“Orange Man Bad”

Published June 8, 2020

Criticize Trump for any reason and the response of the MAGA cult is frequently. “Right. Orange Man Bad.”

Like that is a reply.

“Orange man bad” is a meaningless shibboleth that MAGA suckers bark. It is a placeholder for an actual argument. It literally means nothing at all. All it really does is signal to other members of the MAGA cult that the one using the shibboleth is maintaining unit cohesion in the face of rational argument against the god of his irrational cult of personality.

“Orange” is true but irrelevant (except insofar as it marks the fact that Trump is a weird vain person who thinks spray tanning makes him look good and not like a vain weird person). If you think his grooming habits are awesome, then de gustibus to you. I think they are ridiculous, but they are irrelevant to the issue of his moral behavior.

“Man” means something, but is not an indictment.

“Bad”, however, is precisely the question at issue: is he bad? If so, why? When he lies, is that not bad? When he neglects his duties to the degree that 100 thousand Americans die of COVID, how is that not bad? When he opens fire on peaceful protesters and does this to human beings

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for the sake of a photo op where he holds up a Bible he does not read in front of a Church he does not attend so that he can co-opt a religion he does not believe and spit in the face of a God he does not worship, I would argue that this is, in fact, a radically bad act.

The stupid shibboleth “Orange Man Bad” is the response of a child. It is fingers in the ears and the shriek, “LALALALALALALA I’m not listening.” It is pathetic and contemptible mockery that communicates one thing only, “I am fearful and stupid–and I know it.” It refuses to address the question of good and evil because it knows there is in fact a torrent of evidence that the orange man is bad.

In short, “Orange Man Bad” can only mean one of two things: a) the evidence that the Orange Man is bad does not exist, which is a complete lie, or b) badness is cool, which is a grave moral perversion that implicates you in evil. Either way, “Orange Man Bad” is the argument of a fool.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, 
who put darkness for light 
and light for darkness, 
who put bitter for sweet 
and sweet for bitter! 
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, 
and shrewd in their own sight! 
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, 
and valiant men in mixing strong drink, 
who acquit the guilty for a bribe, 
and deprive the innocent of his right! 

Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, 
and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, 
so their root will be as rottenness, 
and their blossom go up like dust; 
for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, 
and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. 

The Holy Bible. (2006). (Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition, Is 5:20–24). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

51 Responses

    1. No, this is what 40% of you think of the president, and probably this is how they intend to vote. This is not who they *are*.

      1. There’s a common expression here in the USA, often exclaimed by politicians after some mass shooting or other abomination: “This is not who we are.”

        But, you know, it is who we are. We are a violent, racist country and always have been. It’s not all we are, of course, but as you Catholics know, you can’t repent until you face the truth about yourself and commit to change.

  1. No. This is who 40% of the electorate is. It’s still a definite minority of the American people. He’s had these ratings all along. There has still been a Blue Wave in every election since 2016. Have hope.

  2. The point of it is to say that the other side uses Trump’s innate evilness as a placeholder for actual argument; that no matter what he says or does is called bad simply because he’s bad.

    1. Hm. Where to start: the porn stars? The fraud lawsuits? The cheering of violence against peaceful protesters? The “very fine people”? The invitation for Russian election interference? Or just the basic money-grubbing corruption?

      The fact that Trump is evil is visible from space at this point. So, yah, if you can’t see it yet then you will probably find that not everyone is willing to take the time to patiently reason with you.

      1. We’re all sinners. Just ask Pope Francis. But the fact that someone sins doesn’t prove that everything he does and says is evil. That people jump to that conclusion is the whole point of “Orange Man Bad.” And painting everyone who votes for him with the same brush is taking it to yet another level.

    2. I see Agellius delivered the stock “We’re all sinners,” which is supposed to serve as an argument by the guy who complains about placeholders for arguments and who then proceeds to boldly roundhouse the strawman he constructed about “proving” that “everything” Trump says or does is evil.

      Agellius wrote:

      And painting everyone who votes for him with the same brush is taking it to yet another level.

      What brush was that? The they-all-support-him-no-matter-what-grotesque-thing-he-does-or-tweets-brush, you mean?

    3. Agellius: Would you consider Gen. James Mattis’s alleged contention that Trump is a “proto-neofascist” to be “a placeholder for actual argument,” and if so, perhaps you could marshal your powers of argument to “prove” that Trump is not a ““proto-neofascist.”

      1. “… the guy who complains about placeholders for arguments …”

        I can’t take credit for that phrase. “Placeholder for actual argument” was borrowed from the OP.

      2. I know nothing about it. But it’s true that an assertion is not an argument. A lot of assertion goes on around here. A LOT. Argument, not so much.

      3. @ agellius

        So, here you are again, explaining to us that you don’t know anything but you definitely have an opinion about it.

        You may be a sinner, That may determine your choices in life. Trump is definitely a sinner, and it has definitely determined his choices.

        As for the rest of us, we’re just imperfect human beings, hopefully the kind that do the best they can with what they have. I can tell you this much. I have never molested a child. I have never murdered An unarmed person, or for that matter, an armed person. I haven’t taken anything that wasn’t mine in 50 years. If I told 18,000 lies in the last 3 1/2 years, they were all along the lines of, “no, that dress doesn’t make you look fat.“ I’ve never Raw dogged A porn star while my third wife was expecting my fifth child, I never paid one to not talk about it, and I never said that sexual assault was a perfectly good thing to be able to do, especially more or less admitting it.

        The “we are all sinners“ canard is a way to excuse the most vile behavior of other people, well excusing yourself as well. The point is to bring other people sins up to the level of yours, and nothing else. That argument is why the last person I would ever go to for moral advice would be a Bible believing Christian.

      4. Ben,

        You write, “So, here you are again, explaining to us that you don’t know anything but you definitely have an opinion about it.”

        You seem a little confused. Yes, I did say that I knew nothing about General Mattis’ comment on Trump. But I didn’t express any opinion about it.

        “The “we are all sinners“ canard is a way to excuse the most vile behavior of other people, well excusing yourself as well.”

        Well, that’s funny, because in the last thread I commented on, I was accused of being too hard on people for their “vile behavior,” to the point of being pharisaical.

        When I said “we are all sinners”, my point was that, the fact that someone has done bad things doesn’t make everything he says or does bad. Do you disagree with that?

        I never said he hasn’t done anything bad or that he’s not a bad person. I refused to vote for him precisely because he seemed to have no principles, nor any sense of decency. I thought he was a loose cannon and God only knew what he might do as President. Nevertheless not everything he’s done has been bad, in my opinion. No one is entirely bad all the time. Each thing he says or does needs to be evaluated on its own merits, not condemned out of hand just because it comes from him.

        I said the same thing to my conservative friends about Obama. You can’t condemn everything he says or does just because he favors abortion rights and gay marriage. He may get some things right.

        I think this is a reasonable attitude.

    4. And only a fool would accept such a point. Perhaps ”leftists” will, but I assure you I won’t. Trump’s ”innate evilness” doesn’t interest me. I want him gone. Period.

    5. @Agellius yeah but you just turned “I’m not, but you are,” did you not. And protesting yet again that “I know nothing about it,” presumably because, as you’ve said in the past when you’ve professed ignorance, you are too busy with your life and your religion to concern yourself with such things as the general who served as Trump’s secretary of defense allegedly describing Trump as a “proto-neofascist.” Who has time for such trifles, after all? Still, it’s consistent with Mattis’s recent statement denouncing Trump, despite Mattis’s former resolution as a military man not to criticize a sitting president. But it all got to be too much. Perhaps you don’t know about that, either? Well, it isn’t very hard to find out. You could, for example, read Mattis’s statement at the link:

      James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution

      The “assertions” you dismiss have been argued ad nauseam for years only to fall on the deaf ears of smug, above-the-fray, “I don’t like/didn’t vote for Trump BUT” apologists content to hurl accusations of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” at the libs. History Will Judge the Complicit.

      1. I wouldn’t say I protested. I just said I knew nothing about it. And I don’t. Sure, I would love to know all about it. I would love to thoroughly investigate everyone who says anything bad about Trump. Of course I would also love to investigate everyone who says anything nice about Trump. I would also like to do the same for everyone who says anything bad or good about Obama, or Biden, or Pence, or McConnell. But why be provincial? I should also learn everything about anyone who’s ever said anything bad about any foreign leader too, and thoroughly investigate the extent to which their statements were true. Of course, that would mean giving up the time I spend with my wife and my kids, my bedridden mother, my hobbies, the time I spend repairing and maintaining my home and my car, the time I spend studying the scriptures and the Summa Theologica. Oh, and my leisure time too. So, not being able to study everything I would like to study, nor everything that everyone else thinks I should be studying, I guess I’m just going to have to weigh the costs and benefits of spending my time in one way versus another, and make my own decisions in that regard. Sorry if that’s disappointing to you.

      2. @Agellius, in the time it took to write your frankly ridiculous rejoinder, you could have read Mattis’s statement. I believe that is called “sticking your head in the sand.”

      3. Yeah, or I could have read a chapter of the Summa, or called my Mom on the phone. In this case I chose to bestow my attention on you. Aren’t you pleased?

  3. Nancy Pelosi just described Floyd’s death as a “martyrdom.” He pointed a gun at a pregnant woman’s stomach. At least no one can deny Pelosi’s pro choice credentials

    1. There is no solid evidence for your claim. But thanks for making clear that you favor murdering black men in cold blood on the basis of rumors. And that, like the rest of the MAGA “prolife” racist fertility cult of death, you love to brandish the unborn as human shields for your racist bloodlust.

    2. By the way, note that, in order to defend your Cult’s rhetoric, you felt the deep need to drag in your love of cold-blooded racist murder. That’s because, in defending Trump, you know perfectly well, that you are defending cold-blooded racist murder. If you are Catholic, get the hell out of my comboxes and get your ass to confession. If you are not, beg Jesus for mercy. Because the measure you use will be measured to you.

      1. I don’t support what was done to George Floyd. But he was a career criminal. I’m not shedding any tears for him

    3. Even if Mr. Floyd had a criminal record the cops do not and did not have the right to kill him in any manner. They showed a depraved indifference to life, which is what you accuse Mr. Floyd of showing. You probably are an “all lives natter” kind of person, as long as the look and act like me.

      1. I don’t think the cop murdered Floyd. I think the state will have a tough time proving that. I think the conduct constituted manslaughter.

      2. @ ken cavanaugh

        Well, calling The extrajudicial killing of an unarmed man Manslaughter by a policeman Who is supposed to know better certainly makes it all better.

        Another perfect demonstration of why the last person on earth I would ever ask a moral question of is a Bible believing Christian.

  4. How do you know Cauvin is a racist? He’s married to an Asian. I’m in an inter racial marriage. I’m white and me wife is Brazilian

    1. It would appear that Vigano has traded his collar for a tin-foil hat. The unfortunate problem is that he still wears the collar and has “lots of sway” in the rad-trad Catholic world.

  5. Floyd passed a counterfeit bill while reported to be highly intoxicated with Fentanyl, cannabis, morphine, and amphetamines reported in his system. He resisted arrest and said he couldn’t breath before the cops restrained him. Fentanyl is respiratory depressant. One of the cops was a black rookie barely a few days on the job.

    Of course none of this matters, only that the cops are racist and we don’t need to not have all the facts before we react to an online video.

    I think this incident is being hijacked by certain groups with an agenda. If it were focused on police brutality, I could whole heartily support it. I’m concerned to see so many people assume this was fueled by racism when the facts appear to show more to the story.

    If it were a black cop on top of Floyd would this be happening?

    1. As I said, not one of those cops was black.

      Where is your information coming from about what was in his blood stream, his prior criminal record, and what he was doing? How do you know HE was passing a counterfeit bill? How did the cops know?

      You got a lot of holes to fill in there.

    2. Being high and resisting arrest doesn’t give the state the right to choke you to death!

      Chavin is a thug and worse criminal than Floyd ever was. He’s also under suspicion of voting illegally in Florida, where he is a member of the Republican party. Shocker.

  6. We had a debate about this very thing among some ex republicans this weekend, most have moved on because of Trump, there was one person that offered the following argument for why he is staying with Trump even though he thinks the guy is evil, I don’t agree with this take, but I can tell he has struggled with it, here it is, “traditional Republicans can’t win anymore, they don’t have the numbers, so there is only 1 way in the short run, and that is to make the tent as large as possible with an unsavory voting bloc, this voting bloc loves Trump with a blind passion, so even though I don’t like Trump, he’s all we got to appeal to those folks, Romney couldn’t do it, Bush was the last of the normal republican to win, so until we convert people to our side, Trump is all we got to keep those voters in the tent,” I made the argument that you are doing more harm than good, by trading short term success for worse results later, his come back to that was, “there is no later, we’re done now and later, so you might as well, take the short term win,” It was unconvincing to most everyone there, but it does offer an insight into how I think you can shape the argument this summer, because adding evidence to Trumps abomination is not moving people, when that group thinks the other side is worse

    1. ““traditional Republicans can’t win anymore, they don’t have the numbers, so there is only 1 way in the short run,”

      So morals are not important, unless they are someone else’s morals. Principles are not important. The good of the republic is not important. society is not important. Our place in the world is not important.

      WINNING is important. Owning the libs is important. and believing that you can control the narrative, when you clearly can’t, is important.

      Oh, yes. And subverting democracy is important. Just like abortion is important, if it gives you power over others.

      1. I agree with you, you should never do an evil thing in the hopes that a good should come from it, but it’s pretty easy thing to say to your political opponent, just lose, but keep your morals, that’s my choice, because I want to win another race, I’ve been telling my friends on the left for a while, if you don’t like the religious right, wait until you meet the non religious right, and that is what we have with Trump

    2. I think most mainstream Republicans would rather have an enabler like Trump over an opponent like, say, Clinton, in the White House. I am wondering if mainstream Republicans in Congress held impeachment over Trump’s head as a way to control him as best they can. In other words, I am theorizing that there is as much a power struggle within the Republican Party as there is between Republicans and Democrats.

      I do agree with Ben’s gist that this is wrong thinking. If Clinton had won the White House, the Republicans would still control Congress and would still have had large influence – Clinton would have been a weak President.

      But that’s water under the bridge now, I guess. Trump is an enabler, but Republicans have also enabled Trumpists. The Nicomachean, Aristotelian position now is to vote Democrat, oppose Trump, and oppose Republicans.

      And yet, ironically, all is not lost for the future. Nikki Haley may yet deserve a good look for President at some time.

      1. Nikki Haley was a willful collaborator with the worst president in history. She’s a piranha behind that Southern lady schtick.

        But I agree she is coming down the pike and will be tough to beat.

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