Tell Them They’re Not Welcome Anymore, Anywhere

I’m a silent driver. I hardly ever use my car horn. I see people going too fast, or too slow, or cutting corners, but I never feel the need to express indignation about it – even if what they’ve just done has caused me to brake or stop or swerve. It takes a lot to get me to hit my horn.

As far as I’m concerned, these sorts of slight obstructions and infringements are just part and parcel of driving. The same is true of walking along a street. People suddenly stop, or change direction. Stuff happens.

I’m not very judgmental. But I’ll acknowledge other drivers when they give way to me. I’ll thank them with a smile or a wave of my hand or maybe just a lifted finger.

But some people are very judgmental. They’ll let you know when you’ve made a mistake, and they’ll let you know very loudly.

Some people even tell other people to start being more judgmental.

Like Maxine Waters, a US (California) Democratic Representative.

“Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she tells the crowd around her. She was talking about people in Trump’s cabinet or Trump’s administration, in respect of Trump’s internment of the children of illegal immigrants.

I’m not going to get into the rights and wrongs of Trump’s internment policy. What interests me is the approach Maxine Waters takes to a policy she disapproves of: she’s asking people to personally “push back” against people in Trump’s administration,”tell them that they’re not welcome.”

In a subsequent MSNBC interview (1:08), she said that they should be “absolutely harassed until they decide (to change their minds).”

And I immediately thought that this was what was being done to smokers as well. “Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” pretty much summarises the policy towards smokers these days. They are to be absolutely harassed until they change their behaviour, and stop smoking.

Is that the way to get people to change their minds, change their behaviour? Harass them and bully them until they give in? As a smoker who has been subjected to a decade or more of harassment and bullying, all I can say is that it’s only made me all the more determined to never give up smoking.

Can you change anyone’s mind about anything that way? You might be able to change the way they behave, but can you change the way they think? Smoking bans have certainly changed the way I behave: I no longer smoke in pubs. But the bans haven’t stopped me wanting to smoke in pubs. They haven’t changed my mind at all.

I think that if you want to change people’s minds, you have to provide them with good reasons for changing their minds. And people will change their minds if they’re presented with good reasons for doing so. And if you can’t change someone’s mind, it’ll most likely be because you didn’t present them with good enough reasons to change their minds.

Smoking bans can change behaviour, but they can’t change hearts and minds. But maybe behaviour was all that Tobacco Control ever wanted to change? Maybe they couldn’t give a hang about what people thought, and only about what they did?

Aside from smoking, it seems that the Maxine Waters of the world are telling people to protest at injustice, and to protest very loudly, and protest very forcefully. She’s telling them to hit their car horns every time they see someone break any rule of the road. And she’s very far from being alone. There are a lot of people like her around these days. They won’t let anything pass. Nothing’s too trivial for them. Not even tobacco smoke.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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12 Responses to Tell Them They’re Not Welcome Anymore, Anywhere

  1. Rose says:

    Is that the way to get people to change their minds, change their behaviour? Harass them and bully them until they give in? As a smoker who has been subjected to a decade or more of harassment and bullying, all I can say is that it’s only made me all the more determined to never give up smoking

    “To confront such malefactors, some believed, anything that might work had to be considered, even heavy-handed moral opprobrium. In the New York Times, a psychiatrist wrote,

    “What we need is a national campaign that results in the stigmatization rather than the glorification of the smoker. This, in my opinion, would be the most effective way of reducing the number of smokers and confining their smoke to the privacy of their homes”
    New York Times. July 30, 1977
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470446/

    I found another reference.

    “In 1977, the well-known child and adolescent psychiatrist, Richard Gardner, called for a “national campaign that results in stigmatization rather than glorification of
    the smoker.” 27
    That campaign’s success must have exceeded Gardner’s hopes by
    a large margin.”
    27.
    Richard Gardner, Letter to the Editor, ‘Fatuous and Futile’ Road to Self-Esteem 1997″

    This snippet of information popped up in what appears to be a long and disturbing dissertation on the supposed merits of a fat tax in 2013.

    CONCLUSION
    “A tax on calorie-dense food applied only to citizens who are over-weight or obese is practical and sensible. Because it would not apply to those of healthy weight, the tax would be less regressive than the current wave of Pigovian food taxes.

    Because of its stigmatic effect,it promises to have a larger effect than a tax of the same amount that all must pay. To those who think the tax too harsh, I say, consider the scorn that we happily inflict on smokers. The platypygous deserve no better”
    https://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.co.uk/&httpsredir=1&article=1528&context=articles

    I have been unable to find the original letter which might explain more, if anyone could help.

    platypygous, after much searching, appears to be something to do with broad bottoms.

  2. I agree with you – it’s one of the main reasons I’ve gotten off of all social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc) – I exhausted myself of any patience for shrill people who get offended by anything and everything, and who think that constantly badgering someone will change their mind. Honestly, most of the time it’s bewildering – I have a very ‘laissez-faire’ attitude about existing in society – I can’t understand the mindset of people who are outraged and wag proverbial fingers over everything they don’t agree with. There are many things I don’t like in society – but they are part of it – so I just do my best to avoid those things. Isn’t that the point? That we all get to have our space to pursue our own happiness and pleasure?

  3. waltc says:

    Rose–try this:
    “We have devices that we could put on your throat that could measure your swallows,” Popkin explains. “We have devices now to measure how much you move, so we can see when people are engaged in activity like walking or jogging. He even suggests that obese people could wear ankle bracelets or collars similar to those used to monitor DUI felons ”

    http://bigthink.com/dangerous-ideas/30-tax-fat-people

    • Rose says:

      Makes you shiver, doesn’t it.
      I wonder if Popkins would willingly consent to being treated like a farm animal, or would he consider himself a different species and therefore exempt?

      You’ve got to admit, these types would make a fascinating study in themselves.

    • Remember that Obamacare doesn’t charge anyone extra for anything… except for the 50% surcharge on smokers. Rose and Walt: great sources/links!

      :)
      MJM

      • Rose says:

        The only “well-known child and adolescent psychiatrist, Richard Gardner” from New York that I could find was some kind of nutcase who made his living stigmatising mothers and children and is described as an “authentic American monster” in his obituary.

        “Gardner’s work has created a generation of mothers and children scarred psychologically and, in many cases, physically by the court rulings he has influenced. In one of his earliest cases, a Maryland physicist he labelled a “parental alienator”, unfit to retain custody of her children, was subsequently shot dead by her ex-husband. Still Gardner did not change his view that the wife was the true villain; her lies, he insisted, had made the husband temporarily psychotic.”
        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/dr-richard-a-gardner-36582.html

        But it’s probably a common name and an entirely different person, though he does seem to have a similar MO.

        “In 1977, the well-known child and adolescent psychiatrist, Richard Gardner, called for a “national campaign that results in stigmatization rather than glorification of
        the smoker.”

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    The antismoking hysteria has spread to France where smokers are not welcome in parks in Strasbourg anymore! See “Strasbourg becomes first French city to ban smoking in parks” at https://www.thelocal.fr/20180626/strasbourg-become-first-french-city-to-ban-smoking-in-parks

    The antismoking hysteria must be stopped. Tobacco control must be destroyed!

  5. Clicky says:

  6. beobrigitte says:

    Aside from smoking, it seems that the Maxine Waters of the world are telling people to protest at injustice, and to protest very loudly, and protest very forcefully.
    If what is done to smokers is not an injustice, then Maxine Waters (who is she, anyway) is just naive.
    Apropos smoking, second- and third hand smoke: In the last couple of days it has been quite warm here. And the flies (all sorts, thanks to the fisher men – I will retaliate!!) as well as other insects are a pain. They keep coming into the house, settling on the walls, fly through my cigarette smoke and just DON’T DIE considering all the nasty chemicals that are supposed to be in cigarette smoke or being stuck to the walls in a household in which people ARE ALLOWED to SMOKE.
    Smoking and third (idiotic) hand smoke does not stop insects and animals entering anybody’s house and the only ones dead fell victim to my extendible fly squatter.

    Food for thought?

  7. Joe L. says:

    Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere

    Does anyone actually take this “Progressive” movement seriously anymore? One minute they’re virtue-signalling about equality and the next minute they’re openly encouraging discrimination and harassment. Maxine Waters and her ilk need to be voted out of office and rendered irrelevant.

  8. Vlad says:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44623399
    Federation chief Jean-François Guihard said in the letter that such attacks were a form of terrorism.
    “It’s terror that these people are seeking to sow, in their aim of making a whole section of French culture disappear,” he wrote.
    Vegans wanted to “impose on the immense majority of people their lifestyle, or even their ideology”.

    One could replace the word vegans with anti-smokers and it would be an accurate description of what’s been happening since the ’60s.

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