Monday, April 15, 2019

The Republican ethos: "Tough" guys don't care

In today's NY Times:

...In 2002, the political commentator Luca Sofri, writing on his blog Wittgenstein, noted that the word “buonista” or do-gooder had become “an alibi for the bad guys to be bad: If you do good then you are a do-gooder.”

In 2008, La Repubblica, the liberal Rome daily, wrote that the center-right had redefined the positive word as “synonymous with softy” and that some politicians, especially when it came to the issue of migration, sprinkled do-gooder around “like parsley.”

...But there are real-world consequences to making good bad and bad good, not least a more permissive atmosphere to be downright mean, uncivil or even violent.

As Mr. Salvini has increasingly attacked migrants verbally, more Italians have done so physically, according to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which monitors hate crimes. Some liberals have embraced the redefinition as a reality, and have proudly worn “buonista” T-shirts. But others see it as a dangerous erosion of Italy’s values...(In Italy, heaping ridicule on nation's "do-gooders.")

Rob's comment:
This is familiar stuff, since we see it deployed by our country's right wing, particularly by President Trump. It's a symptom of the stupidity fostered by toxic masculinity, the notion that to be "tough" you have to be cruel.

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