Top Ten Reasons Why Giving Chelsea Clinton A “Lifetime Impact Award” Is Unethical [UPDATED]

Next month, Variety magazine will host its annual “Women in Power” luncheon, and will give “Lifetime Impact  Awards” to several women in the fields of entertainment and public service.Among the honorees will be Chelsea Clinton. Here are the Top Ten Reasons the ridiculous award starts ethics alarms sounding:

1.  The award is incompetent and misleading. Chelsea has done nothing on her own to justify any award. She has been hired for a series of jobs based solely on the prominence of her famous parents, and is on the board of her family foundation, which has funded various humanitarian programs. These are passive achievements that any child of the Clintons would accumulate.

2. The award to Clinton immediately renders worthless Variety’s past and future “Lifetime Impact Awards”  to deserving and worthy recipients. It destroys any claim the award has to integrity and sincerity.

3.  The award is a lie. Chelsea Clinton is in her thirties, and hasn’t accumulated a lifetime, much less a lifetime of laudable achievements. It is grossly premature, contradicting its own title.

4. The award is cruel. It compels focus on the pathetic, privileged, exploited and exploitative existence of Chelsea Clinton thus far by proclaiming it to be something it obviously is not.

5. The award is unfair. There must be literally millions of women, even at Clinton’s young age, who by their own diligence, perseverance and character have genuinely achieved remarkable things in their lifetimes. Giving the award to Clinton suggests that her “impact” like serving on the board of several large-scale tech firms, operated by major Democratic donors, are more impressive than theirs.

6. The award is irresponsible. Giving Chelsea an award means that someone deserving will not receive the award. It is a cynically squandered opportunity.

7. The award celebrates privilege over character and genuine achievements. It sends the discouraging message that benefiting from family wealth and connections are worthy of special praise.

8. The award is classist and elitist, literally honoring Chelsea for the nearly unavoidable benefits of having elite and powerful parents, showing the influential and powerful using their influence to boost the status and reputations of their own, rather than to search out, encourage and reward the more deserving who are not already in “the club.”

9. The award is offensive, insulting the intelligence of anyone aware of how bereft of genuine initiative and “impact” Chelsea Clinton’s life has been so far.

10. It is unethical for Clinton to accept it, instead of gently turning it down and stating that she would welcome such an award in the future after she has done something to deserve it. Instead, as with everything else, Chelsea is happily accepting the bounty of being born into wealth and power, and, in the words of the late Ann Richards, thinks she has hit a triple because she was born on third base.

UPDATED: The original source for this post, Heat Street, had the story muddled. Chelsea was not, as was stated in the original post, being given a lifetime achievement award, but something called an “impact” award jointly awarded with the Lifetime TV network. Cute play on words there. Outside of the terminology, this is a distinction without a difference, as we say in the law.  All ten objections to the award stand, even after the obligatory edits.

73 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Marketing and Advertising

73 responses to “Top Ten Reasons Why Giving Chelsea Clinton A “Lifetime Impact Award” Is Unethical [UPDATED]

  1. This is right up there with giving Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

    This is clearly a propaganda stunt to publicly promote Chelsea Clinton as a emerging public figure. Gee I wonder where this kind of blatant promoting from the political left could lead? Maybe she’s actually starting to really test the waters of a political career? The vast majority of the political left will bow to this blatant propaganda move just like they did when Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize.

    I see this as a shrewd Clinton political machine tactic; think about it, Chelsea Clinton wins whether she accepts the award or declines the award.

  2. E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

    It’s all a part of the Clinton continuing power game. If Chelsea had any ethics at all, she should have done what you suggested. saying “Thanks for the honor, but why don’t we wait another 25 years to see what I actually achieve in my lifetime?”

    Just sickening, and another way to keep the Clinton name in the media. Guess they’re just adding to all the secret, behind-the-scenes activity to de-activate Trump as best they can. Poor old Hillary lost, so a Clinton has to win something, even if it’s meaningless and an insult to any thinking person.

    • Other Bill

      Correctamundo. Just part of the Clinton plan to get Chelsea elected to Congress from… somewhere… anywhere… as soon as possible. Gravy train with biscuit wheels.

  3. A.M. Golden

    I agree. It’s just another shameless Hollywood attempt to continue to promote the Clintons as selfless servants of the people.

  4. Wayne

    How about considering her fine work as part of the Clinton Foundation? Just kidding. I would like to propose a special award as poor little rich girl of the decade.

  5. Warren

    She is not receiving a “lifetime achievement award.” That was mistakenly reported and later corrected. The award is an “impact award” for her ” for the work she’s done with “Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which empowers kids to develop lifelong healthy habits.” It is given out by Variety magazine in partnership with the Lifetime television network.

    • Warren wrote, “She is not receiving a “lifetime achievement award. That was mistakenly reported and later corrected. The award is an “impact award” “

      You don’t understand how Progressive Magical Thinking works.

    • The objections all stand. She is getting the award because of her last name, and that’s the only reason. Can anyone seriously argue that this isn’t true? Are no other women involved with “Alliance for a Healthier Generation”?

      Thanks, though: I’ve corrected the text. Chelsea has earned no awards for her “impact,’ either.

      • Warren

        She is getting the award because of her last name, and that’s the only reason.

        Agreed. But so what? (See below.)

        Can anyone seriously argue that this isn’t true? Are no other women involved with “Alliance for a Healthier Generation”?

        Sure, but it’s doubtful they would be the same draw as giving the award to a Clinton. Is this inherently unethical? Awards ceremonies are not all created equal. Some exist in order to raise funds, draw attention to causes, generate enthusiasm, get people to rally around an institution. In many cases, these awards ceremonies pre-announce a particular headliner winner in order to entice attendees. Then the ceremony proceeds and other awards are given out in addition to the one designated for the headliner. For example, based on my own experience in the arts, small institutions often announce that they are giving a particular celebrity an award to get people to attend a gala that raises money for the institution by getting butts in the seats. In that situation, the celebrity is doing the institution a favor by accepting the award (often they don’t accept it, and you have to offer it to multiple people before you can find someone who will).

      • Chris

        Certainly Objection 3 no longer stands?

  6. By the way, the dog in the photo is also receiving an “impact” award…

  7. #11: It’s obviously coordinated with the publication of “her” book on health care, currently #68,368 because her mom turned out not to be President. Did you know that Chelsea is an adjunct professor at Columbia ‘ s School of Public Health? Who would have suspected?

    • wyogranny

      I saw a tweet she sent about not giving cows milk to her baby, instead giving him some ungodly concoction of chickpea juice.
      Nothing I ever learned about nutrition makes that a good idea. Milk from whatever source, contains nutrients essential to creating brain connections in babies brains. Not to mention the benefits to growing bones.
      Makes me wonder what she was fed as a baby.
      In any case, citing her as some kind of expert on health is absurd.

  8. Warren

    There’s a certain surreality in talking about this negligible topic, given what is happening in our country and the world this week.

    • Warren wrote, “There’s a certain surreality in talking about this negligible topic, given what is happening in our country and the world this week.”

      Don’t diminish the direct and indirect effects of ethics rot.

    • Chris

      I’m glad you said it, Warren, so I don’t have to. Aside from the president being under FBI investigation, and the compounding evidence that members of his team did collude with Russia (I’m pretty sure the conservatives here have all forgotten the name “Paul Manafort”), there is a much more important story involving nepotism going on right now with Trump giving a White House office to Ivanka, who is much less qualified for that then Chelsea is of this award.

      • This is an ethics blog that also talks about current events as they relate to ethics, this is not a current events blog; I think that is a significant distinction that both Warren and you have missed.

        Not all topics that you or I would like to be discussed will be discussed; accept that and move on. Trying to diminish a discussion about the ethics of a current event topic that you don’t think is worthy as compared to another current events topic is petty.

        • Chris & Warren,
          If you think there is a current event that warrants an ethical discussion, then send an email to Jack and suggest it; however, don’t be put off if your suggestion doesn’t produce a blog, I’ve sent some that didn’t cut the mustard.

          • Chris

            The problem comes when certain topics are selected to construct a specific narrative. To me, this story seems to have been chosen above the many, many stories of Trump’s corruption from just the past week because it fits the “Crooked Hillary” narrative. It draws conclusions such as this:

            “Chelsea is happily accepting the bounty of being born into wealth and power, and, in the words of the late Ann Richards, thinks she has hit a triple because she was born on third base.”

            Which are impossible to make based on the available facts. This statement tells us more about Jack’s bias than about Chelsea, because nothing Chelsea has ever said indicates this. Accepting an award doesn’t indicate this, as Jack recognized when he wrote about Obama’s acceptance of the Nobel Peace prize. (Jack has an anti-Obama bias, but can often overcome it; his anti-Clinton bias is much stronger.)

            And of course the narrative here for a long time has been that the Left is behaving worse than the Right, that we’re more dishonest, more prone to hysteria, etc. And yet this article is based largely off of right-wing disinformation, and indicates anti-Clinton hysteria from the right. The fact that this story was chosen above the many, many stories involving Trump’s corruption from the past week indicates to me that this narrative is, if not intentional, so deeply ingrained that it is causing otherwise intelligent conservatives to miss the biggest ethical issue of our time–President Trump’s corruption–because they are obsessed with documenting trivialities on the Left.

            • Chris wrote, “…the narrative here for a long time has been that the Left is behaving worse than the Right, that we’re more dishonest, more prone to hysteria, etc.”

              I’m curious; do you actually think that there is no evidence to support this theory you just presented?

              • Chris

                I think there is plenty of evidence that the Left is more unethical than the Right, as long as you ignore all the evidence that the Right is more unethical than the Left.

                And vice versa.

            • Warren

              Zoltar, it is precisely because Jack has the freedom to post about whatever he likes that I made the previous point about this being a curious topic to focus on. In responding to the stories investigated on Ethics Alarms, surely one data point is the moderator’s choice of topics, particularly when that moderator is not beholden to news cycles. It says something that in the midst of one of the most dismaying news cycles we’ve had yet in this new administration (which is saying something) that we’re focusing on a minor award being given to a movie star, a television star, a TV news presenter, a Broadway singer, a media executive, and the daughter of a former president.

              • Warren,
                Life is about choices, you just made one.

                I truly don’t understand why you bothered posted this longer rehash of your previous comment and I wasn’t asking for a justification as to why you wrote your comment at the top of this discussion, so this appears to be petty just like your comment that started this; also, it doesn’t change a thing I wrote in the previous comments, but it does show that you learned nothing from my subsequent comments to yours.

                Seriously Warren, sometimes it’s better to not reply.

                • Chris

                  Pat Buchanan recently articulated something I’ve been thinking for quite a while:

                  Good lord. If Buchanan and I ever agreed on anything, I probably wouldn’t admit it.

                  Buchanan, who also worked in the Nixon White House, said that after eight months of the Watergate scandal, seven people were indicted and jailed.

                  However, after almost eight months since the election, no one in the Trump campaign or administration has been charged with a crime.

                  I understand that Buchanan is probably too senile to count properly at this point, but I don’t know what the author’s excuse is. It has only been four months since the election. Since when is four “almost eight?”

                  • Chris wrote,“I understand that Buchanan is probably too senile to count properly at this point, but I don’t know what the author’s excuse is. It has only been four months since the election. Since when is four “almost eight?” “

                    “Since when is four “almost eight?” “; I think that took place when 50 states became 57 states. Interestingly enough, I didn’t see the political left say that Obama was “too senile to count properly at this point”. Your pettiness and partisanship goes way overboard sometimes Chris.

                    It was a gaffe Chris; try putting your overboard pettiness and partisanship away once in a while.

                    • “It was a gaffe Chris; try putting your overboard pettiness and partisanship away once in a while.”

                      I take that back, it really wasn’t an actual gaff just a time frame comparison that you chose to be petty about.

                    • Chris

                      It wasn’t petty, Zoltar. It was a crucial point of the argument made in that article. Read it again:

                      Buchanan, who also worked in the Nixon White House, said that after eight months of the Watergate scandal, seven people were indicted and jailed.

                      However, after almost eight months since the election, no one in the Trump campaign or administration has been charged with a crime.

                      The conclusion was that they should either indict or move on, since that’s what was done at a similar point in the Watergate case. But that is a false premise; it has only been half the time in the Trump case.

                    • Chris wrote, “It wasn’t petty, Zoltar.”

                      I was right the first time, it was most certainly a gaff, even thought we are a month past the half way point to 8 months; and I was not wrong about you going overboard with pettiness and partisanship.

                      Your entire argument, that I quoted, that was petty, was strictly smearing about about miscounting the months; you wrote, “I understand that Buchanan is probably too senile to count properly at this point, but I don’t know what the author’s excuse is. It has only been four months since the election. Since when is four “almost eight?” “

                      Now you’re implying that your argument was about, “The conclusion was that they should either indict or move on, since that’s what was done at a similar point in the Watergate case. But that is a false premise; it has only been half the time in the Trump case.” Don’t you dare try to laterally shift the fucking goal posts to something that was NOT your previous argument. If you really don’t think you were being petty about the month count gaff, then you simply don’t fully understand being petty.

                      An aside; I’m curious, when June 8, 2017 rolls around, and assuming there are no indictments by then, will you’ll say his argument is completely justified and it’s time to move on? Be honest.

                    • Chris

                      I am not shifting the goalposts, Zoltar, and I think you misunderstood. I was describing the argument made in the article.

                      An aside; I’m curious, when June 8, 2017 rolls around, and assuming there are no indictments by then, will you’ll say his argument is completely justified and it’s time to move on? Be honest.

                      No, because the premise itself is stupid. Just because Watergate led to indictments after eight months doesn’t mean that’s a magical number where we should either indict or move on.

                      The fact that it has not yet been almost eight months made the premise false and stupid.

                    • Chris wrote, “I am not shifting the goalposts, Zoltar, and I think you misunderstood. I was describing the argument made in the article.”

                      Not buying it Chris. I did not misunderstand what you wrote.

                  • Other Bill

                    I thought the eight months began running in July when the FISA warrant was obtained.

                    • Other Bill

                      Okay Chris, since you don’t like Pat Buchanan and discount everything he has to say, here’s the Manhattan Contrarian with an analogous take:

                      Now, I’m just trying to imagine the most damning conversation I can think might conceivably have happened between some Trump campaign aide (or maybe Trump himself!) and either Putin or one of his right-hand men, like Ambassador Kislyak, or maybe even Dmitri Medvedev. I’m imagining something like this:

                      Trump aide (or Trump): “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”

                      (Kislyak or Medvedev): “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”

                      Trump aide (or Trump): “After my election I have more flexibility.”

                      Kislyak or Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you.”

                      Now there’s some real collusion, right? But we know that this particular collusion was completely OK. We know that, because this is the actual transcript of a conversation between ex-President Obama and Dmitri Medvedev on March 26, 2012. Obama and Medvedev met in Seoul, South Korea, and Obama didn’t realize that he was speaking on an open mic. Anyway, if there were a transcript remotely this damning involving Trump or one of his aides, you can be sure that it would have been leaked by now.

                      http://manhattancontrarian.com/ I’d recommend him. I really enjoy his work.

                    • Chris

                      Other Bill, why don’t you explain to me why you think it’s wrong for a sitting President of the United States to negotiate with a foreign government while acting as president, and why you think that is equally as wrong as someone who is not the president, but merely running for president, to also negotiate with a foreign power in violation of the law.

                      You clearly expect me to think that the former is wrong, or at least just as wrong as the latter, and you seem to think that is obvious. It is not.

                    • Other Bill

                      Okay Chris. You win. I’ll await the indictments. I trust they’ll be coming down soon so we can get back to discussing other things.

                    • Other Bill

                      But is it really so different? Obama says, “Back off, Vlad, so I can get re-elected and I’ll give you what you want on missiles.” Quid pro quo. Trump is alleged to have said, “Help me get elected, Vlad, and I’ll eliminate the sanctions.” Sounds the same to me. But I know, I know, I’m an idiot.

                    • Other Bill

                      Chris, you’re really squandering your talents teaching high school or grade school or whatever you’re teaching. As cock sure and argumentative as you are, you really should get a law degree and become a defense lawyer. You’d be great at it. Or you could be a political consultant and become the next Paul Begala or James Carville.

                    • Chris

                      OB, I see your point, but I don’t read that as Obama asking Putin to influence the election for him. On the other hand, we know Trump asked Putin to influence the election for him, because he did it in public, when he said that Russia should reveal whatever other e-mails they had hacked from the DNC.

                      For some reason this isn’t impeachable. But I think there is more to the story.

                      I do appreciate the compliment, and I don’t think you’re an idiot.

                    • Chris

                      The article specifically said eight months since the election.

                    • Other Bill

                      You’re welcome. I just think there’s a lot less to the story. Again, I’ll await the indictments. I suppose it’s possible there was no on in the Trump organization who would have asked “Is this really a good idea? To enlist the aid of a national adversary to win the election and promise that adversary something very tangible in return? When the NSA is monitoring everything said by anyone?”

                    • Warren

                      OB: Who knows how this will play out? There are very few precedents. Watergate is one, I suppose. But keep in mind how long the timeline for Watergate really was. The break-in was first reported in September 1971. It wasn’t until the following year that the burglars (Hunt and Liddy) were indicted by a grand jury. The Senate Watergate Committee didn’t begin its proceedings until May 1973, with an independent prosecutor appointed later that month. Indictments of Nixon’s senior advisors (Haldeman, Ehrlichman, et al) weren’t handed down until March 1974, and impeachment proceedings didn’t begin until July 1974. Nixon’s resignation on August 4, 1974 was a month shy of three years after the break-in. This kind of thing can take a long time to play out.

                    • This is beyond wishful thinking, and, honestly, beneath you. Watergate began with a crime, and after a record of dirty tricks out of the Nixon camp. This involved a third and fourth party’s revelations of cheating and dishonesty in the opposition’s campaign. There is no evidence of “coordination,” just contrived guilt by association claims. The comparison isn’t Watergate, but closer to Whitewater, and overblown conspiracy theory seeking elusive evidence of criminal conduct by the Clintons before Bill was President. The GOP kept pushing it to keep Clinton on the defensive, and the Democrats are doing the same here. Here’s the scandal: a bunch of businessmen had dealings with Russia, Trump had some of them involved in his campaign, and Russia set out to find some embarrassing dirt on the candidates, hitting the pat dirt with Hillary and the Democrats, missing with the GOP and Trump because they weren’t as stupid. There’s no evidence that what they released changed anything, and if the same information had been leaked by a whistleblower, nobody would be complaining, because it was all true: The DNC was in the tank for Hillary; the news media was secretly colluding with the Hillary campaign, Obama knew about Clinton’s e-mail shenanigans and lied,and the Clinton Foundation was (and is) corrupt—all of which the pubic had a right to know—and if the news media wasn’t covering for Hillary (unlike the Post in Watergate, which was aggressively after Nixon), maybe we would have learned all that the right way, and not through Russian mischief.

                      What is going to happen is that Trump’s claim that his campaign was “wiretapped” is going to be far more substantiated than the Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, which will remain a fake “narrative” as long as someone will keep printing it.

                      Headline on the Times site today: “Wiretapped data used in inquiry of Trump aides.”

                    • It feels like this rebuttal is close to being Bullet-Pointed into an easy cut and paste response. I can’t see how anyone still pushes the fake news with any credibility. It really smells like conspiracy theory nut-jobbery.

                      But hey, when the Left does it, and has the MSM running interference for the narrative, it CAN’T be conspiracy whacko-ism.

                      Amusingly enough, if the wild speculations ACTUALLY did come true, it would be the most dreadful moral luck, because we’d have to endure the sycophantic mewing “I told you so” despite the fact that even if it somehow ended up true…at this phase in history, there’s *nothing* to substantiate the accusations…*nothing*…which makes it firmly a conspiracy theory tin-foil hat story.

                    • Other Bill

                      Well Warren, the investigations must have started sometime in July of last year, if not sooner. So maybe we should expect indictments by June or July. But again, if they’ve got tapes of conversations evidencing Trump people working with the Russians to obtain and release damaging information about the Clinton campaign, I’m not sure why there haven’t been indictments yet. This all had to happen months ago and be completely finished months ago. What would a prosecutor be waiting for at this point?

  9. So, it’s not a lifetime acheivement award, but LifeTime TV’s “Impact Award”. Is that right? Like, is an impact award for things done over a lifetime or just in the past year and it’s sponsored by LifeTime TV? I get that you clarified that it’s “Impact” not “achievement”, but can we clarify if it’s “lifetime” or “LifeTime TV”?

    • Warren

      Oy vey. Chelsea Clinton was selected along with Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, Blake Lively, Audra McDonald, and Shari Redstone to be “Impact Honorees” for their humanitarian work. The reason you didn’t see those other five names batted around — even though they are all being equally “honored” — is because the right-wing blogosphere thought it would be funny to ding Chelsea Clinton for accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award, which she is not. We would not even be talking about this topic were it not for the way it was misleadingly reported in the first place for the simple reason that it would not have risen to our attention. Were we outraged in 2012 when Chelsea got an award — along with Imam Khalid Latif and Rabbi Yehuda Sarna — from something called the “Temple of Understanding” for “work in advancing a new model of integrating interfaith and cross-cultural education into campus life?”

      • Chris

        Yes, the bigger ethics story here would seem to be that the right-wing media lied, and fooled even intelligent and observant people like Jack with their lie.

        But that would contradict the narrative that the Left is acting more unethically than the Right.

        • Other Bill

          Chris, I’d earnestly urge you to consider authoring your own web log.

        • Chris wrote, “Yes, the bigger ethics story here would seem to be that the right-wing media lied, and fooled even intelligent and observant people like Jack with their lie.

          But that would contradict the narrative that the Left is acting more unethically than the Right.”

          That’s like saying that 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 =100 but 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 110

          How did you derive your last sentence from the information presented in the previous sentences?

          Please explain.

          • Chris

            It was a bit of a reach–it doesn’t follow from just this article that that’s the narrative Jack is constructing, but I think it does follow from plenty of his other choices of topics since Trump’s election. And I don’t think he does it on purpose–he’s one of the best people I know at examining his own biases and trying to overcome them. I don’t think he always succeeds, though, and I think his reluctance to write about things like the travel ban, and now Trump’s Week From Hell, does indicate a bias.

  10. Barry Switzer used the “third base/triple” line before Ann Richards.

    I actually looked this up several years ago so I could use the “third base” line in a legal brief.

  11. I was wondering if you could clarify number two. Surely, all awards do this. Does that make all awards unethical?

    • No, it doesn’t make awards unethical. It merely makes giving awards to non-deserving individuals unethical because they render the value to deserving individuals meaningless, and in fact can call into doubt the worthiness of those who did deserve them.

      But I’m not sure that makes awards unethical in and of themselves.

  12. Well Mr. Marshall, maybe Chelsea C. deserves the award after all. She appears to have had quite the impact on your comment section.

  13. Paul Compton

    However you look at anything else, the fact that CC is accepting a “Lifetime TV network Impact Award” is a point and giggle situation.

    It’s just plain Lame.

  14. I am late to this discussion—as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been ill, making posting difficult, and today I had to teach while sick, putting me in bed the rest of the day.

    I have no problem with Chris citing that post: I’m proud of it, and Trump deserved it. That was long before he had wrapped up the nomination, and I believed then, still believe, that a well aimed shot at his most vulnerable place might have stopped him. Calling Trump a Nazi to his face would have been a big deal–unfair, since he is not really a Nazi, but he was using Nazi tactics at the time. (Check and see the other politicians I have shown to be using the “Big Lie.” He’s not alone.)

    I believed than and believe now that stopping Trump from being nominated moved the Utilitarian needle more than a little, and would have justified calling out his Big Lie about US Muslims celebrating 9-11.

    But identifying a single instance of the Big Lie, used in the same context it was used by Hitler (to denigrate an entire ethnic population) is not the same as saying that Trump was or is in fact a Nazi. I wrote:

    “Trump argued that the cheering from Muslims happened “all around the world” so “why wouldn’t it have taken place?” Arguing that there are statistical reasons why something should have taken place is not proof that it did take place (the fact that there should be intelligent life on other planets doesn’t prove that there is), and it definitely doesn’t prove that a particular person saw it take place on TV.

    Now, the exchange shows that Trump’s reasoning skills are inadequate, and that he is not too swift. It also shows that he doesn’t comprehend the proper demeanor and care that a President or someone aspiring to be President must demonstrate; as a frustrated Todd said, “You’re running for President of the United States! Your words matter! Truthfulness matters! Fact-based stuff matters!” This is all true, but it is old news about Trump: it is stipulated that he is verbally irresponsible beyond belief. That still doesn’t reach the full indictment of his character that this particular rhetorical misrepresentation embodies. He’s repeating a false account that makes Muslim-Americans appear to be traitors. He is appealing to hate and prejudice, and using a Big Lie to do it. It’s Nazi stuff, and he should be called on it.”

    I think this makes it pretty obvious that I doubt that Trump was engaging in calculated, diabolical, Goebbels-like propaganda, because he obviously isn’t capable of it, but that it didn’t matter: it was still “Nazi stuff.” So he was using a Nazi tactic (I also doubt that he knew that), and that presented an opening for an opponent to take him down before it was too late by calling him a Nazi on TV.

    That is not the same as arguing that Trump was literally a Nazi. I never thought that, I don’t believe it, and never did. I can see how that post, in the rear view mirror, could be read that way. Note, however, that I ended with this:

    “I have written that I no longer can hold any respect for people who support Donald Trump to be President. This latest pile of steaming offal allows me to complete my categorization of the supporters of each of the four most self-disqualified candidates in both parties.

    Hillary Clinton supporters are corrupted.

    Bernie Sanders supporters are ignorant.

    Ben Carson supporters are naive.

    and…

    Donald Trump supporters are stupid.”

    Not evil. Not racists. Not Nazis. Stupid.

    And even that doesn’t mean that they were necessarily wrong…

  15. Neil Dorr

    Did we ever settle whether it was for a Lifetime of achievement, or cosponsored by LifeTime? From what I’ve read, it would seem to be the latter.

    • It was the latter, but the use of the Lifetime label intentionally engendered ambiguity. Is a “Lifetime” Achievement (or “impact”) Award and how it is perceived any different from a Lifetime Lifetime Achievement Award? Not in my book.

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