Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/26/18: Ominous Portents

Good Morning!

This day in ethics: in 1908: the FBI was founded as the the Office of the Chief Examiner, and re-named a year later. Few American institutions have as mixed an ethical legacy, and the cognitive dissonance continues. In 1984, one of the most evil men in U.S. history died, though his exploits have inspired as many works of fiction and entertainment as many a more virtuous figure. Ed Gein, the serial killer who was the inspiration for “Psycho,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Silence of the Lambs” and many others novels and films,  and about half the episodes on the long-running CBS drama “Criminal Minds, finally went to his maker. The identity of this monster’s “maker” is a matter of debate.

1. Baseball ethics and a troubling societal blind spot.  The American League Rangers finally demoted struggling outfielder Delino DeShields to Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday. The real question should be what too them so long. Despite playing solid defense in the outfield, DeShields, 25, has hit just .204  in 322 plate appearances this season with an  On base+Slugging total of .570, which is, for you sad baseball unenlightened, objectively horrible. Any OPS under .700 is unacceptable in the major leagues.

Yet an unnamed Rangers player told reporters that such demotions don’t breed a winning culture and instead breed complacency. Funny, I always thought complacency was when an organization just accepted sub-par performance rather than moving to address it. Yes, even in baseball, the toxic idea that employees have a right to their jobs no matter how well or poorly they perform them is on the rise, and with it support for America’s socialists.

2. In short, yes. I have been asked if the antics of Jason Spencer, the Georgia Republican who resigned yesterday, thus setting a new and useful standard that any elected official who screams “Nigger!’ on command and strips to his briefs on a television show is obligated to find new employment, has any broader significance for our nation. Indeed it demonstrates vividly, not for the first time, the public elects a disturbing number of idiots and incompetents to make and execute our laws. Spencer is a flashy example, but examples reveal themselves every day in their word and deed. For example, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who is actually taken seriously by some as a potential 2020 Democratic candidate for the Presidency, said that those who do not oppose the Supreme Court nomination if Brett Kavannaugh for the Supreme Court are “complicit in evil.” This is worse than what Spencer did, which is self-destructive and unlikely to persuade other to adopt unethical views and attitudes.

3. The Rose Cavanaugh Episode. The latest viral progressive media star is 18-year-old Rose Cavanaugh, a sophomore at UC-Santa Barbara, whose exchange with GOP Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner at  a town hall meeting in Montgomery County this week, videoed and posted by an activist, was a social media sensation. Here is part of the transcript:

Cavanaugh: “You’ve said that climate change is a result of people’s body heat, and are refusing to take action on the issue. Does this have anything to do with the $200,000 that you have taken from the fossil fuel industry?”

Wagner:  “Well, I appreciate you being here. You’re 18 years old. You know, you’re a little young and naive. But are we here to elect a governor or elect a scientist? Okay? I’m here to be the governor.”

Observations:

  • The comment by Wagner is rude, unfair, an ad hominem attack, and bigotry. There was nothing “naive” about her question. I sit naive to wonder if corporate contributions affect the positions of politicians? It is naive not to. Is it naive to believe in climate change? It depends: does an individual have real knowledge regrading the complex issue and some understanding of the science involved? Wagner doesn’t know whether his questioner does or not: he merely assumes that she is naive because she is young.

That’s bigotry.

  • Does Wagner really argue that climate change is caused by body heat? If so, he’s old and stupid. If not, why didn’t he correct his questioner?

In fact, the “take action” part of the question is arguably naive: what can one state do to stop climate change? Wagner, however, never gives the student the courtesy or respect of a serious answer.

  • “Are we here to elect a governor or elect a scientist?” is about as dumb a retort as I’ve ever heard a candidate utter, anywhere, for any post.

Don’t vote for this guy.

 

29 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Character, Citizenship, Environment, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Science & Technology, Sports, U.S. Society, Workplace

29 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/26/18: Ominous Portents

  1. The comment by Wagner is rude, unfair, an ad hominem attack, and bigotry. There was nothing “naive” about her question. I sit naive to wonder if corporate contributions affect the positions of politicians? It is naive not to. Is it naive to believe in climate change? It depends: does an individual have real knowledge regrading the complex issue and some understanding of the science involved? Wagner doesn’t know whether his questioner does or not: he merely assumes that she is naive because she is young.

    To my mind this is an important issue. I see it as having a philosophical base and will try to explain. In Platonic philosophy Illusion, Opinion and Belief are established as states of awareness possible for us, available to us.

    If we live and see and think and perceive out of Illusion, well, obviously we do not see well or right. It is posited that it is possible to penetrate illusion with knowledge and understanding and thus to rise out of that mode of seeing.

    If we live in and perceive out of Illusion, we exist in Opinion (having a special philosophical meaning here). If we see and think and perceive out of illusion our opinion will be distorted, false, dangerous, misleading, harmful.

    And if we exist and think and perceive out of Illusion and (false) opinion we cannot hope to arrive at correct Belief.

    It is enormously critical to think and perceive and to act out of correct Belief, and the entire idea of a responsible social and political actor is, obviously, based on the notion that such is possible, that it can be attained.

    Yet me now live in a *present* where illusion significantly reigns. On one hand there is engineered obfuscation — lies, distortions, propaganda, the narratives of special interests, but also the systems of lies that we live in personally and the distorting lies we are capable of telling ourselves: about this existence, this realm of incarnation and many many other things.

    But it is safe, and fair, to say that we live in illusion in regard to *what is really going on in our country* and that we live, substantially, in ‘illusion’ about what it is, what it does, what it has done, what it is now doing, and much else. We easily see how *the other one* cobbles together their lies and distortions, and therefor we see (if dimly) the cost of lies, deceptions and distortions in all fields of life, especially the social and the political (and the ‘civilizational’).

    Yet harder it is to *turn the lens of examination around* to look at our own ‘belief system’ and to investigate how and if it might be based in Illusion and Opinion in the sense outlined above.

    Therefor, one is duty-bound to return to the questions, and questioning has special power and purpose. But more than this I would suggest that parrhesia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parrhesia) is uniquely important.

    In ancient Greece, rhetoric and parrhesia were understood to be in opposition to each other through the dialogues written by Plato. There are two major philosophies during this period, one being Sophistry and one being Dialectic.

    Sophistry is most commonly associated with the use of rhetoric or means of persuasion to teach or persuade an audience. In its opposition is the practice of dialectic, supported by Plato and his mentor Socrates, which uses dialogue to break apart complex issues in search of absolute truth or knowledge. In Plato’s writings, specifically Gorgias, the term parrhesia is more closely associated with dialectic meaning that it is “free speech” and not rhetoric or manipulation.

    One has to ask: What has come to bear on people’s minds that they cannot think ‘dialectically’ but rather live in and act out of emotional rhetorics? I suggest that America as Americanopolis has been infected with intricate and labyrinthian strains of such and to get back to *clear seeing* and *proper acting* will involve a revolution in the mind.

    • This is the audio/video of the exchange. https://www.ydr.com/videos/news/2018/07/19/scott-wagner-republican-candidate-pa-governor-calls-teen-young-and-naive/804115002/

      Her question is, truth be told, a false-question or a trap-question. With her *question* she is actually just making a statement. And his response is, in this sense, one *in kind*. She insinuates that he is, essentially, a crook and that the oil industry bought him. And he fights back in kind by inferring that she is naive. In a Times article when asked:

      Times: What went through your mind when you were called “young and naïve?”

      Rose: We were kind of excited after. We were like, “Wow, that was just terrible.” Our generation has the power of social media to spread information. We could take this really demeaning response and show he didn’t have it in him to answer the question. Politicians can’t get away with that kind of response anymore and not be in the spotlight. That’s not democracy.

      The Times should have asked her about her justification for the insinuation that this man had been bought by Big Oil. It should have, at the very least, put some focus on the fact that in truth such questions, posed in that way, are highly rhetorical and therefor improper and unfair.

      If this is how her mind works, or if this is how she has been trained to see issues, then it might be fair to say that she is ‘naive’. But not so much because she is young.

      She says ‘Wow, that was just terrible’, but in fact so was her *question* and, it stands to reason, so might be her entire platform of her opinion about the phenomenon of global warming (its causes and effects)(and solution).

      That ‘our generation has the power of social media’ should be taken as a dire warning! Because if illusory opinion and emotional rhetorics are given such power and reach the results will be disastrous. Any *information* can be *spread* and wrong information (illusion, falsehood, misunderstanding, partial understanding, emotional opinion, et cetera).

      Yes, ‘it could be taken’ as ‘really demeaning’ if you are young & naive! but a properly raised adult, and a properly prepared intellect, would never — not ever! — fall into the trap of believing a lie of the ego (where illusion resides and opinion springs). The NYTs spins her and plays the ‘enabling sophist’ by encouraging a spoiled-brat attitude. It suckers her through a form of flattery to continue in a self-deception. What the Times does needs to be analyzed because people are doing this all the time to themselves. They do not have a proper and a sound base for their intellectual processes and in this sense are stuck (mired) in illusion and opinion. No good ‘belief’ can arise out of that.

      Not only is this girl falling into the trap, a whole nation is falling into an emotional/rhetorical trap. It is like a disease that infects the culture.

      She says: “he didn’t have it in him to answer the question”, but in fact she did not have it in her to pose a fair, a strong, and a decent question.

      She says: “Politicians can’t get away with that kind of response anymore and not be in the spotlight. That’s not democracy.”

      Actually, it is democracy! If democracy is understood as just one run above tyranny! And what we are witnessing, in horrifying detail, is something akin to rhetorical-emotional-tyrranical democratic abuse. How to see this, label it, clarify it, and remediate it: that is something on one has any idea about! Because it is an entire System that has brought it about (that is bringing it about).

      The entire nation (or 1/2 or more of it) are now caught up in the most terrifying group-hysteria based in emotional rhetorics and, for this reason, cannot see the forest or the trees, but rather the *illusion* that rises up out of their own selves and is projected onto ‘the world’.

      • Turning again to the question of Illusion, Opinion and Belief, and taking a position above and to some degree outside of the mind-set of *America*, we face, at least I think so, a truly bizarre group of facts that, if examined, are truly dismaying. Even frightening in their ramification.

        Obviously (but then I think many people who read and write here do not make this connection, at least they do not seem to), obviously when I speak about Illusion I refer to a general cultural illusion, a cloud of mystification, but it is more a sort of epistemological-perceptual state of being captured by illusion.

        Illusion in this sense is rather complex. It could mean that when one *looks at reality* that one assumes he, or she, is actually seeing it, when it stands as possible, and I assert it is probable, that one is seeing an illusionary structure. Speaking to so-called ‘conservatives’ here, one quickly learns that they assume they *see reality truly* and can describe the world *as it is*. They pontificate and give lectures about what is, and what is not. There is a tone of certainty, a communicated sense that they inhabit the true ground of right perception.

        But yet I turn again and again to a strange and even overwhelming fact (or ‘fact’ if you wish) and it is that no matter where we stand in a political or social spectrum, the entire *system of perception* now stands under, and is bizarrely overshadowed by, a fact and a truth that systemically has not been faced, and it is that the defining Huge Event, the millennial event in fact, and to a very significant and determining degree an event that has impinged radically and crucially on Our Present in so many senses not the least being the meta-perceptual, is the essentially unexamined events of 9/11. That “official 9/11 narrative that cannot survive rational scrutiny”.

        I suggest it is an ur-event, an event of such magnitude, and one so very much a ‘façade’ behind which stands (a bad pun!) structure for the devious management of the illusion, that it is hard to grasp the degree to which ‘illusion’ has come to dominate the American mind.

        (Obviously, and after about a year of my own examination, any reader should know that I do in no sense believe any part of the ‘official narrative’).

        I do maintain though, as a result of ‘puncture’ of the myth, that behind it stands in a manner of speaking ‘illusion itself’. That is, it is a vast illusion perpetrated and from which it is hard to extricate oneself because of the personal cost involved with unseating this Illusion.

        But if one’s basic perception is rooted, as it were, in an Illusion, one is then determined to have distorted Opinion. And there is no possibility of having correct Belief, that is if you follow what I have attempted to predicate.

        Therefor the ur-question: What is really going on in our world? and in our time, is not a vain one. Then, parrhesia (as *speaking truth to power* or employing dialectical and rational intellectual methods to deciphering reality) really stands out as a defining endeavor. It takes a radical perspective in order to confront the structures of illusion that have been established, purposefully, to obfuscate perception that lies at the core of *our problem*.

        Everyone seems intent on ‘asking questions’ and, perhaps, in confronting Power (for example Rose Strauss: Jack got her name wrong I think), and yet there is an Ur-Question that cannot be faced openly and honestly either by media, by the System, in academia, by people generally, yet it is the most determining issue that has affected the status of the nation, its psychological being, its moral and ethical being, as well as its economic and military foundations.

        I am only progressing through the work that has been set before me — by you-plural! — as I notice how deeply *you* seem mired in Illusion, captured by Opinion, and incapable of arriving at correct Belief.

        The reason I am pushing myself to define these things is because of what Adimagejim and also Michael West have said to me (in confrontation of their sophistries). That is, that I do not come out and state, openly, my very basic predicates. I said I would make the effort to do so and here you have it.

        • The Wednesday Woman

          Really, we as a culture should have accepted “What You Think is Invalid, Because You’re Still in the Matrix” as a debate fallacy fifteen years ago.

          • The Wednesday Woman. Glad to see that you have something to say. You are not trying to pick a fight with me are you? 🙂
            ___________________

            Well, if I understand what you are *sort of* saying, it is imperative to be capable of sorting through the outrageous and quite honestly flipped-out conspiracist thinking that has infected our cultural mind.

            That would be a significant part of the intellectual project of recognizing and dealing with illusion in the sense that I speak about it, wouldn’t it? The object being not to see the world through a distorting lens of illusion and opinion, but to really be able to see and say *what is going on*. It is an epistemological issue of significance.

            But it will not do to jettison proper ‘belief’ (accurate seeing of reality) because one is afraid to face the consequences of seeing clearly the events of 9/11, and that “official 9/11 narrative that cannot survive rational scrutiny”.

            The official narrative, I submit, cannot survive rational scrutiny. I have looked into it (I spent almost a year doing so) and I have nothing more to say (here) except that cannot survive rational scrutiny.

            But I am also aware that there are legions of people out there who are communicating really bizarre ideas (and this is why I refer to ‘A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America’ by Michael Barkun. It is literally unreal what people are thinking as they succumb to imagined structures of illusion.

            And this is more my point: that something strange and dangerous has *infected* people and, literally, a whole culture.

            I do not know what *the real truth is* but I think I can say with some certainly (it would be a logical surmise) that I had better find out, that we had better find out.

            [I mean ‘the real truth’ about a great many things. In fact, all things. Starting at the political and economic but moving up into transcendent categories. You as a Christian must have defined some relationship or other to the transcendent, mustn’t you? These are fundamental categories and there is tremendous confusion about how to *see*].

      • The entire nation (or 1/2 or more of it) are now caught up in the most terrifying group-hysteria based in emotional rhetorics and, for this reason, cannot see the forest or the trees, but rather the *illusion* that rises up out of their own selves and is projected onto ‘the world’.

        This is also my observation. Having destroyed all restrictions and rules in society, the only validation comes from either the self, or others validating the self, both of which come from the emotional unethical uneducated undisciplined subjective worldview. We allowed the fences to be removed, and people NEED fences to feel safe, that all is well.

        It is a dark world otherwise. Made more so by the lost feeling from deep inside (“Why am I not happy?”) and the uncertainty of living, which gets projected outward and colors everything for progressives.

        • SlickWilly wrote: “This is also my observation. Having destroyed all restrictions and rules in society, the only validation comes from either the self, or others validating the self, both of which come from the emotional unethical uneducated undisciplined subjective worldview. We allowed the fences to be removed, and people NEED fences to feel safe, that all is well.

          “It is a dark world otherwise. Made more so by the lost feeling from deep inside (“Why am I not happy?”) and the uncertainty of living, which gets projected outward and colors everything for progressives.”

          The way I see things, the only option open to those who seek truth and understanding is to clarify the questions that need to be asked. I have found (I am finding) that this is not easy, not easy at all. First, one undertakes this project alone more often than not because people resist and often oppose a project of *getting to the truth of things*. That in itself is an interesting area of study and enquiry! The way I have begun to confront this issue is to speculate about *complicity*. I think that we get involved in lies — the first order being that of self-deception — to the degree that we are *complicit*. Complicity implies some advantage gained.

          If this is true then the only tactic and strategy to confront complicity is to surrender *gains* and *advantages* derived from it. Yet the more one is complicity or ‘bought in’ the harder it is to surrender advantages. Eventually, one gets subsumed into the structures of complicity and one then becomes a ‘spokesperson’ and an apologist.

          I am obviously referring to the Myths of America. If I use that term (bound to get resistance right from the start!) it is not to deliberately pick a fight or to insult, but rather because there is now no way that I can see but to confront and deal with the contrast and the disunion between the mythic structure of belief about America (‘the tenets of the American civil religion’ to quote Robert Bellah), and what can only be referred to as the reigning regime of America. These are radically different categories. In fact they are hardly related. But how much resistance one gets (for example *poor little me*) for simply suggesting this territory of enquiry. Why? But I know why! Because the Self gets wrapped up and intertwined into structures of complicity and, to break out of that entrenchment, is a demanding spiritual and moral work.

          Illusion, Opinion and Belief. The schema is rather simple, perhaps somewhat reductionist, but it works quite well as a frame in which to locate ‘the problems of our day’.

          *Telling truth to power* (parrhesia) is a fraught endeavor. And telling the truth to those seduced by the advantages proffered by power is a difficult road because, at every turn, you are seen as bad wrong evil or what-have-you.

          If it has come about that people in our culture have “destroyed all rules and regulations in society”, one must look into the issue of causation. This can only mean that one must gain a perspective from within which one can look at and assess *what is going on in our present* and this of course involves the question ‘Why?’ Why has this come about? For if one (for example) might declare that ‘The question is not answerable’, one would reveal oneself to be a causal mystic (or obfuscantist). If one agrees that the question is answerable then the next step is in proposing how it might be answered. But I suggest that you would not ever gain agreement about what criteria should be used in the enquiry! Right there you will enter into the fray and, of course, into the Culture Wars. Thus enquiry is stifled and blocked. One cannot even get to the right questions!

          I read recently a (conventional, really rather left-liberal and mainstream) book called ‘Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America’ by Kathleen Belew. I got hold of a group of such books (for example The fiery Cross: The KKK in America by WC Wade and 3-4 others) in order to better understand the roots of the American Rightwing. Belew’s thesis is quite interesting: that it was as a result of the Vietnam War that many soldiers came back to the US and ‘civil society’ with a profound psychic wound and became radicals as they confronted the upended conditions in American culture. Take for example Louis Beam:

          When one researches (as I believe that I am fairly doing) the underpinnings of American right-tending popular reaction, one encounters a very strange, but also very splintered, ‘belief-system’. On one hand it is *simple* Christian Identity, but then it branches out and splinters into quite outrageous and unbelievable conspiricist constructs. My point would be that when one looks into this (my avenue was A Culture of Conspiracy by Michael Barkun), one is forced to confront what I could only call a ‘fractured system of belief’. Believe it or not (!) I am trying to respond to what you have written. But to make a statement about it is not easy. To get to the causes that have led to ‘fractured systems of belief’ and a profound dissatisfaction with The Present and the temporal power that runs and rules this Present, is a fraught endeavor.

          But I will suggest that one of the major roots of the schizophrenia and the dislocation and the angst and the terrifying confusion and psychic turmoil within the American psyche is not only because of Lefty-Progressive Commie SJWs. It would in my view be a mistake to see things through such B&W categories. The Nation is in a deep crisis of identity which seems to be profoundly psychological. One cannot make (and be at all cogent) any glossary statement as to why this is. It is tremendously complex.

          Some people do not like my musings. I hope that you do not mind. I am only trying to engage with the questions and problems and, really, open up the Conversation… 🙂 I often times cannot decide a specific ethical question until I understand the background and the setting: not easy!

          • Well, for most folks, you pays your money and you takes your point of view.

            I agree that the left is not the only issue: the right has been complacent, distracted by wealth, subverted from within, and as guilty of shallow thought as anyone.

            I agree that ideas which once bound Americans together have become shifting sand, as the outlying cases erode the center premises, and as the opening of society to radicalism of all stripes creates a confusing array of competing ‘truths.’

            The loss of religion as a basic value is partly to blame. A shared experience makes communication easier, and we once mostly shared church in one form or another. We all had been or currently participated, and could relate to each other even if we rejected the message medium.

            Today, one can choose ‘the sermon,’ so to speak, when participating in social media. This self selection and limitation gives individuals freedom to express, but also destroys communication with those who do not follow the same threads.

            A complex problem indeed.

  2. 2) This is why we designed an *extremely* limited government decentralized as much as possible.

    But here we sit…with a bloated government and one political party slathering for it to bloat exponentially further and the other political party willing to let it bloat more anyway.

  3. dragin_dragon

    #1: My guess, DeShields was kept aboard because he was blindingly fast. I’ve seen him beat-out grounders to short-stop that should have been an easy out.

    • Which makes it all the more incredible that he’s barely hitting .200!

    • If you click through to the original tweet, there’s not an actual quote from a player. From the discussion I see there, it seems that the issue might be that the Rangers (1) are demoting DeShields because they are keeping a Rule 5 pick* on the roster; and, (2) are now forced to start the pick in the outfield, because DeShields is gone. The “complacency” would be that the Rangers aren’t using their best available linrup.

      *Rule 5 pick: each year, teams are allowed to draft players from the minor league rosters of other teams, provided that the drafting team keep the player on its major league roster for a full season. When a drafted player is a raw young talent, he may be useless to the team that year, so that the team effectively plays the whole year short-handed.

  4. If Hollywood were not incredibly biased and uptight, there would be a parody movie about global warmers.

  5. I deal with young and naive all the time. I just try not to be old and stupid.

  6. 1. Alas, my Rangers are, once again, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory…

    You better believe the player who spewed such garbage is unnamed! That sort of comment can get you benched in Texas.

    2. They are ALL crooks. However, there are degrees of crook: one might steal from the cookie jar, while the other robs a bank. The crimes are not the same, and party has little to do with ‘criminal magnitude’ (if you will). How can someone take a job that pays less than $300,000 per year end up worth many millions after a couple of years?

    3. Wagner is an idiot to not be prepared for gotcha questions. This disqualifies him from office, in fact if not in law. He is also cut from the Trump cloth, God help us. But very popular in his state, and might win.

    • dragin_dragon

      1. We could go through the roster and probably narrow it down. Nah, not worth the effort.

      2. The answer to your question is graft and outright theft. Remember when the Clinton’s left the White House?

      3. At least he managed to thwart the Unions.

    • 1)And snatching defeat in historic fashion — the last time the A’s came back from an 8 run deficit after 6 was 1939. Sheesh! And then to do it again the next night. It’s a good thing I am also an Astros fan or September and October would be no fun at all.

      There is a certain irony in DeShields being sent down and prospectively replaced by a Rule 5 player. DeShields was acquired from the Astros in the Rule 5 draft and he had a pretty nifty rookie season. He earned the CF job that year regardless of what Rule we were talking about. Apparently he had a really nice spring training this year, but broke a bone in his hand the 3rd game of the season — and it’s been downhill from there. We’ve seen him perform — being sent down hopefully will be the impetus for him to get back into form.

      Tocci — the Rule 5 player who is going to get the bulk of the CF playing time — has also been hurt this year, but he really needs to show whether he can perform in the majors if they are going to keep him.

      Hard to believe anyone could argue with demoting someone with those stats — and the last month has been even more abysmal.

    • PennAgain

      Wagner is an idiot to not be prepared for gotcha questions. This disqualifies him from office, in fact if not in law. He is also cut from the Trump cloth, God help us. But very popular in his state, and might win.

      This adversarial “technique” of voting is becoming a dangerous trend, on all sides. It is worse than the lazy, thoughtless “lesser of two evils” excuse. It means no one is out looking for a half-way decent candidate, never mind a good one. It’s My Candidate, Right or Wrong (minus the Shurtz corollary) which inevitably leads to then having to support that person in office, digging a hole with slippery sides that grows harder and harder to climb out of. This is how we get a Trump. Not enough smart, ethical people took a close look at Hillary and walked away; not enough twice-as-smart, ethical people rejected the candidates on offer — all of them — and went searching diligently for one whom they could respect. And almost nobody… or so it seems … went looking for that elusive magical political animal who would stand strong for things they believed in but at the same time have the characteristics of an even-handed leader who would unite, cooperate and compromise as well as command. Realistically, there is no such person: we are, after all, looking for a human being. What matters is that he (or she, so long as she is not being sought for her gender) comes as close as possible to one who will sit down in the Oval Office and gradually meet with the approval of a large (diverse) majority of the American people.

      It’s either find them or . . . nothing: there is no ethical alternative to voting, is there?

      • This is as close as anything comes to describing my 2016 despair during the GOP primaries.

        Good candidates never make the cut. The Elite Establishment destroys those who are ethical and moral as a threat to their power.

        Trump simply knows their game and plays it better than they do, having played it in the real world where money matters. The EE has never played for real consequences: they will not lose their lives or livelihood if they fail. They have a safety net and know it. Trump played without one, and that makes him more dangerous, from an EE point of view.

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