I’m Not Exactly Saying Shut Up And Sing, Shania, But If You Are Going To Talk About U.S. Politics, A) Know What You Are Talking About, And B) Don’t Back Down When The Thought Police Arrive

Canadian Country music superstar Shania Twain told  The Guardian that she “would have voted for” President Trump if she was an American citizen  “because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest.” She added,  Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both. If I were voting, I just don’t want bullshit. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?”

This off the cuff answer roused the social media anti-Trump Furies, and a hashtag, #ShaniaTwainCancelled, was born. Fearing that allowing a non-conforming opinion that the thought-policing Trump-hating Left had decreed was impermissible would harm her income stream, Twain instantly collapsed like the filling station in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

As Ann Althouse amusingly put it, “By evening poor Shania — the erstwhile lover of no bullshit — had apologized.” She tweeted,

“I would like to apologise to anybody I have offended in a recent interview with the Guardian relating to the American President. The question caught me off guard. As a Canadian, I regret answering this unexpected question without giving my response more context I am passionately against discrimination of any kind and hope it’s clear from the choices I have made, and the people I stand with, that I do not hold any common moral beliefs with the current President. I was trying to explain, in response to a question about the election, that my limited understanding was that the President talked to a portion of America like an accessible person they could relate to, as he was NOT a politician ”

Observations:

  • What a cowardly, weak-minded, virtue-signaling weasel! This doesn’t make her singing any worse, but for me, at least, since I can take Shania Twain (or any country singer) or leave her, this display of desperate pandering to anti-Trump bullies yanks her right down my cognitive dissonance scale below zero, placing her in the general vicinity of Alec Baldwin.

What this announces is that Twain will only utter opinions that her fans, at least her vocal fans and bullying fans, deem acceptable. Fine. Then shut up, Shania. If you won’t stand behind a genuine opinion, then your future poll-tested opinions are worthless. Look up integrity in a dictionary.

  • Sure, Shania’s original statement was simple-minded, but her apology was worse. The reflex connection of President Trump to “discrimination” is just resistance cant without substance. Discrimination against who and what, Shania? Do you know? Do you really know anything about Trump and American politics? “Honest” would not be the first word to describe him or his candidacy, for example, looking at dumb statement #1.

If you don’t know anything, then why do you think your celebrity justifies injecting more incompetent and ignorant opinions into the public discourse?

  • It’s usually unethical—irresponsible— to do anything in public incompetently. When celebrities mouth off, it encourages ordinary citizens to broadcast similarly lazy, badly-considered opinions based on ignorance or bias.

There are celebrities who are intelligent and well-informed, and whose opinions contribute something positive to public discourse. It is immediately obvious who such celebrities are, too. Those celebrities will not suddenly plead that they were taken out of context and deny their own opinions three times while the cock crows because of some nasty tweets.

  • Allowing social media enforcers to make them recant like Gallileo enables, emboldens and empowers the thought police, especially the anti-Trump thought police who have been bullying anyone who has dared to express any support or positive opinion about the President of the United States since November, 2016.

These progressive hate-mongers are anti-democratic and anti-speech, and the weak-spined Shania Twains of the world feed their lust for power that they intend to abuse, do, and will. I’ve felt their rotting breath on Facebook. If you don’t accept their agenda of undermining elections, U.S. institutions and the legitimacy of the President, they want to tar you as depraved and in league with the forces of evil. If one lacks the confidence and character to tell such people—they are now the true deplorables—where they can shove their unethical tactics and demands for surrender—then one should stay on the sidelines until this fight is resolved.

This now leads me to do what I never thought I would or could ever do: say something positive about Kanye West. West shocked his fans last week when he expressed admiration for Candace Owens, an African American Donald Trump supporter who has—The Horror!-–criticized the eminently criticizable Black Lives Matter.  Then, the following day, he tweeted nine videos from Scott Adams, the  “Dilbert” creator who is now an arch-villain to the Left and NeverTrump Right because he has, since early in the 2016 campaign, pronounced that Donald Trump is not a fool, not an amateur, not unskilled, and should be taken seriously because he understands sales and persuasion. Boy, what an idiot!

Naturally, West’s fans, a largely black, progressive and pro-resistance group, gave him the Shania Twain treatment. To his credit—mark this down, because I may never write this again!—to Kanye West’s credit, he didn’t back down just because the speech police posse saddled up. Now, whatever his virtues as an artist, and whatever they are, I can’t fathom them, West is showing integrity. I don’t think Kanye West knows ethics from rutabagas. He is a race-baiter and a misogynist, and is quite possibly mentally ill.  I literally don’t care what Kanye West thinks about anything. Nonetheless, when he shoots off his mouth, at least he has the courage of his convictions and does not capitulate to social media bullies and the thought censors.

When Hell freezes over, I now will choose to go to one of his concerts before I patronize Shania Twain.

 

48 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Popular Culture, Quotes, Social Media

48 responses to “I’m Not Exactly Saying Shut Up And Sing, Shania, But If You Are Going To Talk About U.S. Politics, A) Know What You Are Talking About, And B) Don’t Back Down When The Thought Police Arrive

  1. Chris

    I question whether “having the courage of one’s convictions” is that great of a value when one’s convictions, er, suck. Praising Trump, Owens and Adams isn’t wrong because they’re conservatives, it’s wrong because they are morons, and criticizing public figures for making the choice to praise morons isn’t wrong or evidence of a “thought police.”

    Twain’s apology was bad because it’s dishonest; instead of lying about what she meant she should have just said she was uninformed about Trump. As you point out, calling him “honest” was ridiculous.

    • And there we have it: the current progressive conflation of “I disagree with it” with “stupid/wrong/unconscionable.”

      You’re right, Chris: anyone who has a point of view progressives deplore should be intimidated into recanting. It’s the American way!

      WOW.

      • Chris

        No, actually, you are the one conflating those two things.

        • TheShadow

          You said Owens and Adams were “morons.” That is what Jack is talking about. You disagree with them, so they are stupid.

        • Ah, the old I’m rubber and you’re glue rebuttal! Haven’t heard that one since playground days. let’s re-evisit your silly comment, shall we?

          I question whether “having the courage of one’s convictions” is that great of a value when one’s convictions, er, suck.

          In other words, since that verdict is 100% subjective, people should not show integrity and take responsibility for their views unless, in your narrow and biased view, they don’t suck. Good thinking there, Sparky.

          Praising Trump, Owens and Adams isn’t wrong because they’re conservatives, it’s wrong because they are morons..

          Same thing. Meanwhile, they are, all three, objectively not morons in a true sense, just in your ad hominem attack sense. All three are far, far more successful in their spheres than you or me, and have a rebuttable presumption backing them that they are, in fact, smarter than most people, since smart people are overwhelmingly more successful, as a group, than less smart people.

          Finally, and this is a classic Chrisism, the issue isn’t “criticizing” public figures for their opinions, but seeking to hurt them, which IS evidence of a “thought police.” #CancelShaniaTwain is a threat and a boycott call. Did that really escape you?

          • Chris

            It applies. You could have easily asked me why I thought they were morons–instead, you accused me of calling them morons simply because they disagree with progressive ideology. The fact that I don’t call you or most of the conservatives here morons should have been enough to dispel you of that assumption, and yet you made it anyway. Therefore, it was you who conflated “I disagree with it” with “stupid/wrong/unconscionable,” not me.

            I was really hoping I wasn’t going to have to explain that.

            • You didn’t explain it. By definition, none of those people are morons, except, ironically, West and Twain. The fact that you may selectively slime people as morons because of their views doesn’t make that selective sliming any less objectionable.

              • Chris

                So how do you change the minds of Trump supporters, who are, by definition, ignorant, dumb, or both? (Yes, yes, they are angry and scared and disillusioned, and all of that. But the solution of looking to someone like the guy I listened to today with my mouth gaping open in a rictus of horror is not one that angry, scared, disillusioned people with any knowledge of government, leadership and democracy and two healthy neurons to run together would applaud.) We have, as a society and a nation, an ethical obligation to send Trump back to hotels, casino, bimbos and reality TV. This is in the category of democratic competence. Do we have it, or not?

                https://ethicsalarms.com/2015/12/12/the-uss-existential-ethics-dilemma/

                • 100% irrelevant. Did you read the headline on the piece, or just ignore it? See, it says “Either know what you are taking about, (or shut up) or, when you do know enough to opine, have the integrity not to back down just because someone threatens you. This isn’t a pro-Trump/anti-Trump post of discussion, but you appear incapable of seeing reality any other way.

                  I made it very clear that that voting for Trump, in my view, was foolish and irresponsible. That does not mean that i regard anyone who has a different position and is able to defend it articulately is “a moron.”

                • And this IS moronic: being incapable of distinguishing between supporting the elected President of the United States as he tries to do his job, and supporting a Presidential candidate.

                  But you do have a lot of company with that civic and mental deficiency…

                  • Chris

                    You have lost track of the conversation entirely. We are *talking about* people who supported Trump as a candidate. Owens, Adams and Twain all did that. Perhaps West did not, but he’s an idiot for other reasons.

                    This is the second time in an hour you have conflated two things while accusing me of conflating those exact two things.

                    • No, in fact they did not. Twain spoke after the election saying that he “would” have voted for him. That’s not support at all, or even for Trump, but for “no bullshit” Adams, as I just wrote, explained Trump but did not support him until very late in the game. I have no idea what Owens did, thought or said, because it doesn’t matter.

                      If I support anyone or anything, the fact that a bunch of self-righteous jerks attack me for it and threaten to boycott me will not, ever, cause me to apologize of retract my position. I will do that if they logically and factually demonstrate to my satisfaction that I was wrong. THAT is the lesson of the post, Chris. Only that.

                      Not “you should abandon any position that knee-jerk leftists scream is stupid because it doesn’t fit in their lock-step world view, making you evil in their eyes.”

                    • Chris

                      No, in fact they did not. Twain spoke after the election saying that he “would” have voted for him. That’s not support at all, or even for Trump,

                      Of course it is. She is saying she would have supported him.

                      but for “no bullshit” Adams, as I just wrote, explained Trump but did not support him until very late in the game.

                      What is your point? At what point in the campaign did you abandon your belief that Trump supporters were “morons, I’m afraid?”

                      I have no idea what Owens did, thought or said, because it doesn’t matter.

                      She supported Trump, which matters because it makes her, in your own words, a moron. Which means your attack on me for calling her the same was unfair and hypocritical.

          • Chris

            In other words, since that verdict is 100% subjective, people should not show integrity and take responsibility for their views unless, in your narrow and biased view, they don’t suck. Good thinking there, Sparky.

            You do not actually believe that whether or not someone’s publicly expressed views are wrong is “100% subjective.” You could not run Ethics Alarms if you believed that. 90% of this blog’s articles would not exist. As just one example, you would not have been able to condemn Randa Jarrar as unethical if you truly believed that such a verdict is “100% subjective.”

            Pretending that such things are subjective is a tactic used to shut down criticism of conservatives.

            People with shitty views should reconsider their views, not cling to them.

            Same thing. Meanwhile, they are, all three, objectively not morons in a true sense, just in your ad hominem attack sense. All three are far, far more successful in their spheres than you or me, and have a rebuttable presumption backing them that they are, in fact, smarter than most people, since smart people are overwhelmingly more successful, as a group, than less smart people.

            Good lord. This has got to be some kind of logical fallacy. Trump is successful; does that mean Trump is not a moron?

            Finally, and this is a classic Chrisism, the issue isn’t “criticizing” public figures for their opinions, but seeking to hurt them, which IS evidence of a “thought police.” #CancelShaniaTwain is a threat and a boycott call. Did that really escape you?

            We do not agree on the ethical validity of boycotts.

    • philk57

      Now I know that you are making things up, or lying … there is no way that you could listen to, or read, Owens and think that she is a moron. You may disagree, but she has clearly thought deeply about the opinions that she has come to since her upbringing as a Liberal.

      • Chris

        Come on.

        • philk57

          Which is a perfectly rational position to take if you believe that the left is destroying much of what is good in America. I don’t happen to agree with her assessment of Trump, but calling her a moron based on this tweet is pretty thin gruel.

          Go and watch her conversation with Dave Rubin – you will disagree with her throughout, but if you then say that she is a moron, we will have definitive proof that your bias has made you blind as well as stupid.

      • Adams even moreso. He is an original thinker and a legitimate management guru. I don’t agree with him on a lot of matters, and I think he is insufficiently interested in ethics. But he saw Trump as a serious candidate way before anyone else, and he wasn’t just lucky: the reasons Trump won were the reasons he said he might win.

        Adams is a very smart guy by any objective measure.

    • I mean…. If we rewound time back to 2016, and I were American, I would have voted for Trump. Even now, with a year and a half of 20/20, I might still tell past me that voting for Trump is the right thing to do.

      Back in 2016, voting Trump wasn’t approval of Trump’s lifestyle or a judgement on his honesty, except in the most relative terms, because it sure as hell would have been a rejection of Clinton. Now? It’s… bizarre… but despite the near constant state of disarray the administration seems to find itself in… It’s almost inarguable that it’s effective.

      I mean…. Think of it… Trump’s judicial appointments have been excellent, Gorsuch is so excellent he might actually be a thorn in Trump’s side. We also just passed the first real tax reform of our generation, and there’s a lot in there that I also think is excellent. And despite an administration that started full of people who were appointed when they had no reason to, with every revolution of the door, it seems like his administration is actually getting better. Something that Trump is inarguably better than Obama at is corrective staffing.

      As to the bad… It’s there, but a lot of it is just noisy ineffectiveness…. despite agreeing in principle with progressives some of the time when Trump has said something stupid and progressives are going through the bump that makes in their perpetual outrage vibration, I can’t think of a stupid thing that Trump said that had real lasting consequences.

      • Chris

        And despite an administration that started full of people who were appointed when they had no reason to, with every revolution of the door, it seems like his administration is actually getting better. Something that Trump is inarguably better than Obama at is corrective staffing.

        Ahahahahahahahaha

        https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/24/ronny-jackson-va-nomination-problem-547562

        • I don’t see your point… I mean…. Scoff all you want…. But Trump *IS* still better at corrective staffing than Obama was, even if some of his nominations are dogs. Obama was famous for failing to hold his people accountable for even the most egregious of infractions.

          • Chris

            And Trump isn’t? This is ridiculous.

            • Yeah, except that’s not what I said. I mean… I think in a lot of ways Trump is too eager to hire people that aren’t particularly well suited on the auspices that they can be fired later, it’s almost the exact opposite problem. Look, I think the operative word here is better Obama was an exceptionally low bar, I can’t think of a single person that left his administration because he removed them… So yes… I think Trump is better than him on this facet of management in particular.

            • Let’s do a quick exercise: I’m going to say nice things about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

              I think Barack Obama genuinely went into politics for all the right reasons, and he really did think he could change America for the better. That earnestness resonated, and I think that’s why he was able to inspire so many people. He also ran a very clean administration from a domestic-scandal point of view, which starkly juxtaposes the shit we’re putting up with now.

              Hillary Clinton tried. I mean, really hard. Her entire life trajectory was aimed at getting herself into the oval office. She wanted to be president, and she put the work in. She prepared for every speech, every photo op, every interaction. She literally carried around props in her purse and quick answers on the go. I don’t work as hard as Hillary Clinton.

              Say something nice about Trump. Try.

              • Here’s a easy one: he worked a lot harder at getting elected President than Hillary Clinton did.

                • Okay, I am in no way shape or form a Clinton Crime Family supporter (my pseudonym refers to Bill, the original Teflon President) but that comment hurt, I mean really stung.

                  Jack, you have a mean wit that you work very hard to keep hidden. 🙂

              • This should be an exercise everyone is required to participate in, though I would make it “Say something positive about President Trump.” There are, in fact, many things a fair and objective person should and would say.

              • Chris

                You’re making me flash back to the debate where Hillary Clinton was asked the same question, and said she liked his children. (This was a terrible answer; his children are terrible.) I will say that he seems to really love his children.

                I like Melania and I think she has behaved with nothing but dignity and class since becoming First Lady. She stays above the fray. She is also at least as stylish as Michelle Obama, she just doesn’t get the credit for it because of who she’s married to.

                I think Trump knows how to work a crowd and play to his audience better than anyone, and that is a unique skill.

                I’ve heard he is fun to be around and has a magnetism that many who otherwise dislike him find captivating when they’re with him.

                I think he made the right call with Gorsuch, and a few others times.

                I think on occasion his flexibility on certain issues is a strength.

              • Chris

                That said, the hidden assumption here is that it’s objectively as easy to find admirable qualities about Trump as it is to find admirable qualities about Obama and Hillary…and it just isn’t. Jack spent a year explaining that it isn’t.

                This isn’t a partisan thing—I remember engaging in a similar excercise on a conservative blog in 2012, where I said a bunch of nice things about Romney and then asked them to do the same for Obama. McCain has a ton of admirable qualities. So did both Bushes, and Reagan. I can probably find nice things to say about most current Republicans…it is harder with Trump, and while there are certainly some nice things to say about him—nobody is all bad—I think it’s a false equivalence to pretend he has as many admirable qualities as the two people you talked about.

                • No…. Not objectively as easy…. Just possible.

                  I mean… I get it, no one is particularly interested in painting their political opponents in a good light, or defend their arguments for them. But I think we have to be able to sit back and recognize that sometimes even people we don’t like do things that are… you, know… Not completely awful.

                  There are people out there who literally could not bring themselves to do what you just did. They’re…. broken. It’s really sad.

              • He also ran a very clean administration from a domestic-scandal point of view…

                I thought this exercise was to be truthful? There were domestic scandals galore, all suppressed and ignored by the MSM.

                Fast and Furious? Getting a FISA warrant based on unsubstantiated (which is the bar) information? Spying on an opposition candidate?

                Positive: He could really deliver a speech. He accomplished his goal of furthering socialism in the USA, which was his stated goal all along.

                Hillary positive: she was rumored to have baked cookies with her daughter.

                Okay, that was snark. Hillary did a lot for Wall Street, and made a lot of people really wealthy. She stood by Bill while knowing he was sleeping around (in the Oval Office!) which could not have been easy.

                • I meant ‘domestic’ as in ‘personal’. There were no mistresses or porn stars, no hookers, no payoffs, or women left to die in submerged cars. No hunting accidents, no hit and runs, no untimely deaths of colleagues… although he did admit that he inhaled, I suppose.

                  • ahhh. Yes, in that case, any such would have been air tightly covered up. We would only learn of such after he dies, I suppose.

                    So no reported domestic ‘personal’ scandals.

                    Yes, Trump is king of reality TV, even in the White House. And leakers have not yet been prosecuted, which is how Obama stopped leaks.

  2. Michael R.

    Sorry, but when I saw this on the news reports, I was confused by why she would have to recant her heresy and I also checked the date. I was unaware that Shania Twain was still working in the music industry. I listen to country music exclusively and I can’t remember the last time I heard one of her songs on the radio. I had to look it up on Wikipedia to see if she had recent music. It said her recent album debuted at #1 two years ago, but I haven’t heard any of those songs. Then it made sense, she isn’t playing to country crowds anymore, she is ‘pop’. She could have made the statement and been just fine as a country act, but there is no way she can survive as a pop act with such a statement.

  3. Other Bill

    Phil Silvers. Hilarious.And of course Jonathan Winters. Makes Robin Williams look rational.

  4. luckyesteeyoreman

    Second try…

    I keep wishing and hoping for someone like Shania Twain, now forever scorned by the TRUMP-hating PC furies, to spine-up and say something like:

    “Well! I guess I said something political that a bunch of my fans disagree with. Well! To each and every one of those “offended” by what I said: GO THE HELL AWAY, and never listen to another one of my songs again. You’re too touchy-feely for me. Go blackmail, smear and boycott some other professional performer with less of a spine. Hold some more famous cowards hostage to your ridiculous, oppressive ways and views. I don’t want you to attend another one of my performances; listen to another one of the songs I sing; buy another one of my products or related merchandise; try to contact me to communicate your silly sensitivity-cult “sensibilities;” or say one more positive thing about me or anything I do, say, or think, for as long as you live. I don’t expect you to grow up, ever. So GO! THE HELL! AWAY!”

    I think a statement like that would be a career-booster and a spark to fame-forever-above-infamy counter-attack that is long overdue.

    • Such an artist would sell to half the country immediately, simply based on the novelty of such a statement. If they were any good, they might actually gain fans from the deplorables, as any exposure is a good thing in entertainment.

  5. Slight aside… Candace Owens is an awful person to hitch your approval to; She’s one of those people that started off as a progressive and ended up seeing the light… But her trajectory from there has been really weird.

    Something about her has always seemed off to me. She seems… artificial…. Almost like a caricature of what an SJW thinks an Anti-SJW should be. Everything she does seems calculated… I don’t know how an intelligent person… and despite everything else I’ve written here, make no mistake: I think she’s an intelligent person…. But I don’t know how an intelligent person arrives at some of the conclusions she does legitimately. And it just so happens that those positions I don’t understand seem to track well with a certain demographic of people who have only a real shallow understanding of the issues…. Which call a spade a spade, is probably the biggest and most politically lucrative portion of the audience on any issue.

  6. Actually I’d thought she was younger than she is. That kind of backpedaling you usually see with a young starlet who offends a big director or grand dame. She’s not that young and hadn’t understood how biased a chunk of her demographics had gotten. She apparently had the luxury to think she could ignore the intolerance and hate until it bit her.

    I wish we all could. But too many ignoring it over that last decade in hope it would blow over, let the cancer metastasize and now it will be painful to treat.

  7. I’m glad to see people are using the exercise of “name something you appreciate or admire about a person you disapprove of.” Coincidentally, that’s something I recently added to my official collaborative truth-seeking list of tips.

    I do notice some… vagueness, if not exactly inconsistency, in what we’re saying is acceptable for public figures to say and what is acceptable to be done about it.

    As far as I can tell, we should demand that public figures be able to express themselves coherently and respectfully, and be able to back up what they say. If they at least make efforts to do that, I trust their character even if their reasoning process has what appears to me to be obvious flaws. I try not to let personalities deter me from enjoying good content, but I may not seek it out if I don’t identify as much with the creator. That’s normal, neutral cognitive dissonance.

    Whether a university trusts a professor like Jarrar to teach students is a more detailed problem, because universities should have some standards for trusting a teacher’s reasoning processes and ethical attitude towards students. They can’t avoid making a judgment call based on what they think is true, so a physics professor who states unironically that the world is flat may be subject to review just to make sure their poor reasoning isn’t interfering with their teaching. An openly racist professor may not be trusted to grade students fairly: even if the regular mechanisms preventing biased grading are in place and accepted, students’ perceptions of their judgment could be damaged, and that is in and of itself a liability.

    The important thing is that we know why we are judging people’s opinions (and how they arrive at them) and that when we act, we do so for the right reasons. We can judge the source of someone’s opinions, or we can judge the tested consequences of those opinions. If we’re retaliating because we don’t like what was said, rather than simply trying to respectfully correct a person’s actions or reasoning, that’s when we’re in trouble. After all, stupid is as stupid does.

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