Hoping That Future Presidential Candidates Won’t Be Asked About Whether They Would Kill Baby Trump

back-to-the-future-delorean

I refused to weigh in on the brief and silly ethics question being asked of various Presidential candidates regarding whether they would kill Baby Hitler given the chance via DeLorean or Star Trek gateway or something similar. I am beginning to wonder, though, if candidates to lead whatever is left of the U.S. 50 years from now will be asked a similar question about killing Baby Trump.

I have written…

Donald Trump’s revolting candidacy…cannot fairly be called the most unethical presidential candidacy, but it is early yet. It may well prove to be one of the most harmful. As the United States faces some of the most difficult challenges in its history, Trump has chosen to use the nation’s process of deciding on its leader for his own ego gratification and self-promotion, without  preparation for the job, deference to fair campaign rhetoric, or acknowledgment of his own fatal flaws as a candidate. Exploiting his status as a media celebrity in a celebrity-besotted culture, as well as the news media’s lack of discipline or principle, he is opportunistically advancing his candidacy on the lack of credible GOP contenders, using tabloid headline tactics….Donald Trump is perfectly happy to make a mockery of the presidential nomination and election processes while distorting them too. If he manages to convince enough fools to vote for him, hell, sure…he’d have a blast running for President. If his run peters out, it’s still worth lots of publicity, and increases the value of the Trump “brand.” Even the most unethical of the previous candidacies were based on a sincere, if misguided belief that the country’s welfare would be served by it. Does Trump have that belief? I wonder. No, his can’t be called the most unethical candidacy. But it is reckless, and it is intentionally appealing to the worst in 21st Century American character: fear, celebrity worship, ignorance, and materialism. Meanwhile, every second of attention his candidacy distracts from serious consideration of our nation’s leadership reduces the chances of the public doing its hardest and most important job carefully and competently.

I wrote that five years ago.

The only part of it that I would change now is that his candidacy, if it is not terminated soon, will undoubtedly be the most unethical and damaging to the nation in our history. I actually underestimated Trump’s awfulness in 2011, and as recently as a few weeks ago. I had begun convincing myself that as he began to see that his candidacy wasn’t a lark, he would move toward being more responsible, less inflammatory, better prepared and more rational. After Trump, he does have some leadership tools and experience, I began telling myself. Maybe he was capable of growth. At least he wasn’t a religious zealot. Maybe he had the ability to refocus his gifts and run a positive, legitimate campaign. True, using Trump to stop the horror of a Hillary Presidency was like whistling up the Tyrannosaurus to take on Indominus Rex in “Jurassic World,”  but still…

Well, I was obviously in denial. Trump has now proved beyond a scintilla of a doubt that he is a true threat to the nation—a thug, a bigot, a gestating fascist, a liar and a fool. What a combination. He’s the Indominus-an unholy mash-up of the worst of American politics, distorted values and anti-intellectual instincts. He has to be stopped. Early on, when it was easier to stop him, I proposed two methods, neither of which is available now. The harm Trump can do to the country going forward is incalculable. If a time machine were available, I’d be tempted to use it.

Over a single weekend, Donald Trump…

Advocated putting mosques under surveillance…

Didn’t blink at the idea of forcing Muslims to register in a special database…

Insisted that he saw “thousands” of New Jersey Muslims celebrating the fall of the Twin Towers on live TV…

Endorsed waterboarding…

Ratified his brownshirts beating up a Black Lives Matter protester at one of his rallies…

Tweeted this...

Trump shootings

(It is completely wrong.)

And, despite “pledging” otherwise, he again hinted that he might run a third party campaign, virtually assuring a President Sanders or a President Clinton, if he’s not “treated fairly.” Who knows what being treated fairly means to him? This is virtual extortion.

After the carnage that Barack Obama will leave in his wake—a growing terror threat, a weakened defense, a chaotic Middle East, disillusioned allies, emboldened enemies, an out of control debt, a failed Affordable Care Act, unaddressed rising health care costs, racial division unwitnessed since the Sixties, a stagnant economy, a law enforcement system in crisis, unprecedented numbers of Americans out of the workforce, a dysfunctional education system, a looming college debt crisis, unenforced immigration laws,  levels of trust for all institutions at perilously low levels for a democracy, and a frightening percentage of young Americans willing to reject core American principles entirely—the United States cannot risk being forced into a Hobson’s choice between the corrupt leftist totalitarianism of Hillary Clinton and the cynical Cr0-Magnon crypto-fascism of Donald Trump.  The United States didn’t come this far to be destroyed by its own elected leaders.

I hope.

The Democrats are stuck, and, to their shame, smug about it. They have locked themselves in to nominating an unforgivably untrustworthy candidate, while mocking the Republicans for their “clown car” of options. Anyone who cares about integrity, honesty and trust should be grateful for the chance to vote for Bozo or Ronald McDonald over the venal rot that is the Clinton machine. Still, finding a plausibly competent candidate among the Republican dregs is a daunting task as well. Never mind: the responsible thing and the desperately urgent thing now is to find the strongest candidate who is not Donald Trump and start a head-to-head competition with him. It’s the patriotic duty for all of the GOP pretenders and egomaniacs save one to put their ambitions aside and settle on the most attractive and competent non-thug, non-fascist, non-fool, non-boor, non-fake to oppose Donald Trump immediately.

Or, in the alternative, to find that time machine.

The worst case scenario for a democracy is that all the stupid and ignorant people will suddenly decide to unite behind a single terrible candidate. The fact that Trump and Ben Carson have more than four closed-head injury patients, six middle school drop-outs, some country western stars,  the alumni of Madam Louisa’s Home For The Bewildered and a partridge in a pear tree showing up at their rallies—a lot more—suggests that that nightmare might be coming true.

There has to be a solution that doesn’t require Doc Brown.

There has to be.

UPDATE: Tonight Bill O’Reilly grilled Trump about tweeting the fake shooting stats, and this exchange occurred:

TRUMP: I didn’t tweet, I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert, and it was also a radio show.

O’REILLY: Why do you want to be in that zone?

TRUMP: Hey, Bill, Bill, am I gonna check every statistic? I get millions and millions of people, @RealDonaldTrump, by the way.

O’REILLY: You gotta, you’re a presidential contender, you gotta check ‘em.

TRUMP: I have millions of people… You know what? Fine. But this came out of radio shows and everything else.

O’REILLY: Oh, come on, radio shows?!

TRUMP: All it was was a retweet.

Way to be responsible and accountable, Donald!

What an idiot.

And anyone who supports or makes excuses for a jerk like this is an idiot too.

 

37 thoughts on “Hoping That Future Presidential Candidates Won’t Be Asked About Whether They Would Kill Baby Trump

  1. Things are so bleak and desperate at this point that I wish (oh, wish so hard!) for a reasonable, popular, intelligent and trustworthy third party candidate to rise and overwhelm both Trump and Hillary in the general.

    Somebody start working on that George Washington-Abraham Lincoln-Teddy Roosevelt-Taylor Swift hybrid now!

  2. “the United States cannot risk being forced into a Hobson’s choice between the corrupt leftist totalitarianism of Hillary Clinton and the cynical Cro-Magnon crypto-fascism of Donald Trump. The United States didn’t come this far to be destroyed by its own elected leaders.”

    If we define the United States as being what the majority of its voters vote for, or maybe what more than half of its citizens insist it should be, or what more than half of the people living here are willing to allow to happen I submit the United States risked exactly that. And any nation that allows that degree of corruption to continue shouldn’t be surprised when it fails.

    • It has been said that a people get the government that they deserve. Several of my friends are admitting that they have not been paying attention for the past several years. Many of them were offended when I started yelling at them, and a goodly number are no longer my friends. Unfortunately, this is too important an issue to treat with kid gloves, so I will continue to yell.

      • Apathy is a problem, to be sure. But I don’t believe that we’ve gotten the government that we “deserve.” Is it *possible* to cast a vote for peace/non-interventionist foreign policy? For fiscal responsibility? For the preservation of civil liberties? For the rollback of the burgeoning police state? For sane and effective education policy? For a tax system that supports positive social mobility? For health care legislation that isn’t written by and for insurance companies? For financial regulation that does not transform the debt of the poor into the native currency of the ultra-rich?

        The answer is: no. It is not possible for any of us to cast a vote that will result in any of those things. They are not even options. In fact, both major parties have worked tirelessly in the opposite direction for the last twenty years. And because none of us can cast a vote for any of those things, it is clear that our representative democracy has failed us– derailed and hijacked by corruption. That is a problem more severe and enduring than simple public apathy.

        • “our representative democracy

          There’s an error there:

          We don’t have a representative democracy anymore…

          700,000+ citizens per Member of the House does not Representation make.

        • Much of what society tolerates and then embraces doesn’t come from our votes, but from our collective abandonment of behaviors that produce societal good. I’m trying hard to say what I mean without tripping over words that have had all the meaning wrung out of them.

          Second try…Actions have consequences. Choices have consequences. Voting is near the end of the choice cycle. The decay starts with poor choices whose consequences are prevented or perverted. I can’t find a way to say it correctly, but maybe someone who can write can.

          • You’ve said it well enough. I agree with you. We are accountable for our cumulative decisions whether we are individuals or political parties, or entire cultures. Our children are being taught that their actions do not have consequences, our politicians and their parties seem to have succumbed to magical thinking, and we are letting our culture be formed by our media, not the other way around. To me, the biggest culprit is our educational system: civics and history are ignored or “rewritten”, and critical thinking is just right out. I am gravely concerned for my grandchildren and the world they are growing up in.

    • Are you aware that American Renaissance is a white nationalist website? Why would any rational person click that link in order to find accurate stats on black crime?

          • He doesn’t sound like one. The only bona fide Trump supporter who comments here is my old, brilliant, retired MD friend Peter, who promised a mean rebuttal to an earlier Trump take-down here, but disappeared without a peep. My guess is that, being too smart to stay with Trump, he cane to his senses. If so, may his number increase.

            • Oh. Well I wasn’t referring to Trump supporters with my comment–I was asking why anyone here would click the link for information if they knew of the website’s white nationalism.

        • When a well is as poisoned as American Renaissance, that is totally valid. I don’t know if the stats in that link are accurate, because I’d have to click to find out, which I’m not going to do; giving traffic to white nationalist websites is unethical. If Wayne wants to have a conversation about stats, he

          • Dammit. Pressed submit too early.

            Cont’d: If Wayne wants to have a conversation about stats, he can cite a reliable source. He claims the link leads to the DOJ stats, so why not just link directly to those? Why make people wade through racist shit to get there? It’s perfectly valid to point out that the site is a white nationalist organization and should not be trusted nor given traffic, regardless of whether the stats are accurate.

              • It’s a good rule of thumb to dig into the stats yourself and do the math yourself to find out how a source is comparing the raw data. I don’t rely on stats from unproven sources…I typically do the mind numbing math to figure it out myself.

                One more reason discussions *on principle* are infinitely more valuable than discussions *on stats*.

            • “These people are bad, so what they say is wrong,” would be well-poisoning.

              “These people are untrustworthy, so listening to what they say is a waste of time because you’d have to fact-check it against reliable sources anyway, so you might as well skip straight to those,” is rational. I think this is what Chris is saying.

            • “Would you also cry if Jeffrey Dahmer said “2 + 2 = 4”?”

              No, but I also wouldn’t click a link that was prefaced with “Hey, check out these numbers provided by Jeffrey Dahmer that PROVE human meat is good for you!” Which is a more fitting analogy. Wayne didn’t provide any stats on black crime; he linked to a white nationalist site and said, “The DPJ estimates are here.” Maybe AmRen cited the DOJ accurately. I don’t know, and I don’t care. I simply don’t want to give traffic to AmRen, nor do I want to waste my time looking at any info provided by them, especially on a subject they can’t possible be neutral on, and thought others might want to make an informed decision too.

            • They source them to Heather McDonald at National review, who in turn claims the source is the National Crime Victimization Survey. The NCVS hasn’t published race of victim/perpetrator data since 2006 (wonder why), so it’s hard to double check from there, but the values from 2006 are in similar ranges. The count of black on white violent crimes was roughly 9 to 10 times the count of white on black.

              http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=942 choose victims and offender data for 2006, file is cv0642. Multiply the rates by the total victims.

      • Your personal attack tells me a bit about what kind of a person you are. I’m not going to defend American Renaissance. I do know that black on black crime is a very serious problem as well as black on white crime. I made it clear in my post that I consider Trump a demagogue and will vote for another candidate.

        • Wayne, I did not personally attack you, I attacked your source, which is horrible and racist. Credibility matters. Ethos matters. If you want people to believe that black on black crime is a serious problem, it helps not to link to a source whose sole purpose is to spread fear of non-whites.

          I’m not saying that black on black crime isn’t a problem. I’m giving you much needed advice on checking your sources. That’s what Jack’s post is about, at least in part; Trump cited a Neo-Nazi, and got the stats wrong. Whether or not AmRen got the stats right (again, you put me in the position of having to click a white supremacist link in order to find out), you took the same risk as Trump. Learn from his mistakes.

    • I’d like to say Trumps estimates are too high, but I can’t, because they don’t actually have any meaning. 97% of what? All black people? That can’t be right. All black deaths? All black people who were murdered? All black people who were murdered by black people? Wait, that one would be 100% by definition. Is there even a context that makes that number make sense? I doubt it, since it’s made up.

      The way to prevent violence is to ensure that people have accessible alternatives to it, and are aware of them. That takes finesse, and the government isn’t good at finesse, partially because if you have to appease millions of people, you can’t do much of anything fine-tuned.

      • Not only that, but the even if the percentages were given a context, you couldn’t meaningfully compare them to each other to draw any conclusions without controlling for various factors, chief among them the relative sizes and distributions of populations of black people and white people.

        Forget using statistics to tell lies. This is the statistical equivalent of calling somebody a booger-brain. “Oh, yeah? Well black people kill black people ninety-seven percent!

        Everybody who graduated high school should be tearing Trump to shreds. I would call this planet mentally challenged, except mentally challenged people as a general rule aren’t obnoxiously arrogant.

  3. As a well-rounded geek, I’ll take on your time machine question:

    Journalist: “If you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler, would you do it?”

    Me: “What kind of time travel, Novikov self-consistency, many-worlds, or Back to the Future?”

    Journalist: “Uh…”

    Me: “That answer would get you thrown from the Bridge of Death if this were a Monty Python movie. How am I supposed to answer your stupid time travel question if you haven’t studied enough about time travel to ask it properly? Okay, I’ll answer it anyway, but I’m running for president, here, not starship captain.

    “Novikov self-consistency: It is literally impossible to kill baby Hitler.

    “Many worlds: It would have no effect on anyone other than me.

    “Back to the Future: It would effectively kill everyone who was born as a result of Hitler’s actions, erasing people who already exist to create people who don’t. So no, no I wouldn’t. There is no positive outcome to undoing an event in the distant past, because it would literally be our undoing. All we can do is move forward.

    “Counter-question: are you advocating a Minority Report-style punishment of pre-crime?”

    Replace “Hitler” with “Trump” and you have the same problem. Also, I would be sorely tempted to vote for any candidate who answered the question like that, without bothering to learn anything else about them.

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