1. “A Nation of Assholes” Update: A congressional intern, can be heard yelling, “Mr. President, fuck you!” at President Trump this week as he arrived at the Capitol for a meeting with Republican lawmakers, as heard in a video clip recorded by NBC’s Frank Thorp. Nice. This is what “the resistance” and allied Democrats—and Robert De Niro, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert and the rest, like Peter Fonda, Jane’s younger, less talented brother, who tweeted, “We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles and see if mother will stand up against the massive giant asshole she is married to”— have produced. Hold them accountable. Hold the members of Congress who employs her responsible too: she obviously is reflecting the attitude she absorbs in the office all day long.
As that 2015 post makes clear, making someone like Trump our leader, and thus our culture’s ethics role model—yes, that’s how leadership works—does lead to this kind of disgusting, divisive and un-American conduct. However, it doesn’t justify those who sink this low. She must be identified and fired. Those rationalizing her outburst should be rebuked, just as those who tried to justify Rep. Joe Wilson’s unforgivable “You lie!” during an Obama State of the Union address should have been rebuked.
Besides, after she is fired, MSNBC will probably give her a show.
2. You know, such incidents are making it hard for me to maintain my ethical objections to boycotts. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was having a working dinner at Cocina Mexicana, a popular Mexican restaurant in Washington, DC. Protesters from the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America entered the restaurant and began harassing her, based on the controversy over the handling of illegal immigrant families at the Mexican border. You can read their content-free chants here; the only one that interests me is “”No borders! No walls! Sanctuary for all!”, which is signature significance for a lawless, ignorant fool. She had to leave after about ten minutes.
Why were the protesters allowed to enter the restaurant and interfere with a customer’s meal? It doesn’t matter who the diner is: the establishments duty to is treat guests as guests while they are in the establishment. Has Cocina Mexicana apologized to Nielsen? It doesn’t matter, really: that kind of abuse should not be permitted even once. Are we now going to have establishments segregated by ethnicity and sympathy for open borders?
I won’t eat there, even if someone else is paying.
3. Good. 60 organizations branded “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) will consider legal action against against the Left’s favorite smear organization. SPLC recently had to pay a $3 million settlement and render an apology to the Quilliam Foundation for its defaming the group. SPLC can opine all it wants that a group or organization is a hate groups in its judgment, just as I could. The problem is that the mainstream news media cites the Center as an authority when it joins in the smear, which is usually designed to marginalize a group with conservative views. Originally, long before it was flushed with a sense of its own virtue and power, the Center based its verdicts on conduct, usually racist actions, crimes and demonstrations. In recent years, however, SPLC has increasingly tarred groups for their political positions and viewpoints, assessed from a hard left perspective.
This is relevant to the “opinion vs fact” poll I posted yesterday.
4. Oh-oh. What do I do with “Dr. Z”? This is an ethical dilemma. I have used social scientist Phillip Zimbardo’s 20 rules for resisting unethical influences in organizations and groups in my seminars for nearly a decade, and blogged about them here.
They embody many ethical principles while being valuable in setting ethics alarms. However, Zimbardo himself has been recently exposed as being unethical himself, specifically regarding his infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, which made him a national figure and launched his career in the field of analyzing culture-based misconduct. As persuasively detailed in this Medium article, his experiment was manipulated research designed by Zimbardo to reach a desired result: a lie. Worse, he has been covering up the lie for decades while still riding the wave of the fame it provided him.
Now I have the classic problem of the valid ethical message from the untrustworthy messenger.
5. A brief note about the “family separation” issue: President Trump’s Executive Order seeking to bypass the consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, that prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention centers even if they are with their parents for more than 20 days is exactly as much of an abuse of power and unconstitutional as President Obama’s EO declaring that illegal immigrants who were not serious criminals had nothing to fear from immigration enforcement. Of course, Trump was extremely critical of that. I’m critical of all Executive Orders that amend laws as an end-around the Constitution.
When we have laws, we should enforce them, when we don’t like how they work, we should change them as the Constitution requires—legislatively–and enforce the new laws. Presidents should not “with a flick of the pen” (Sen. Schumer) bypass process and law no matter what the justification. (And if legislators don’t do their jobs, they should be voted out of office, not allowed to stay and argue that the laws shouldn’t be enforced.)
No, I don’t expect President Trump to pay attention to such details, as I doubt that he has a passing knowledge of the Constitution, and integrity is of no interest to him at all. However, I don’t care don’t care to hear any more fear-mongering about his “authoritarian” leadership when he is being encouraged to bypass the legislature illegally. The end does not justify the means, even when your party or ideological club likes the ends. No nation can have a system wherein laws are just ignored when they are inconvenient, unpopular or create difficult problems.
“Think of the children!” drowns out any coherent discussion of process and the rule of law. Now that President Trump has proven that children will be successful tools to lobotomize and emotionalize any substantive issue to which they can be linked, I’m betting on the next Democratic National Convention being themed, “The War Against Children.” And the real wars against democratic institutions, elections, dissent, free speech, the Presidency, due process and the rule of law?