican office to re-open as soon as possible.”
It worked, and it worked quickly—in 18 hours, 550 people, most of them presumably Democrats, raised over $13,000 before they shut the thing down.
Here now, for your consideration, are a few arguments for and against that fundraising effort.
1. As The South Lawn laid out earlier this morning, the record of the North Carolina Republican party over the past few years has been just slightly offensive to anyone with a shred of human decency. Among other things—and there are lots of other things—they have made it harder for women to get an abortion, repealed the Racial Justice Act which allowed death row inmates to appeal convictions influenced by race, arrested peaceful protesters, slashed funding at colleges, made it harder to enforce child labor laws, froze the low minimum wage even in cities like Charlotte, passed voting laws explicitly designed to limit black and Hispanic representation that had to be struck down by a Federal Appeals Court, and went on the attack against the entire LGBT community with the national embarrassment known as HB2. If you want evidence of the banality of evil, consider how boring and predictable that paragraph was to write, and read—the state Republican party has bigoted politics in its blood, and discrimination is written between the lines of the party charter. Hatred is practically mundane for them, at this point, and you're a dupe if you ever expect that to change.
2. That money may go to rebuilding the the Hillsborough headquarters, in which case they'll get a fast start on resuming all the important battles mentioned in point one.
3. That money also may just go straight to the ground wars in the state, since we're so close to the election, in which case—forget the edifice-as-middle-man obstacle—you could be pouring money directly into the fight against equality for the LGBT community, or the efforts to stop black people from voting…or a hundred other causes you probably consider deplorable. And here you thought you were an ally!
4. Or it could go right into the efforts to elect Donald Trump in a critical swing state! In which case hey, great job, you're directly funding a man who is probably ruining American democracy for good, win or lose, while making life miserable for the under-represented factions of our nation and normalizing xenophobia, racism, and a kind of batshit, militant American exceptionalism.
5. Alternatively, that money you spent rebuilding a GOP campaign HQ could have been donated to causes YOU BELIEVE IN, rather than to bigots and cretins who directly oppose those causes. The South Lawn suggested maybe giving money to Hurricane Matthew relief efforts, or to state groups like the NAACP trying to ensure fair elections. It's a thought…you know, if you were looking for an alternative for giving money to your ideological enemy.
6. They would not, in a million years, ever do anything remotely like this for you.
7. Finally, again, there's zero evidence that a Democrat, or a fringe weirdo friendly to the Democrat cause, perpetrated this crime. Is it wise to immediately give in to the opportunistic Republican narrative and apologize for something you didn't do? Have we benefited much from letting the right define the terms of engagement in the past? Has prematurely giving up the high ground, even rhetorically, yielded any positive returns? Have you found Republicans generally predisposed to meeting you halfway, or even just respecting your point of view?
1. If you're a liberal, and you don't look too closely, you can probably justify a complacent smile and several pats on your own back while ignoring the fact that the world in which this gesture makes a difference is a world that is far removed from reality—it's a fantasy realm, indulged only in the minds of those who have closed their eyes to the reality of the political universe as it actually exists, and have tricked themselves into betraying the values they hold most deeply.
2. From a PR standpoint, the move might clear the good name of Democrats ahead of a contentious election…
...who, again, haven't been proven guilty in the first place, and who were never, ever going to benefit from the kinds of people in this state who vote Republican, because believe me, I live here, and there's no amount of logic or concession that can convince any of these people that Hillary Clinton isn't the devil or that pervy men with wigs aren't planning to storm women's bathrooms across the states or that Donald Trump isn't the racist messiah, and they will go to their death beds believing this was a liberal hate crime, even if video evidence emerges showing Reince Priebus himself torching the place with a flamethrower, and also, there's nothing southern conservatives love less than condescending moneyed Yankees trying to show them how the world works, and also, my God, how have you not learned from eight years of total bipartisan failure that giving anything to these people, much less your hard-earned cash, only makes them stronger and you weaker because they will never ever like you and they are not playing by the same f***ing set of rules?!
3. Life is meaningless, America is dead on its feet, and you might as well blow your money on something stupid.
Liberals: Let me quote The South Lawn one more time: “If you support social progress, then why did you give money to a party that is actively seeking to hinder it?”
Please, for God's sake, stop owning yourselves. Here are some concluding tweets, because I honestly don't know what else to say.