Comment of the Day: “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 6/14/17”

Some of Ethics Alarms’ most adept and provocative commenters have not authored official Comments of the Day. This is mostly due to the randomness of the selection process, as well as the fact that masters of the long-form have an inherent advantage over those who are more succinct.

I failed to get the Best of Ethics 2016 posted this year, but one of its items is always Commenter of the Year. That honor was going to go to Chris, who not only has been one of the most prolific commenters here since he first dropped by, but also one of the most resilient, forming the bedrock foundation of the Ethics Alarms liberal contingent, which still needs some recruits to balance the teams. Chris’s recognition in the Comment of the Day category does not accurately reflect his value here.

Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, “Morning Ethics Round-Up: 6/14/17, taking off from one of my numbered observations therein. I’ll be back briefly at the end.

Jack: “2. It is astounding to me that so many Democrats deny that there is a liberal (progressive, really) climate of hate.”

This is because when most liberals use the term “hate,” we are referring to prejudice, bigotry, and other forms of unjustified hatred. The term has become closely associated with people who favor oppression: “Hate groups.” “Hate crimes.” “Hate speech.”

But of course, when we liberals hate someone, it’s because they deserve it.

I am going to be completely honest: I hate the current president. I think he’s a terrible person. I think he is doing damage to our country. And, of course, I think he is hateful of others for illegitimate reasons: xenophobia, misogyny, religious hatred…these are all forms of hatred that we universally condemn. But how to go about fighting this type of hatred without succumbing to hatred ourselves?

Hatred is a natural human emotion. We all hate someone. Your Christian grandmother who says “I love all sinners” probably hates one of the other Christian grandmothers at church who says the exact same thing, because that other woman is a judgmental gossip. Hating someone isn’t unethical…but how we process that hatred can be.

This shooter obviously wasn’t able to process his hatred in a healthy way. But perhaps many of us on the Left aren’t processing it in a healthy way either, even if we would never think of acting on or supporting violence. You write here about the left media “distorting” the news…sometimes when you point out headlines or articles that you say are distortions, I think you’re right, and sometimes I think you’re wrong. Is that my bias at work? Yours? Sometimes mine, sometimes yours? I hate the president…does that make me unqualified to judge whether he is being represented fairly, even if sometimes I get it right and am able to see when a claim about him is an exaggeration, or “fake news?” You would probably say you don’t “hate” the news media…but I do see a bias there that, in my view, sometimes makes you exaggerate their behavior just as you say they exaggerate Trump’s.

How do we react to people or institutions we see as damaging to our country without succumbing to a climate of hate? This strikes me as similar to a question the news media itself brought up during the election, and still hasn’t satisfactorily answered: “How do we cover Donald Trump, an objectively terrible human, fairly?” Your answer to this question seems so simple and obvious: “Just be objective!” But in reality this can be the hardest thing to do. Putting aside our emotions and thinking rationally is hard. It’s so hard that when people get overly emotional, they usually think they are thinking rationally and that everyone else is perceiving things wrongly. Plenty of people won’t even admit they “hate” anyone. I have seen neo-Nazis say they don’t hate minorities, they just want a separate etho-state for white people. We cannot combat our own hatred if we do not perceive it, any more than we can combat any other bias without first recognizing it. And as a culture, we cannot keep ourselves from indulging in a climate of hatred if we do not see our hatred and attempt to keep in from getting out of control.

I’m back. I really love this post, and admire Chris for writing it. Just a few points:

  • Emotions aren’t unethical, but hate and anger are among those (jealousy, envy…) that qualify as pre-unethical conditions: their very presence should cause ethics alarms to go off. If you hate, you are in trouble.
  • Chris asks, “How do we react to people or institutions we see as damaging to our country without succumbing to a climate of hate?” My approach: I have to keep reminding myself that I (yes, even I!) am not so certain that I have the right answers that I can justify hating someone who believes differently.
  • Hate should occur as rarely as possible. Clarence Darrow’s “Hate the sin, never the sinner” is too facile (Darrow didn’t believe it himself), but still, it should be the capital punishment of emotions, reserved only for those rare human beings who can fairly and objectively be called evil: the BTK killer, Ted Bundy, Bernie Madoff, Hitler, and so on. I have argued that it is dangerous not to hate such people, as the besotted with virtue, forgiveness and compassion urge is to do. Hate has its evolutionary uses, allowing society to designate deadly foes and act accordingly.
  • Hating the President of the United States is inconceivable to me. It is also irresponsible.  Cognitive dissonance reigns: if one hates the President, one cannot have high regard for the country or one’s fellow citizens, and democracy doesn’t work any more when one feels like that. That is why I find the efforts on the Left to make people hate the President so reckless, dangerous and despicable. Nor does Trump justify BTK, Bundy,  Madoff, Hitler-level hatred. There is no evidence that he doesn’t care about the country, or wants to hurt people. The U.S. has never had an evil man as President, and Trump isn’t one either. I could list his flaws and deficits for pages, but hatred cannot be justified on the basis of what he has done and said. It can only be explained by all of the anger, frustration, disappointment, betrayal and anxiety—over the combined failure of the Obama Administration, the botched campaign of his anointed successor, and the realization that the United States is not going to go gently into that Good European Socialist Night as progressives had (foolishly) convinced themselves—-being conveniently re-directed at Trump, because it’s too painful to point the fingers where they really should point.
  • Hatred creates bias, just like love. The stronger the hate, the greater the bias. Bias is an impediment to ethical reasoning and conduct.

It’s as simple as that.

 

59 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, U.S. Society

59 responses to “Comment of the Day: “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 6/14/17”

  1. Chris

    Thanks, Jack. I am truly honored.

  2. charlesgreen

    What a great dialogue. Thanks Chris, and thanks Jack.
    And what a great time for such a dialogue.
    Kudos.

  3. Great comment, as I said before. Chris, you have touched on greater Truth, and that is a powerful thing.

    I enjoy our sometimes exhausting conversations, and will continue to find common ground between us.

  4. Sue Dunim

    Not just a great comment, but a great analysis of the comment.

    I have some quibbles of course. It is possible to loathe and detest
    someone’s actions and beliefs without hating them as a person. The distinction is important, for actions and beliefs can be subject to objective analysis, as can the consequences of those actions, without descending into personalities.

    That brings me to “the end justifies the means”. No, emphatically. The means are a part of the ends, inseperable. Try to bring about some kind of good end by doubleplus ungood means and you’ve become the enemy you’re fighting against, possibly even worse than they are.

    Nietzsche put it this way :

    Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird.

    He who fight with Monsters should beware he doesn’t become a Monster thereby.

    Anger is an Energy (cue PLC and Johnny Rotten…) but it will consume you unless you transmute it into something useful. Hatred just gets in the way. If I’m serious about dealing with an opponent, I cannot afford to hate them, as it impedes rational decisionmaking.

    First, consider your own position – are you sure that you’re in the right? Could you be wrong? Or is this a matter of survival rather than morality? Assuming you’ve self-checked and passed – ideally with some independent and even jaundiced double-check – then a dispassionate review of how best to neutralise the threat is in order.

    Such a neutralisation starts with getting inside the opponent’s head. It’s said “to understand all is to forgive all”. Poppycock. Sometimes getting into the head of an enemy might require thorough decontamination afterwards. There aren’t many truly evil rather than misguided, self-centred or lazy people out there, but the evil exist, and you really need an intellectual HAZMAT suit.

    At this point you sometimes realise that you’re in the wrong, at least partially. The opponent has a point. Perhaps rather than implacable opposition, your views should change at least partially, and maybe you can get them to change theirs’ too.

    Sometimes though understanding leads to renewed resolution. Then it’s a matter of deciding how to most effectively deal with the threat while doing minimal “collateral damage”, both to others and to your own moral principles. Be thankful you weren’t the ones deciding that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were on the target list, or that the vital transportation nexus and command HQ at Dresden had to go, regardless of the human tragedy.

    Your problems are likely to be … of a different magnitude. Your conscience less troubled by the consequences of necessity. Count your blessings.

    Then –

    In War: Resolution,
    In Defeat: Defiance,
    In Victory: Magnanimity
    In Peace: Good Will.”

    ― Winston S. Churchill, Theme of the work, The Second World War

    Or if you prefer:

    Never give up. Never surrender. … By Grabthar’s hammer ..by the Sons of Warvan.. you shall be avenged.

    • Your quote game is strong.

      “The means are a part of the ends, inseparable.”

      Thank you. I’m wondering why we still consider “ends versus means” a real question anymore, on a societal level. The idea that means are part of the ends, and we can’t just consider only those ends we intend, is invaluable for arriving at a decision for any ethical dilemma, usually a dilemma between honor (orderly eusocial behavior, restrictions we place on ourselves for the good of society) and compassion (chaotic eusocial behavior, spontaneous acts of good beyond what can be required).

      A few years back, I argued that the classical Trolley Problem calls for action to kill the fewest people, because inaction is just as much of a choice, and because I felt that it made zero difference to the decision which people were “originally” going to be killed by the trolley, if the chooser wasn’t there. An analogous situation was then posed to me which made me realize it wasn’t that simple: what if one person’s healthy organs could be donated to save five people with ailments of all different organs? Suddenly the question of who was “originally” going to live seems to be very important indeed.

      Eventually, I realized that while it may seem better in isolation to save more people, the standard this decision would set (the unintended ends caused by the means) is bad for society as a whole. As bad as it is to have a chance of being born with a disease, the world would be a lot harsher for everyone if we had to be worried about being selected to have our organs harvested if we didn’t somehow prove our worth against others. Under the Veil of Ignorance, I imagine most people would choose the society which doesn’t trade people’s lives without their consent.

      Honor was a concept that I used to dismiss as arbitrary, but it’s actually far more important than many people give it credit for, as long as it’s deliberately chosen with a positive goal rather than being a self-justifying vestige of tradition.

  5. Carcarwhite

    Great post! I enjoy Chris too. He’s one of the few brace on the left willing to be open to engage others who don’t think like he does.

    I’m not a Trump fan either and yet I see good in him, he makes it hard at times, his enemies make it even harder and I now am convinced it’s exactly what they want to do. If they could see their blind spot or even more vital, realize that “yes, I could possibly be biased.”

    Not holding my breath while I hope for the latter.

    Thank you Jack and Chris for sharpening me as you both discuss various topics. Both of you have helped me see my own biases.

  6. Mrs. Q

    WTG Chris. Very insightful.

    “How do we react to people or institutions we see as damaging to our country without succumbing to a climate of hate?”

    We practice forgiveness of ourselves & others over & over until it hurts. We remember were hypocrites ourselves too. Not hating takes work & that includes not hating ourselves & others for hating.

  7. Alex

    Great comment Chris! Your introspection here now prompts me to look into myself and figure out if I am allowing my biases to run unchecked from time to time.

  8. I thought that was an excellent post, and I’m glad it was featured. I am saddened that the archetype of crusading reporter is so strained, and a baseline of professional respect has been eliminated.

    I don’t think it’s extinct, but it’s part of a larger stream where everyone is expected to spend a larger part of selling themselves than DOING their job. But working in the media, the echo chamber is difficult to separate from success. Tolerance of differing opinions. I can say I hate the current president, but it’s not some deathless passion on the Dark Side of the Force that leads to violence done to effigies. It’s more along the level of hating spinach. Hatred has different flavors and deaths, but too many of every political strip are setting their rhetoric and actions to the level of 12. They’re wasting energy and boring people by continuing to undo a done Deal. He is President.

    Deal with specific issues of what is being done now. Conserve your righteous indignation for new and arriving issues. Do a late spring cleaning of your own domain. Unbalanced, even unfair media is probably making the greats spin in their graves. The old equal presentation of views should not have been stopped. I believe that helped limit this extremism when parties swapped as we are almost heading toward reporters leaving favored places if their party leaves power, like some patronage job. (this is a strong argument to appearing neutral, isn’t it?) I’m hoping more will sit up, and whether ethical, or enlightened self-interest, put a greater effort to more balanced reporting.

    This article this morning gave me a little hope: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chuck-todd-gop-congressmen-shooting_us_5941e58ae4b0d3185486f3a6

  9. iRock

    There is a “liberal”, progressive, Democrat climate of hate kept burning by irresponsible media, politicians and the politically inclined. Nevertheless I appreciate that some liberals think about the ethics even though I view the current political situation differently.

    “…I hate the president…does that make me unqualified to judge whether he is being represented fairly…” Hate is an emotional response that has handicapped rational judgement of many progressives as well as print, broadcast and online media. It doesn’t necessarily disqualify judgement but it makes fair judgement much less likely.

    “How do we cover Donald Trump, an objectively terrible human, fairly?” The question itself betrays rational judgement. Trump is as imperfect as we all are and a ruthless businessman but Trump is not a “terrible human”. This direction in thought leads to dehumanizing the President and his supporters and rationalizing violent behavior to “resist” Trump by any means necessary.

    “You would probably say you don’t “hate” the news media…but I do see a bias there that, in my view, sometimes makes you exaggerate their behavior just as you say they exaggerate Trump’s.” The media damaged itself prior to the election of President Trump and continues to inflict that damage upon itself. The media damaged itself by documented collusion with Hillary Clinton to defeat Bernie Sanders, documented collusion to damage Republican primary candidates soliciting Democrat slanted questions and collusion to elect Clinton in the general election by feeding debate questions to her as well as flat out stating they would not be objective. Wikileaks exposed the media’s duplicity and much more duplicity remains hidden as Wikileaks was a very small window into internal workings. Jim Rutenberg wrote and New York Times published on 8/7/16, “…you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional…” in support of the terribly unethical Hillary Clinton. The big media (New York Times, Washington Post, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN) and lesser media placed themselves in a position where the media is no longer believed as objective truth. Media disbelief is not bias; it is a skepticism formed over time as media “narratives” where exposed as sometimes overt and sometimes covert lies. The public can no longer believe media news on its face. Currently, the media leads the charge to “resist” overtly by admission and covertly in the selection of “news” as well as the slant on news.

  10. Steve-O-in-NJ

    “Hating the President of the United States is inconceivable to me. It is also irresponsible. Cognitive dissonance reigns: if one hates the President, one cannot have high regard for the country or one’s fellow citizens, and democracy doesn’t work any more when one feels like that. That is why I find the efforts on the Left to make people hate the President so reckless, dangerous and despicable.”

    So this is a despicable post, or at least a post with some despicable content, although I hesitate to make the leap and call the poster a despicable person, since I know that leap would not be acceptable here, and maybe it doesn’t fit in any case. Chris may be a mouthy pain in the ass trying to punch above his weight class who always has to have the last word. He may be the kind of person I would excuse myself from at a social gathering and make every effort to avoid after the first encounter. He may be a person with the polar opposite politics of mine who tends to jump on small details when he can’t counter the main argument. However, he is not an evil person.

    Hating someone or some group and stewing for long periods in that hatred, however, is a step down the path towards becoming an evil person, or at least performing an evil act. In my last reply to his post I talked at some length (I apologize for that), about several individuals who did just that, and finally went over the edge, taking others, most of whom had nothing to do with their real or imagined grievances, with them, over the edge with them. I could throw out a few more examples, but I think the point of what happens when there is that kind of hate on the individual level is made.

    Let’s talk then, a little bit about what happens when hate, justified or not, reaches the macro level. Let’s talk about what happens when those consumed by hate rise to high levels or large groups swallow hate to the point it goes mainstream. We actually don’t have to talk much if we don’t want to, we can just go for the low-hanging fruit – the South post-bellum, where bitter and angry defeated whites decided that if the blacks were not going to be slaves in name they would be slaves in fact, and used every tool at their disposal to make it so – bin Laden, who hated everything non-Islamic and decided that to make his point he would turn airliners into manned missiles – and Hitler, about whose hatred of everything non-Aryan, but especially everything Jewish, little comment is needed.

    If we want to go a bit deeper we can talk about the hate-powered individuals and regimes few talk about now – Cromwell, whose hatred of the Irish was so strong that he forced them off any kind of worthwhile lands (“to hell or Connaught, and I care not which!”) and shackled them with ridiculous laws that excluded them from every meaningful aspect of life – Diderot, who spoke of the great day when “the last king is hung by the entrails of the last priest” and whose devotees sent who knows how many to the guillotine for any reason or no reason – Francisco Lopez, who hated his neighbors so much that he plunged into war with Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay all at once, and when the dust settled his own population had gone from 1,400,000 to 229,000, never mind 1,000,000 casualties being inflicted on the other side.

    Let’s give a nod to the haters that get romanticized also – Che Guevara, who oversaw the deaths of so many in Cuba and died trying to “export the revolution” to Bolivia, who might not look so romantic if he was marching you and your family out to be executed simply because you owned a business and were reluctant to simply surrender it on his say-so – the IRA, who far too many Irish Americans characterize as warrior poets fighting for some ideal of a land of saints and scholars that never existed, but who might not appear so hero-scholar-like if they were about to kneecap you with a power drill because you might have seen or said the wrong thing – Hugo Chavez, whose obsessive hatred of the United States and anyone allied with it turned his formerly prosperous country into a socialist black hole that teeters on the brink of becoming a failed state.

    Civilized society is a more fragile thing than we realize, and prosperity more so. I don’t know whether to compare unreasoning hatred to acid that eats away at the supports while no one notices it until the structure gives way, or to gas that nobody sees, smells, or notices until it builds up to the point that it only takes one spark to set off a huge explosion. We’re not there yet, but if this rhetoric continues to go mainstream to the point where enough people decide it is in fact all right to not just hate, but act on it because the other side’s hate is wrong but theirs is right, we could get there quicker than any of us would like to admit. Most folks have forgotten what the late 60s and early 70s were like, because fewer and fewer who are still around now were adults then – my dad was a young man then and he is 74 now. Most folks can’t fathom what it was like to live in any of those other times I just talked about, because all they do is read about them in the high school history books for one paragraph or so, remember them for the test, them promptly forget them.

    They don’t know what it’s like to take a different route to the office or the job site every few days just to improve their chances of making it home alive. They don’t know what it’s like to dread the car pulling up in the middle of the night. They don’t know what it’s like to suddenly be at the mercy of the merciless. If they do, it’s most likely because they live in an area where the authorities have ceded control to gangs and there is no way out. Is hate worth so much that we want that to spread everywhere?

    • From the 5th paragraph on, SO, this is a Comment of the Day. If you consent, I’d like to post it that way.

    • Steve writes: “Let’s talk then, a little bit about what happens when hate, justified or not, reaches the macro level. Let’s talk about what happens when those consumed by hate rise to high levels or large groups swallow hate to the point it goes mainstream. We actually don’t have to talk much if we don’t want to, we can just go for the low-hanging fruit – the South post-bellum, where bitter and angry defeated whites decided that if the blacks were not going to be slaves in name they would be slaves in fact, and used every tool at their disposal to make it so – bin Laden, who hated everything non-Islamic and decided that to make his point he would turn airliners into manned missiles – and Hitler, about whose hatred of everything non-Aryan, but especially everything Jewish, little comment is needed.”

      Why do I feel the need to make a counter-proposition to what seem to me facile statements about motives in each of these cases? And why would such a counter-statement be of ‘value’ in understanding? I will make the attempt:

      My understanding of the South post-bellum is that the South did everything in its power to resist a northern intrusion of values. In other words the ‘intrusion’ if the North, at such a basic and determining level (by waging war to destroy it) gave the people of the South no other choice but to resist through the means they did. I suggest that if the case were reversed, and it was the North having to respond to the South victory, they would use all means at their disposal to resist, undermine and to defeat their ‘overlord’.

      For the sake of this situation (Chris and Hyper-Progressives) Chris really does, now and still, embody the arrogant Northern attitude. “We will attack you, we will vilify you, we will morally condemn you, and we will channel an incredible — a Biblical Old-Testament tone of hatred — against you and we will undermine everything that you value, because we are Right and you are Wrong!”

      So, there is a certain complexity and nuance that must be considered when one considers the ‘resistance’ offered to the policies of the North by the defeated South. To understand what happened in the South one must take many different elements into consideration. And importantly: One must understand the North as a co-creator of sorts.

      Now, what does all this correspond to when one considers the Middle East and bin Laden? It is a similar level of reaction! I do not think that this is a dishonest nor even a ressentiment-laden observation. It is a simple fact. The weapons of destruction and ruin and death were turned around, and instead of causing such incredible damage to families, to villages, to cities, to nations, to other people’s civilizations, someone succeeded in *getting one through*. And America lamented. It felt the incredible pain. (If someone think I am justifying what happened, they are wrong).

      And finally ‘Hitler’. It is actually possible, with an open mind, to seek out and understand the reasons why ‘Hitler’ and Germany desired to determine the control of their own nation. The expulsion of the Jews from Germany was just one more expulsion-event in Jewish history, though it did evolve into certainly the most extraordinary and destructive for European Jewry. But these are intricate, nuanced and interwoven issues and they do not allow a simplistic analysis. Though I will be hated and condemned simply for saying this!

      In order to be able to deal with what *you* (Steve, but of course I am speaking about *standardized views*) I have to become willing to be pelted by stones, to suffer insults, to be chastened and brow-beated, to be condemned and ostracized because I desire to see things clearly and to avoid lies and distortion. Therefor, I have to turn against these sorts of constructs and I have to build counter-propositions to them.

      I guess that is ‘historical revisionism’ taken in the *good* sense. I would say that now especially we must revise our view of the present, of what people say is ‘true’ and ‘real’, and we must be willing to feel the anger and the negative animus when we counter the false-constructs upon which understanding is built.

      And that is why, again, I feel myself a *radical* to many of the so-called ‘Conservative’ positions, not to speak of those of the Hyper-Left.

      But I will say these things and get what exactly in return? silence, dislike, intolerance and condemnation. Yet I have said nothing unethical.

  11. E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

    In the category of “bias makes you stupid,” one lesson learned from that pithy slogan reminds me of the reasons for the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1965: A Congress freely admitting that the government cannot legislate against biases (we all have them), but it CAN make it illegal to act upon them in specific instances, and/or rationalize illegal acts because of them.

    “Hatred” of Trump does not give anyone leave to lie, undermine him as POTUS at every turn and to every extreme that can be conceived. If the Democratic elites can’t bear the fact that they got a major poke in the eye with Trump’s election, the only answer is: Live with it, you idiots. It is, after all, your own fault. (Did Hillary have to be the heir apparent? Was she really the best, the only, Democrat who might win? Similarly, was Trump really the most able Republican candidate?) A pox on both their houses, but here we are, and the ‘Resist’ movement is going to move us into a really, really terrible place. Who will take the blame? Trump, of course.

  12. Again congratulations on comment of the day. Your comment has spurred some interesting followup comments.

    I finally got a chance to actually read this entire comment this morning (I didn’t get a chance to read it in the other thread I was otherwise occupied) and this statement jumped out at me above all others; “But of course, when we liberals hate someone, it’s because they deserve it.” Now I’ll be completely honest; I don’t know for sure if Chris wrote that to be serious or facetious, I could read it either way without changing a thing – I suspect it was actually written to be facetious and I’m basing that solely on the fact that the sentence began with the phrase “But of course”; however, when you follow up a facetious statement with what appears to me to be justifications for hate talked about in the facetious statement that indicates to me that there might have been an underlying seriousness to the statement. It actually doesn’t matter to me which way it was intended, I’m going to address it as a serious statement because I believe that is at the core of the hate from the left. If it was truly meant to be facetious I’ll accept that but it doesn’t change my opinion on what I’m addressing.

    I think we all know by now that a statement like “when we liberals hate someone, it’s because they deserve it” written as a serious statement is a rationalization 2 A. Sicilian Ethics, or “They had it coming”, but that’s not what I want to specifically address, I want to address the underlying reasons why someone like might think their hate of Trump is justified. Chris wrote, “I hate the current president. I think he’s a terrible person. I think he is doing damage to our country. And, of course, I think he is hateful of others for illegitimate reasons: xenophobia, misogyny, religious hatred…these are all forms of hatred that we universally condemn.”; this is what I want to address.

    Some basic information to start with:
    xenophobia is an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.

    misogyny is a dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

    and of course religious hatred is the term for hating a religion.

    These things are part of the stated basis for Chris’ hatred towards President Trump.

    Consider the following example (the word you is used generally, not specifically towards any person): There are rumors/accusations spreading far and wide that you are a racist; does that mean you are a racist – Yes or No? Are the rumors/accusations of you being a racist a legitimate reason to hate you – Yes or No? In the eyes of those that hate you because they believe the rumors/accusations, is their hate justifiable – Yes or No? In today’s political climate the answer to all those questions from persons who’s ideology resides left of the political aisle, would be almost universally yes you are a racist based on the rumors/accusations and you would have to suffer the consequences of being literally hated because we universally condemn racists and no one should be caught dead not condemning a racist because it’s the right thing to do – which of course is 59. The Ironic Rationalization, or “It’s The Right Thing To Do”. Now consider this; what if the rumors/accusations are false? What if the rumors/accusations are based on lies? What if the rumors/accusations are nothing more than hyperbole based on innuendo that is intentionally ginned up to destroy you and there’s actually no factual proof that you are a racist? Now answer this question; in the eyes of those that hate you because they believe the rumors/accusations, is their hate justifiable to them because they believe the rumors/accusations – Yes or No? Now; since you know that you are actually not a racist, is the hate valid – Yes or No? A short definition of valid is having a sound basis in logic or fact; reasonable or cogent.

    Like in the example above; validity is the real problem with hating President Trump based on xenophobia, misogyny, religious hatred; there is no factual evidence that Trump is actually guilty of these things, there’s only innuendo, accusations, ginned up hyperbole, extrapolations of innuendo to the point of complete absurdity, etc, etc, etc. When people are actively looking for reasons to justify their irrational hate, they’ll latch onto anything they can to support their hate even if those reasons are not valid. Anti-Trump haters will argue and argue to validate their hate and when their arguments are debunked they ignore the fact that they are wrong and attack the individual(s) that debunked their arguments. We see this rhetorical pattern way too often.

    Similarly to Obama – I don’t like Trump (I too think Trump’s a terrible person) and I didn’t vote for Trump; but I will not allow myself to succumb to the ridiculousness of hate based on innuendo, accusations, ginned up hyperbole, and extrapolations of innuendo to the point of complete absurdity. Until accusations of Trump actually having a real problem with xenophobia, misogyny, religious hatred can be proven, hate based on these things is invalid hate; yes, it’s invalid hate!

    Invalid hate is not ethical.

    I’d like to ask Chris one very specific question: you wrote that “I think he [Trump] is doing damage to our country.” Can you explain what “damage” you’re talking about and how this perceived “damage” is 100% Trump’s fault.

    • Chris

      Zoltar, as I explained on the other post, my statement ““But of course, when we liberals hate someone, it’s because they deserve it” was intended to be tongue-in-cheek, yet also self-aware of a fallacy I have fallen prey to myself a few times.

      Trump’s entire campaign and much of his presidency was based around spreading fear against immigrants. At many points he exaggerated the threat posed by them, such as he did when he baselessly claimed that three million illegal immigrants voted in our elections. That is xenophobia, as was his claim that Barack Obama was a sinister foreigner who forged a birth certificate in order to appear America.

      He spread religious bigotry against Muslims when he falsely claimed that he saw thousands of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey on TV, when no such footage existed. He also employed bigoted stereotypes against Muslims when he said of Mrs. Kahn, “maybe she wasn’t allowed to speak.” And, of course, when he pledged a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, that was religiously bigoted by any reasonable definition.

      His misogyny is the most well-documented thing about him, to the point that even Jack has labeled him a misogynist, while denying he is xenophobic and religiously bigoted.

      I think anyone who spread these forms of division and then became president would be damaging to our country. I think he is causing Americans to further distrust each other as well as our institutions. I have never said, and do not believe, he is 100% responsible for this, but as leader of our nation he has an ethical duty to try and heal the divisions and renew respect for our institutions. He has absolutely failed to even try. Whereas I think Obama attempted to heal divisions but ended up being more divisive, I don’t see Trump as even attempting to be a uniting president; he is too obsessed with lashing out at his many enemies to ever do that.

      • Chris wrote, “Trump’s entire campaign and much of his presidency was based around spreading fear against immigrants.”

        You use of your phrase “fear against immigrants” is false.

        I don;t have time to explain it, can someone else jump in. I’ve got to go.

        • I’ll fix it for Chris:

          “Trump’s rise and election were substantially fueled by his correct and direct, if crudely stated, opposition to illegal immigration, and the Obama policy of enabling it.”

          There!

          • Chris

            I gave specific examples of Trump exaggerating the threat of illegal immigration in order to foster fear of immigrants. Why ignore those?

            • Because illegal immigration has nothing to do with legal immigrants. The effort to confound the two and blur the distinctions is dishonest and despicable. Trump has never impugned legal immigrants or legal immigration.

              • Chris

                I don’t recall Trump ever accusing Obama of being an illegal immigrant–just accusing him of being a foreigner, and of lying about it. Are you arguing that falsely claiming “The president is a secret foreigner only pretending to be a citizen” is not xenophobic?

                Furthermore, his religiously bigoted statements about Muslims can also be fairly described as xenophobic, as they’re intended to make Americans fearful of what he and they view as a foreign ideology. The travel ban also qualifies as xenophobic; no rational, informed person believes it will do anything to keep us safe. It is simply pandering to fear, and an outrageously broad response to that fear. It is inherently xenophobic in the same way Japanese internment was inherently xenophobic, though it is less extreme.

                Regardless, I don’t know of any definition of “xenophobia” that excludes illegal immigrants. It is defined as an irrational fear of immigrants, period, and illegal immigrants are a subset of that. I did not say he is xenophobic for opposing illegal immigration, I said he was xenophobic for stirring up irrational fears about immigrants. His false claims about millions of illegal immigrants clearly do that, even though illegal immigrants are only a subset of immigrants. There are rational reasons to oppose illegal immigration, but there are NO rational reasons to believe three million illegal immigrants voted in our last election. Believing that it hysteria. Hysteria over immigrants is referred to as xenophobia.

                • “I don’t recall Trump ever accusing Obama of being an illegal immigrant–just accusing him of being a foreigner, and of lying about it. Are you arguing that falsely claiming “The president is a secret foreigner only pretending to be a citizen” is not xenophobic?”

                  Ooooh. Weak. The Constitution is xenophobic: only natural born citizens can be President. The birth certificate smear was designed to claim Obama was not a legitimate and legal President, Trump did the same to Ted Cruz. It was never an immigration issue. It was a qualification issue.

                  • Chris

                    It was a *fake* qualification issue, one that only had traction because many people already viewed Obama as a foreign “other.” Xenophobic. The Cruz claim was too, though to a lesser extent.

                    • Chris, it’s a real qualification issue. It’s right there in the document. Occam’s razor applies: you want to claim the real issue was fake, so you can argue that the real motivation was something it wasn’t. The logical thing is to assume the accusation was what it was stated to be, just based on nothing.

                    • Chris

                      What? Do you think I’m arguing that the constitution doesn’t specify that a president must be a natural born citizen? I’m arguing that there was never a reason to think Obama was not a natural born citizen, except for bigotry and xenophobia. An allegation based on nothing is a fake allegation, Jack.

                    • The fake part was that the birth record was inadequate, but people sincerely believed it was unconvincing. I know some who still don’t believe he was born here. Their objection is that he wasn’t eligible to be President, not that he was to be feared because he was an immigrant. I can’t believe you’re making this argument, especially since Trump proved that he would try the same slur on a white guy.

                    • Chris

                      The fake part was that the birth record was inadequate, but people sincerely believed it was unconvincing. I know some who still don’t believe he was born here.

                      That’s idiotic. The birth record was perfectly adequate, and there were no logical reasons to believe otherwise; we must now look at bias.

                      Their objection is that he wasn’t eligible to be President, not that he was to be feared because he was an immigrant.

                      Read between the lines, Jack: they believed he wasn’t eligible *because* they already viewed him as a scary foreigner. Look at the rhetoric of the birthers if you don’t believe me.

                      It’s really amazing that you expect people to just…announce their bigotry, and if they don’t specifically say “I’m afraid of foreigners!” then it’s unfair to look at their words and behavior and conclude “Wow, this person is really afraid of foreigners.”

                      I can’t believe you’re making this argument, especially since Trump proved that he would try the same slur on a white guy.

                      You also didn’t address the ways in which Trump’s anti-Muslim slurs, lies and proposals were explicitly based on fear of foreigners.

                    • Chris

                      Messed up the quoting and forgot to respond to this part:

                      ” I can’t believe you’re making this argument, especially since Trump proved that he would try the same slur on a white guy.”

                      Xenophobia can be aimed at white guys, but it’s often less effective; note that Trump spent much less time on birthering Cruz than he did on Obama, and it did not take root among even the fringe of the right wing in the same way the birtherism against Obama did.

      • Chris wrote, “Trump’s entire campaign and much of his presidency was based around spreading fear against immigrants.”

        The use of your phrase “fear against immigrants” is false. You conveniently forgot to use the word illegal; I think you’ve been called out for doing this before and here you are doing it again, when will you learn. It’s illegal immigrants not just ordinary run-of-the-mill legal immigrants and don’t give me any of those talking point arguments about illegal immigrants somehow logically correlates into talking about legal immigrants, that so-called correlation is nothing but a delusion in the minds of partisan lefties.

        Chris wrote, “At many points he exaggerated the threat posed by them…”

        Trump exaggerate, no way; that’s shocking, absolutely shocking; who could have known…. again, shocking!! So here you admit that “some” illegal immigrants are a threat and that Trump exaggerated the threats posed. Interesting that you used the word exaggerate for these political posturing statements but ignore this same Trump exaggeration pattern for other things Trump has stated and you take other things quite literally. Interesting…

        Chris wrote, “…such as he did when he baselessly claimed that three million illegal immigrants voted in our elections. That is xenophobia…”

        Oh wait; more exaggerated statements from Trump but here you ignore the exaggerations and take the 3 million quite literally.

        No Chris that’s not xenophobia. Illegal immigrants voting is a real concern and could seriously taint our election system that has not been properly checking the identity of those that walk into the polling places and checking the citizenship when registering potential voters; only actual citizens can vote in our elections, there are some exceptions to that in California.

        It’s a fact that there are non-citizens that are voting; we have to put procedures in place that prevent any non-citizen from ever casting a single vote. There are verifiable cases of non-citizens illegally voting; here’s just one case.

        An interesting aside that’s sort of a paralleled observation (at least sorta parallel and interesting in my mind) : These non-citizen voting discussions are based on actual cases and the statistical extrapolations that if it’s possible for a non-citizen to vote because the system does not properly check for citizenship (which we know is factually true) then it’s quite likely that it’s happening at a much larger number than we actually know, the big numbers people talk about are the statistical extrapolations. Why is it that many who’s political ideology resides left of the political divide are willing to blindly jump on the political bandwagon regarding human activity byproducts as being the source of climate change and a statistical extrapolation climate calamity is right around the corner which is all based on unproven theories and statistical extrapolations of unproven theories but yet many who’s political ideology resides left of the political divide are not willing to jump on the voter ID and prove your a citizen to vote bandwagon which is actually based on actual cases that voter fraud exists and the known fact that it’s possible and then statistically extrapolating that to arrive at the numbers? One is based on unproven theory that something “could be” a causation the other is based on actual fact that it exists and the system if vulnerable to fraud. This seems like conflicting logic to me.

        Back to Trump’s exaggerated claim; to my knowledge the claims of massive illegal voting hasn’t been proven or dis-proven which is pretty normal for a conspiracy theory, that’s not going to change. I immediately took the statement as another Trump political posturing exaggeration that was pandering to those that know we have a problem with illegal immigrants and know that we’ve had a problem with citizenship verification in our election system. I simply don’t have all the facts on the citizenship status of all the voters in the last election, do you Chris; can you actually prove that the claim is baseless? Baseless: without foundation in fact. Chris, there is a foundation of fact that says voter fraud actually exists and the system is vulnerable to fraud – so where is your “baseless” argument now; are you just going to focus on the exaggerated number of 3 million as baseless?

        Chris wrote, “That is xenophobia, as was his claim that Barack Obama was a sinister foreigner who forged a birth certificate in order to appear American.”

        No Chris, that’s NOT xenophobia; one of the eligibility requirement law-of-the-land for becoming the President is that the President of the United States must be a natural born citizen of the United States therefore any candidate running for President must also be a natural born citizen of the United States. It doesn’t really matter the source of the claim, there were concerns that Obama may not have met that eligibility requirement because of his family origins and he hadn’t publicly shared his birth certificate; Obama should have released his birth certificate immediately when the first question related to this came out, but the long delay between the questions arising and the actual release led to expanding conspiracy theories regarding the validity of the document that was released. Is it possible that a fake birth certificate was generated, yes, and I proved that it was possible to myself using my over 20 years of experience using Photoshop; do I think that’s what happened, no, I examined photos of the birth certificate and I think it is a one-shot scanned photo of an actual original document – the source and validity of that original document I can’t verify. Is Obama a natural born citizen, I don’t know, his reign is over, and at this point in time I really just don’t give a damn anymore.

        Back to your claim of xenophobia; xenophobia is an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. or how about this extreme dislike or fear of foreigners, their customs, their religions, etc.” Xenophobia goes well beyond simple eligibility requirements surrounding Obama’s birth certificate, exaggerated claims of criminal illegals voting in elections, or talking about the real problem we actually have with illegal immigration. Xenophobia is a bit more generalized fear of all foreigners not just the ones that are illegally crossing our borders and/or those trying to get here from countries were there are large populations that want to destroy all things that are not like them – you know, radical Islamic terrorists. Xenophobia claims about Trump are exaggerated extrapolations much like Trumps exaggerations.

        Chris wrote, “He spread religious bigotry against Muslims when he falsely claimed that he saw thousands of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey on TV, when no such footage existed.”

        So now you’re saying “religious bigotry” not “religious hate”; are you trying to re-frame the discussion? I’ve never seen any video footage directly supporting the claim either. That said; we all know that Trump is a person that exaggerates, you said so above, he does that with almost every thing he says; I don’t excuse it and you shouldn’t deny it; I don’t like it much either. You also need to consider some things that likely spurred Trump’s exaggerated claim.

        Jersey City 9/11 Celebration Report CBS

        “In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.” Source

        What ABC News Footage Shows of 9/11 Celebrations

        Palestinians celebrating the fall of the twin towers on 911

        In an interview by Alisyn Camerota with Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani said that Trump was exaggerating, Giuliani said there were handfuls of Muslims celebrating in New York.

        After the Giuliani interview with Camerota, CNN’s Chris Cuomo admitted, “Were people celebrating on 9/11? Yes. Is it wrong? Yes. Should you say thousands were? No.”

        Chris, the point is that Trump didn’t actually make these things up, he combined different reports and in Trump’s usual fashion he exaggerated (this was an absurd exaggeration) what he heard and saw in newscasts. It is fact that some in the Muslim world outside the ones that planned the attack actually celebrated the destruction of the twin towers, yes there were some, these things are public knowledge. Again, this does not prove that Trump is xenophobic. Trump has most definitely done some political posturing by exaggerating and blowing dog whistles to inspire xenophobia, but that doesn’t make Trump xenophobic.

        Chris wrote, “He also employed bigoted stereotypes against Muslims when he said of Mrs. Kahn, “maybe she wasn’t allowed to speak.” “

        Bigoted? That Chris, as a friend of mine says, is an extrapolation of utter bull shit. Trump stating that generalized stereotype because she stood there dead silent (which is rather culturally uncomfortable here but standard fare in Muslim communities because of the inherent male dominated women oppressed culture) was unfair and certainly unnecessary but it wasn’t bigoted. After that sentence from me, are you now going to accuse me of employing bigoted stereotypes and I’m xenophobic too. Chris, you really should work on fully comprehending your own vocabulary.

        Chris wrote, “And, of course, when he pledged a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, that was religiously bigoted by any reasonable definition.”

        Is “religious bigotry” the same thing as “religious hatred” in your mind or are you intentionally trying to re-frame your original “religious hatred” statement; it seems like you routinely try to pull this kind of switcheroo crap, it makes you appear dishonest Chris. That statement from Trump was clearly political posturing and represents a dog whistle that’s rooted in a real fear of radical Islamic terrorists that use Islam as justifications to murder and control innocent populations. This is pandering to fear; is it reasonably justified fear, yes; is it justifiable enough to ban all Muslims from entering the USA, no! Furthermore; Trump’s actions since he became President have not corresponded with that political posturing dog whistle statement; to my knowledge Trump has not tried to ban all Muslims from entering the USA- if you think you can prove me wrong, then by all means, do so.

        Chris wrote, “His misogyny is the most well-documented…”

        “Well-documented”, really; yet you haven’t provided a single piece of evidence to support that. You provided examples to try and back up your other claims, why not this one Chris? Don’t give me any nonsense that it’s my job to support your arguments by stating that I should learn how to use Google, support your own claims Chris. Let’s make this as simple as possible; since a simple definition of misogyny is: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women…

        1. Please provide an evidence trail that shows repetitive instances that Trump dislikes women. Dislike: feel distaste for or hostility toward.

        2. Please provide an evidence trail that shows repetitive instances that Trump has contempt for women. Contempt: the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.

        3. Please provide a evidence trail that shows repetitive instances that Trump has an ingrained prejudice against women. Ingrained: firmly fixed or established; difficult to change. Prejudice: preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. An important addition Chris: If you think there Trump is prejudiced against women then you must know what that prejudice is so you shouldn’t have any problem telling us exactly what that prejudice is.

        Chris wrote, “I think anyone who spread these forms of division and then became president would be damaging to our country.”

        Division: disagreement between two or more groups, typically producing tension or hostility.

        Think again Chris; Trump is NOT the one spreading division, the political left is; the left is the group that is destroying the core of this country with their irrational and invalid hate!

        Chris wrote, “I think he is causing Americans to further distrust each other as well as our institutions.”

        Distrust: the feeling that someone or something cannot be relied on.

        Think again Chris; Trump is not the one spreading distrust, that’s the political left that’s doing that. They’ve been doing it for years and now they’ve ramped up their hateful nonsense with continuous attacks on the President in a clear effort to undermine his position.

        Chris wrote, “I have never said, and do not believe, he is 100% responsible for this…”

        You may not have said “100%” outright but your comments simply don’t reflect that you don’t believe it’s true whether you’re willing to admit it or not. I simply don’t believe you on this point.

        Chris wrote, “as leader of our nation he has an ethical duty to try and heal the divisions and renew respect for our institutions.”

        Interesting that you should talk about Trumps ethical duty and not place any ethical duty or responsibility on those that are launching intentional unethically attacks at him for everything at every turn. The left will not give Trump any room to attempt to unify, period. Trump is in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t position BECAUSE the political left wants to divide the nation and strip respect for our President and our institutions. You’re again dumping everything on Trump and refusing to acknowledge the bull shit from the left; you’re blaming Trump for things that are completely outside of his control and it’s absolutely absurd.

        Chris wrote, “He has absolutely failed to even try.”

        Again, the left is attacking everything Trump does preventing him from attempting unity.

        Chris wrote, “Whereas I think Obama attempted to heal divisions but ended up being more divisive”

        This isn’t a conversation about Obama, drop it.

        Chris wrote, “I don’t see Trump as even attempting to be a uniting president; he is too obsessed with lashing out at his many enemies to ever do that.”

        Aha, so it’s all Trump’s fault again. How the hell could the President even attempt to unite the country when there is a constant barrage of hate based attacks from the resistance specifically trying to undermine absolutely everything Trump or the Republicans try to do? Trump is a tit-for-tat kinda person, the left knows that, and the left is taking full advantage of that with their continuous attacks. The left doesn’t want unity, they want division, it’s the only way they can win anymore, that’s if you call wining by default – winning. You cannot unify that which refuses to be unified; Progressives, Liberals, and the resistance don’t have any intention in allowing the USA to be unified unless it’s unified under their false flag, they’re actively working to increase division.

        The left needs to own their immoral, unethical, and invalid hate, stop acting like a bunch of illogical whinny little second place finishers, start respecting the results of the election, and start acting like adults!

        Wow, I really hope I got all those HTML tags correct. Whew!

        • So that’s what you’ve been doing the past 4 days.

          • Nope, I finished my multi-day rush project late this morning and spent about an hour or so this morning writing that and then stuck in one proof read after lunch and I still screwed up one of the closing bold tags! 🙂

            • Just teasing. I have a hard time reading the longer comments while negotiating freeway traffic.

              • texagg04 wrote, “Just teasing. I have a hard time reading the longer comments while negotiating freeway traffic.”

                🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

            • Chris just so you know if you choose to reply, above I said “Is Obama a natural born citizen, I don’t know, his reign is over, and at this point in time I really just don’t give a damn anymore.” Back when this was a really hot topic issue I pretty much ignore it because his mother was a US citizen and even if born abroad I didn’t think it made any real difference, but I’m not a scholar about the phrase “natural born citizen”, that why I said I don’t know, I only know my own experience being born abroad to US Citizens. I didn’t think I could be President (if I was ever stupid enough to run) because I wasn’t born on US soil. Now you have that piece of information for some additional perspective on my opinion.

              • Chris

                Just to emphasize this point: I did see this comment before I wrote mine, and I never suspected nor accused you of being a birther. The “easily disprovable lie” I was referring to was the claim that Obama did not immediately release his birth certificate to the public immediately. Again, Obama did this before he was even president, long before the birther conspiracy theory became widespread; conspiracy theorists simply refused to accept it as a valid birth certificate, even though it was.

                So while I am well aware that you are not a birther and do not subscribe to their main lie that Obama was born in Kenya, you did unfortunately fall for their lie that Obama did not release a valid birth certificate before he became president.

        • Chris

          Good god.

          Zoltar, I feel like I already addressed most of the arguments in your comment above when Jack made them–much more succinctly, I might add–but I’d hate for you to have wasted an hour of your life on my account. I have a lunch appointment, but I promise I will respond to you, point by point, this afternoon.

          • Chris wrote, “I promise I will respond to you, point by point, this afternoon.”

            That’s your choice but don’t feel obligated in any way to reply to my comment; you can easily simply agree that I’m right and move on. 😉

        • Chris

          The use of your phrase “fear against immigrants” is false. You conveniently forgot to use the word illegal; I think you’ve been called out for doing this before and here you are doing it again, when will you learn. It’s illegal immigrants not just ordinary run-of-the-mill legal immigrants and don’t give me any of those talking point arguments about illegal immigrants somehow logically correlates into talking about legal immigrants, that so-called correlation is nothing but a delusion in the minds of partisan lefties.

          I did not “forget” to use the word illegal. I gave several examples of Trump stirring up fear against legal immigrants as well as legal immigrants, as he clearly did with the travel ban; to your credit, you addressed those examples (and I’ll respond to your counterpoints on those in a moment), so I am not sure why you suggest here that my statements were solely about illegal immigrants.

          But as I said to Jack, illegal immigrants are a subset of immigrants, and spreading irrational fear and paranoia against them still counts as xenophobia even if opposition to illegal immigration itself does not.

          Trump exaggerate, no way; that’s shocking, absolutely shocking; who could have known…. again, shocking!! So here you admit that “some” illegal immigrants are a threat and that Trump exaggerated the threats posed. Interesting that you used the word exaggerate for these political posturing statements but ignore this same Trump exaggeration pattern for other things Trump has stated and you take other things quite literally. Interesting…

          I’m not ignoring anything. Trump exaggerates everything, sure. Exaggerating the threat of a specific group, however, perpetuates bigotry and prejudice.

          For example, black crime is a real problem in this country. However, if I say “98% of murders in this country are committed by blacks,” that is not only a lie, but a racist lie; it is designed to perpetuate fear of blacks. “Well, some blacks ARE criminals, and black crime is a real problem” is not a counterargument to this fact.

          No Chris that’s not xenophobia. Illegal immigrants voting is a real concern

          See above. The black crime rate is a real concern, too. However, if I consistently exaggerate the black crime rate, and propose draconian measures for dealing with the black crime rate that imperils the rights and lives and non-criminal blacks, I am engaging in racism. Period.

          and could seriously taint our election system that has not been properly checking the identity of those that walk into the polling places and checking the citizenship when registering potential voters; only actual citizens can vote in our elections, there are some exceptions to that in California.

          I am aware of no such exceptions. What are they?

          It’s a fact that there are non-citizens that are voting;

          And it is a fact that some blacks are murderers. That does not make the statement “98% of murders are committed by blacks” any less racist.

          Why is it that many who’s political ideology resides left of the political divide are willing to blindly jump on the political bandwagon regarding human activity byproducts as being the source of climate change and a statistical extrapolation climate calamity is right around the corner which is all based on unproven theories and statistical extrapolations of unproven theories but yet many who’s political ideology resides left of the political divide are not willing to jump on the voter ID and prove your a citizen to vote bandwagon which is actually based on actual cases that voter fraud exists and the known fact that it’s possible and then statistically extrapolating that to arrive at the numbers?

          Dude, please remember to breathe in between rants. This run-on sentence is incoherent.

          As I understand it, you are asking me why I concur with the vast majority of climate scientists that AGW is real, and thus am concerned with its effects, while I do not concur with the fringe theorists who vastly exaggerate the amount of non-citizens voting, and thus am unconcerned with its effects.

          I think that question answers itself.

          I simply don’t have all the facts on the citizenship status of all the voters in the last election, do you Chris; can you actually prove that the claim is baseless? Baseless: without foundation in fact. Chris, there is a foundation of fact that says voter fraud actually exists and the system is vulnerable to fraud – so where is your “baseless” argument now; are you just going to focus on the exaggerated number of 3 million as baseless?

          …Yes, that’s what I’m going to focus on, because that is what he said. If you’d like me to focus on a different, more rational statement that some voter fraud exists, then go back in time and convince Trump to say that instead.

          It doesn’t really matter the source of the claim, there were concerns that Obama may not have met that eligibility requirement because of his family origins and he hadn’t publicly shared his birth certificate;

          I cannot believe that an otherwise intelligent person such as yourself still believes this easily disprovable lie.

          Obama should have released his birth certificate immediately when the first question related to this came out,

          He did.

          http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/jun/27/obamas-birth-certificate-part-ii/

          Obama posted his legal birth certificate–the same document that every single person born in Hawaii gets proving their birth there–online on June 13, 2008.

          Racist idiots refused to accept this legal document, and began perpetuating the lie that the document was not a legitimate birth certificate because it was not the “long form”–despite the fact that the state of Hawaii does not give out long form birth certificates to anyone.

          Racist idiots then concocted a variety of lies about the published birth certificate in order to cast doubt on its veracity. Not a single one of those lies were true. In the meantime, multiple Hawaii state officials vouched for the authenticity of the published birth certificate. But the conspiracy theories only grew.

          Donald Trump, now the President of the United States, then decided to take up the cause of these racist idiots for attention, eventually prompting Obama to make a special request to be given his long form birth certificate, and then published that online. Instead of being mollified, racist idiots–including Trump–baselessly insisted this document was another forgery.

          There was never any logical reason for anyone to doubt the authenticity or the legality of the original birth certificate Obama posted in June 2008.

          The reasons the rumors persisted despite Obama’s release of his official, legal birth certificate in June 2008 were racism and xenophobia. Those who doubted the original birth certificate were, not coincidentally, much more likely to believe things like Obama was a Kenyan-born Muslim with no affinity for the United States. It was entirely based on painting him as a scary foreign infiltrator.

          If that doesn’t strike you as xenophobic, I don’t know what to tell you. You don’t understand the word.

          Back to your claim of xenophobia; xenophobia is an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. or how about this extreme dislike or fear of foreigners, their customs, their religions, etc.” Xenophobia goes well beyond simple eligibility requirements surrounding Obama’s birth certificate, exaggerated claims of criminal illegals voting in elections, or talking about the real problem we actually have with illegal immigration. Xenophobia is a bit more generalized fear of all foreigners

          No.

          Bigots always have exceptions, Zoltar. Look at the way Pamela Gellar has been embraced by Jew-hating neo-Nazis. The idea that a person can’t be called a bigot if they have one black friend, or a foreign wife, or whatever is fucking stupid.

          One does not have to be afraid of all foreigners in order to be xenophobic. Were business owners who put “Irish Need Not Apply” signs up not xenophobic if they were OK with Swedes?

          Trump has clearly singled out Muslim immigrants as a unique threat, and exaggerated the threat with lies and slander. He has also exaggerated the threat of illegal immigrants. That is xenophobic. The fact that he is OK with other classes of immigrants does not make that any less true.

          So now you’re saying “religious bigotry” not “religious hate”; are you trying to re-frame the discussion?

          Most people would read those as synonyms of one another. But you have a point; bigotry isn’t always based on hate. Sometimes it’s just ignorance. If you like, replace “hate” with “bigotry.”

          Absolutely none of the links you gave me support Trump’s “Nazi lie” (Jack’s words) that thousands of NJ Muslims celebrated 9/11, nor does it make that lie any less xenophobic.

          Trump has most definitely done some political posturing by exaggerating and blowing dog whistles to inspire xenophobia, but that doesn’t make Trump xenophobic.

          This comes down to a difference in how we see bigotry; you are primarily concerned with what is in the heart of a potential bigot, whereas I am concerned with their statements, actions and behavior. The advantage I have is that my judgments can be made by observation, whereas your definition of bigotry requires telepathy in order to apply to anyone.

          Bigoted? That Chris, as a friend of mine says, is an extrapolation of utter bull shit. Trump stating that generalized stereotype because she stood there dead silent (which is rather culturally uncomfortable here but standard fare in Muslim communities because of the inherent male dominated women oppressed culture) was unfair and certainly unnecessary but it wasn’t bigoted. After that sentence from me, are you now going to accuse me of employing bigoted stereotypes and I’m xenophobic too.

          It is a bigoted stereotype. So yes.

          That statement from Trump was clearly political posturing and represents a dog whistle that’s rooted in a real fear of radical Islamic terrorists that use Islam as justifications to murder and control innocent populations. This is pandering to fear; is it reasonably justified fear, yes; is it justifiable enough to ban all Muslims from entering the USA, no!

          Was Japanese internment xenophobic, Zoltar?

          If not, why not?

          If so, why can you see that as an example of taking a reasonably justified fear and exaggerating it to the point of xenophobia, but you cannot see Trump’s travel ban as the same?

          Furthermore; Trump’s actions since he became President have not corresponded with that political posturing dog whistle statement; to my knowledge Trump has not tried to ban all Muslims from entering the USA- if you think you can prove me wrong, then by all means, do so.

          According to Giuliani, that’s exactly what the travel ban was intended as a trial run for. Regardless, it is still xenophobic even if the intent was not to ban all Muslims, as it is a hysterical reaction to a fear of foreigners.

          “Well-documented”, really; yet you haven’t provided a single piece of evidence to support that. You provided examples to try and back up your other claims, why not this one Chris?

          Take it up with Jack, Zoltar. Try the misogyny tag. He has documented Trump’s misogyny extensively. No, I am not giving you links to this. At this point, asking for examples of how Trump is misogynistic is like asking for examples of how water is wet. It is a stupid question, and I’ve dignified it enough.

          Let’s make this as simple as possible; since a simple definition of misogyny is: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women…

          Trump is routinely disrespectful of women, and insults them in specifically gendered terms; again, search the misogyny tag on this website. This is not arguable.

          Think again Chris; Trump is NOT the one spreading division, the political left is; the left is the group that is destroying the core of this country with their irrational and invalid hate!

          You wrongly accused me of saying Trump is 100% responsible for the division. Now I see this was projection; you don’t believe he is even 1% responsible, and you believe the Left is 100% responsible. This is a partisan hack position, Zoltar, not a rational one. I have condemned members of the Left here on this site when I have felt they’ve added to the division in our country; you are unwilling to apply the same standard to Trump.

          • Chris wrote, “I cannot believe that an otherwise intelligent person such as yourself still believes this easily disprovable lie.”

            That is the statement that caused me to stop reading anymore of your bull shit; right now, I don’t give a damn what you wrote after that. You’ve shown us over and over again that your comprehension is screwed up, I wonder why I waste another second with you.

            I did not say or imply that “I beleive” you fucking twit.

            Follow this link to the comment that I intentionally posted well before you wrote this because I knew your tendency to fuck up comprehension and read things that simply don’t exist.

            I’ve been giving you a break lately but I’m quite sick and tired of your obtuse bull shit.

            I’m to damned angry with you right now to discuss anymore of your delusional trash today, I’ll come back when I’ve cooled down and decide whether you’re worth wasting any more of my time to post any more pixels that you’re not fucking likely to comprehend anyway.

            • Chris

              Zoltar,

              It appears that you think I was accusing you of believing the birther claim that Obama was born somewhere other than the US.

              I was not. The comprehension error seems to be yours.

              This is the statement I was responding to:

              Obama should have released his birth certificate immediately when the first question related to this came out,

              When I said that what you believed was a lie, I was referring to your apparent belief that Obama did not release his birth certificate immediately when the first question related to this came out.

              Had you read further, you would have seen that this was the claim I was referring to. You would have also seen that this claim was absolutely false; Obama revealed a legally valid birth certificate–the only one that any citizen of Hawaii would have access to–during the 2008 campaign.

              You really only had to read one line further in order to understand that this is what I was saying. Instead, you let your rage get the best of you, misinterpreted my comment completely, then blamed me for a comprehension failure that lied completely on you.

              I find our conversations much more productive when you slow down, breathe, and take some effort to understand what others are saying before flying off the handle. For some reason, you have been doing this less and less of late. Is everything OK? I do not want our interactions to be this confrontational, and I see no reason why they should be. You’re a smart guy, with tons of valid insight to add here. But you keep letting your temper get the best of you.

              • Chris wrote, “It appears that you think I was accusing you of believing the birther claim that Obama was born somewhere other than the US.

                I was not.”

                BULL SHIT CHRIS! I’m not a fucking idiot!

                Your comment pattern is identical to mine:
                1. You quote what you are going to comment about

                2. You comment about what you quoted

                3. You repeat the same pattern with a new quote.

                Now you’re trying to claim that you inserted a brand new commenting pattern just this once…

                1. You quote something.

                2. You ignore what you just quoted and start commenting about the quote that is to follow

                3 Then you quote what you were supposedly commenting on

                4 Then you return to your usual pattern of quoting, comment about the quote, quote, comment about the quote, etc. etc

                You’re trying to cover your ass with a lie Chris.

                • Chris

                  But I did not ignore what I quoted from you. I directly addressed it.

                  It appears you still haven’t calmed down enough to read an entire comment of mine. I clarified exactly the false claim of yours I was responding to.

                  Let me know when you are willing to be a big boy and actually address what I wrote, instead of making assumptions about what I wrote because you can’t be bothered to read things in full. I am satisfied that I have acted in good faith here. You can keep accusing me of being dishonest because you refuse to read my full comments, but others can see and judge for themselves.

  13. luckyesteeyoreman

    First, thanks, Chris. Your COTD, especially your two closing sentences, is the most thoughtful and thought-provoking comment of yours that I can remember having read. You deserve Jack’s COTD honor.

    Next, for Jack: One thing you said is fair enough, but only up to a certain point:

    “I have to keep reminding myself that I (yes, even I!) am not so certain that I have the right answers that I can justify hating someone who believes differently.”

    But…

    “Hating the President of the United States is inconceivable to me. It is also irresponsible.”

    That, I cannot and will not emulate or agree with – especially, when considering the trends of the most recent presidents and their regimes (I am evolving away from saying “administrations”) – I mean, the presidents and regimes (or, “administrations”) that have existed in my lifetime.

    No, I will never reserve a carve-out of “off-limits for hating” for a president of what I have called “my country.” I will reserve the privilege (I don’t care if it’s ever considered a “right”) of hating a president. I will reserve that until I witness, to my satisfaction, a president and administration that acts more clearly and consistently upon solid and honorable moral and ethical foundations. I don’t expect a miracle to produce such in my remaining time on earth. I expect the ugly opposite, and expect that to trend for the worse for the foreseeable future, even generations beyond my lifetime.

    I believe a time is coming when it will be unethical NOT to hate a president.

    Decades ago, I criticized what was, at the time, a popular slogan often seen on bumper stickers and on signs in various marches for various causes: “Hate Is Not a Family Value.” I wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper to comment on an event related to a “movement” that favored that slogan; the letter was published. I wrote (if I am remembering clearly): “Stop using that preachy absurdity, ‘Hate is not a family value.’ A family MUST hate SOMEthing, else its love has no value.”

    It might be only my imagination, but it seemed that after my letter was published, that slogan quickly ceased being used as often, if at all. I don’t know; maybe that was a case of correlation not being causation. Maybe all I did was out-bumper-sticker somebody. Maybe I made a valid point, and my intended targets took it to heart. I don’t know. But I did hate that slogan. Just like, I am sure, many of its users hated the real and imagined virtue-signalling, political correctness-driven, haughty judgmentalism of people who flaunted, or seemed to flaunt, the over-used “family values” thought-bite like Taliban-esque code words for Prophet-approved sex.

    My point is that even hate – even hating a president – has its ethical place and constructive effects, for ends favorable to ever more refined ethics.

    I agree that this is always true:
    “Hatred creates bias, just like love. The stronger the hate, the greater the bias.”

    I do not agree that this is always true:
    “Bias is an impediment to ethical reasoning and conduct.”

    I am not contending that “bias [never] makes one stupid” – just that bias does not always make one stupid.

    Bias and hate are with us to stay. If only strong and honorable ethical and moral foundations were also with us to stay, bias and hate would result in far fewer incidents of anarchic and destructive gunfire.

  14. Chris writes: This is because when most liberals use the term “hate,” we are referring to prejudice, bigotry, and other forms of unjustified hatred. The term has become closely associated with people who favor oppression: “Hate groups.” “Hate crimes.” “Hate speech.”

    But of course, when we liberals hate someone, it’s because they deserve it.

    I had the read this sentence a couple of times to be sure I understood it. I asked myself (sometimes I can’t pick up irony) if it was made in complete seriousness. I am still not sure but I must take it at the face-value.

    Before I say something though, I do have to say that I have come to see I am not of use really to this blog. In the end I am not able to understand what it exists to decide. I know that it vouches for good conduct, kind conduct, and the Golden Rule, and all of this in the social context of a unified nation. However: the nation is dividing. There seem to be trends going on which will not diminish and will continue. It has to do with the polarizations of ideas which are irreconcilable to each other. Each side (of the various sides of course) understands its position in this sense: ‘We have to do something, now, and we have to ‘mobilize’ for a battle’. If one wishes to hide onself from this ‘fact’, one I suppose can. If one wishes to minimize it there are, I guess, political tranquillizers and Prozaks.

    I take Chris’s comment at its face value because what it means is that one day or the next, in one way or some other way, he and those who see themselves like he sees himself, will do me harm. It is a simple as that. His and their ‘hate’ is now being chanelled in these ways.

    But instead of condemning him or them or saying ‘This is unethical!’ I say that it is an expression of ethics! What else could it be? They think this way, they have become convinced that they are ‘right’, and therefor their judgments are pure and good. If I said that I did not agree with this flow-of-argument, then I would have to say that I do not beleive in the possibility of constructing an argument. Or of becoming decisive in regard to a value or an ideal. The Hyper-Liberal Left represents an ideological movement which arises out of their existential sense of *the way things are*. Their actions and their decisions flow from their understanding that ‘we are in harmony with the world, with truth and with the kosmos’. Their thoughts, their ideas, their value-judgments are grounded in their understanding of what is right and good. If they did not carry-forward their values into actions in this world, what then would be the purpose of establishing those certainties in the first place? What do you do then: Dedicate your life and thought and sense of value to defining a position and then just stay at home with it? Put a bumper-sticker in your car?

    It is obvious that I must take Chris seriously and all the people who think like him. And I must also understand that they, en masse, intend to do me harm (if and when they can). This is not mere paranoia. It is legitimate understanding of *what is*.

    Now, here is the other side. Essentially, to ‘respond’ to Chris (and I use this name to refer to a generality of course) I have to define a counter-propositional stance. I have to define first what he means when he uses the term ‘prejudice’ and ‘bigotry’ and of course ‘hate’. I have to delve into the core of the ideas being transmitted. I will then seen to better define my prejudices and the reasons I have them, just in the same sense as he tells me (in essence) that to have them I am ‘evil’ and ‘wrong’. This leads to a whole involved intellectual work and away from a sentimental rolling around in powerful, determined emotionalized concepts. I have to turn away from emotionalism and become very hard and committed to defining strict ideas. If I understand things right ‘The Sixties’ and what flowed from it was essentially a giant emotional feast. I do not really know what happened, I just guess, but what I do notice is that everything is emotionalized.

    I do not think one can truly be ethical until one is completely established in a committed, intellectual position. Therefor, prior to ‘ethics’ is the necessity of constructing a foundation in ideas. Therefor, to *oppose Chris* I have to retreat in a sense and cede the ground while I rally with others to 1) defeat the bad logic of his predicates and assert others, 2) plan how to avoid his machinations and the harm he plans me, and then 3) to build and fortalize a counter-propositional structure of ideas to be able to influence and persuade others. Because I grant him his right to do just that, then he ‘must’ grant me the right to do the same. Now, I know that he won’t, and can’t, because in his view ‘to counter-propose’ to his assertions is to turn against reason, the reasonable, and The Good.

    I have said before in other moments that I get the sense that the general trend within American Conservatism is finding a way to become like an elder brother to the basic Progressive stance. Right now, as it seems to me, American Progressivism is ever-more realizing its power, and its power is to ‘shame’ conservativism with all the emotionalized tools at its disposal (it is essentially an emotional and an emoted ideological position). Right now it is winning because as long as one is subject to and controlled by *emotional intrusions* one is not really functioning intellectually. This is not the time to *build bridges of understanding* it is the time to define all the very good reasons to go into battle.

    But as long as one has, in the essence, a wishy-washy, soggy, effeminate, non-decisive, over-tolerant and too reconciling frame-of-mind, the more inroads with the Hyper-Progressive Left make in their conversion-project.

  15. will the Hyper-Progressive Left make … (et cetera).

  16. Repeat of my earlier question:

    I’d like to ask Chris one very specific question: you wrote that “I think he [Trump] is doing damage to our country.” Can you explain what “damage” you’re talking about and how this perceived “damage” is 100% Trump’s fault.

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