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  #2490556 24-May-2020 16:46
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Yep. Never mind the important stuff, just concentrate on the trivial. If people are going to be offended by something like that, best they never go outside again. Unless, of course they are just being offended on someone else’s behalf.
A MAGA cap at the the bottom left hand corner of a shelf does not a shrine make. A portrait of Trump inside a pentagram, now that would be a different matter.

 

Anyway Mr Muller, welcome to the world of the professionally offended.





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  #2490557 24-May-2020 16:49
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Dingbatt:

Yep. Never mind the important stuff, just concentrate on the trivial. If people are going to be offended by something like that, best they never go outside again. Unless, of course they are just being offended on someone else’s behalf.
A MAGA cap at the the bottom left hand corner of a shelf does not a shrine make. A portrait of Trump inside a pentagram, now that would be a different matter.


Anyway Mr Muller, welcome to the world of the professionally offended.



Next thing you know people will take offence about the prime minister making a joke about the Easter bunny.

Oh wait...

 
 
 
 


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  #2490561 24-May-2020 17:00
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Don't know a lot about the bloke but the couple of short interviews I've watched he seems personable enough and I'm certainly glad that Bridges has been pushed aside.  I found him smarmy and slimey.

 

As mentioned above I sincerely hope that his religious faith doesn't get embedded in(or worse, form the basis of) National's policies.

 

His first mistake was putting up his American politics souvenirs, he should have ditched them before becoming high-profile.  He's between a bit of a rock and a hard place now.  Does he stay true to his 'hobby' and keep them, and get branded a Trump-lover (as per a  couple of posts above) by left-wingers and haters, or does he get rid of them which could be seen as weak for caving in.





"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road." -  Stephen Hawking


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  #2490579 24-May-2020 17:47
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Batman:

Todd's Trump shrine proving unpopular https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12334292


I've barely heard of Muller, I'm inclined to give his explanation the benefit of the doubt. I think the lady quoted in the article is probably right. If you want people to vote for you it is not a good idea to have this in the office. It's an amusing conversational display for a backbencher. It is not what prospective voters want to be faced with in the office of a party leader, or potential future prime minster.

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  #2490600 24-May-2020 18:03
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My guess is he'll just say he's been surprised by the reaction but understands where they are coming from and given that he's not particularly attached to it, it's not something he feels he absolutely needs in his office.

 

In the interests of disclosure, I may or may not have a fridge magnet that claims that Lenin is immortal.  




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  #2490604 24-May-2020 18:12
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Dingbatt:

 

Yep. Never mind the important stuff, just concentrate on the trivial. If people are going to be offended by something like that, best they never go outside again. Unless, of course they are just being offended on someone else’s behalf.
A MAGA cap at the the bottom left hand corner of a shelf does not a shrine make. A portrait of Trump inside a pentagram, now that would be a different matter.

 

 

 

Anyway Mr Muller, welcome to the world of the professionally offended.

 



Well if you want votes and your voters dislike the colour blue you will wear yellow. It's that simple really. It's not about offending people or not.





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  #2490820 25-May-2020 04:46
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I have watched news events over the past few years, I see racists wearing that MAGA hat. I have come to accept that a lot of demonstrably vile and racist people wear those hats.

 

Muller doubling down on having his MAGA hat on display was unfortunate, it could mean a number of things, but the one thing it tells me is that at the very least, he has poor judgment. If the hat is just political memorabilia then why wouldn't he leave it in a personal collection where cameras can't catch it in background shots?

 

I have a friend who collects World War 1 and 2 memorabilia, amongst it, he has a knife and a ring that once belonged to some famous nazi commander from WW2, I forget who. While parts of his collection are displayed, those items are stored away out of sight and will only bring them out on rare occasions to clean or talk with another person about. Someone asked him why he doesn't have his most collectible items out on display he said simply, "Because they are symbols of hate and I don't want people visiting my home to get the wrong impression of me or to be scared and/or upset". He understands that people will react negatively to them.

 

Sure, the reaction to seeing the item may not be reasonable. But, I would think someone leading a political party would have at least the same level of common sense as a fruit farmer in Hawke's Bay.


 
 
 
 


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  #2490829 25-May-2020 07:09
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So the latest photo I have seen of the ‘offensive’ garment, is it has a “Hillary 2016” badge attached to the side of it.

 

Edit: Not sure if that makes it more or less offensive :-)





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  #2490833 25-May-2020 07:42
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Dingbatt:

 

So the latest photo I have seen of the ‘offensive’ garment, is it has a “Hillary 2016” badge attached to the side of it.

 

Edit: Not sure if that makes it more or less offensive :-)

 

 

That's not new - it's actually an old photo from a tweet Muller made in 2016.  The Hillary badge was sitting alongside the cap on his shelf - not pinned to it.

I don't particularly care that he's got the cap - I'm more interested to know what he truly thinks about it.  But of course like most world leaders or aspiring world leaders of small nations, he's not going to be inclined to want to say anything substantial for or against Trump.  Having the cap (and pin) on display does beg a question he's probably not going to want to give a direct answer to - it surprises me that he didn't consider the ramifications.


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  #2490888 25-May-2020 09:33
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The problem isn't that he collected the hat as a souvenir, or holds onto it as a keepsake. It is that he didn't seem to realise, or care, how others might perceive it. As leader of the opposition, his ambition is to be the next PM of New Zealand. That means the PM of everyone in New Zealand, not just the National Party supporters. For probably about half the voting population, that hat symbolises something they don't like that makes them feel uncomfortable. If nothing else, it is a bad look that suggests poor judgement.

 

 





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  #2490902 25-May-2020 10:01
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Based on such a small thing (very poor judgement) I can foresee that National has already lost. Let's see how this cap drama plays out... *Popcorn...




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  #2490904 25-May-2020 10:03
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Rikkitic: The problem isn't that he collected the hat as a souvenir, or holds onto it as a keepsake. It is that he didn't seem to realise, or care, how others might perceive it. As leader of the opposition, his ambition is to be the next PM of New Zealand. That means the PM of everyone in New Zealand, not just the National Party supporters. For probably about half the voting population, that hat symbolises something they don't like that makes them feel uncomfortable. If nothing else, it is a bad look that suggests poor judgement.

 

Well said. This isn't the trivial matter that some here would have us believe.

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12334259  Excerpts:

 

"MAGA is an undeniable symbol of white supremacy and hatred toward certain non-white groups," wrote US-based law professor Jeffrey Omari in his 2019 essay.

 

Omari, who was moved to write the piece after a student wore a MAGA hat in one of his classes goes on: "For its supporters, MAGA indexes an effort to return to a time in American history when this country was "great" for some—particularly, propertied white men—but brutally exclusionary for others, most notably women and people of colour."

 

We have to assume that Muller isn't ignorant of how these things work. As a former student of politics, he'll be acutely aware of how words and pictures can be melded into powerful symbols.

 

Once something is imbued with that deep political meaning, it's no longer just a hat, badge or flag.

 

 Muller has had ample opportunity and reason to remove that cap from his cabinet over the last three years, but he hasn't.

 

That hat sat proudly in the cabinet while it was also brandished by white nationalists at political rallies. It sat there through a Muslim travel ban. And it sat there while thousands of women took to the streets in this country to protest what Trump represents.

 

None of that could move Muller to remove the hat from visibility.

 

But watch closely. If he does end up removing the hat in coming days or weeks, we'll be given a good hint of what the new leader of the National Party really cares about.

 

I never thought I'd say this, but I'd rather see Bridges in charge of the Nats.





'Ask not what you can do for your country: ask what you can do for me'. Donald J.Trump. US President 2016 - 2020.

 

 

 

 


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  #2490906 25-May-2020 10:06
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Fred99:

 

Dingbatt:

 

So the latest photo I have seen of the ‘offensive’ garment, is it has a “Hillary 2016” badge attached to the side of it.

 

Edit: Not sure if that makes it more or less offensive :-)

 

 

That's not new - it's actually an old photo from a tweet Muller made in 2016.  The Hillary badge was sitting alongside the cap on his shelf - not pinned to it.

I don't particularly care that he's got the cap - I'm more interested to know what he truly thinks about it.  But of course like most world leaders or aspiring world leaders of small nations, he's not going to be inclined to want to say anything substantial for or against Trump.  Having the cap (and pin) on display does beg a question he's probably not going to want to give a direct answer to - it surprises me that he didn't consider the ramifications.

 

 

He's already answered the question on Trump, he used the word "appalling"

 

I'd say the cap has been sitting there along with Hillary's badge for sometime , part of the furniture, pretty well unnoticed, until someone decided to make a mountain out of a molehill. I don't see anyone jumping up and down asking why he, as a right of centre MP, has a souvenir from a left wing politician in his office.

 

I know someone who has a copy of the current PM's "biography" in her office. Having a copy of the book doesn't make her a fan of the PM, I know for a fact she has no time for the PM. Someone seeing that book in her office may of course jump to another conclusion.





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  #2490933 25-May-2020 10:30
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geekIT:

 

"MAGA is an undeniable symbol of white supremacy and hatred toward certain non-white groups," wrote US-based law professor Jeffrey Omari in his 2019 essay.

 

 

No doubt MAGA means exactly that to some people in the US.

 

If you were to ask a cross section of New Zealanders it's my bet none of them would associate MAGA in the manner Professor Omari does. New Zealanders, if they actually remember what MAGA meant, would see it as just a slogan used on a baseball cap supporting Donald Trump, nothing more nothing less. To try and make it in to anything else in a New Zealand context is grasping at straws.





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  #2490938 25-May-2020 10:38
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Technofreak:

 

He's already answered the question on Trump, he used the word "appalling"

 

 

OK - that's good:

 

 

"I've been asked directly do I support President Trump's style, and I say 'not at all'.

 

"I find his style of politics appalling"

 

(snip)

 

Asked if it was wise to publicly describe Trump as "appalling" given Muller might one day be prime minister while Trump was President, Muller said he did not think Trump would be bothered.

 

"My experience of observing the President of the United States is he has a remarkable comfort in his own world view, and his own perspective of other people. I don't think for one moment that he would, in any way, be personally slighted or frustrated if a New Zealand prime minister held a different view to his approach to the world.

 

"There is no problem in being able to hold a view on these matters, and I have every confidence that the President would not be fazed at all."

 

 

I don't have any confidence that the present POTUS would "not be fazed at all" if that is fed back to him or gets media coverage in the US.  He's made much bigger deals about much smaller criticisms.  But OTOH - good on Muller for saying that. 


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