Ethics Hero: Richard Schwartz, Responsible Citizen, And How His Experience Explains Donald Trump

Want to know why people are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more, so they decide to vote for anyone who appears to be outside the elite cabal that pretends to deliver “democracy?” Here’s a striking example.

During a public comment period during a Seattle city council meeting, Richard Schwartz came to the podium to make his case. He was troubled, as he should have been, that most of the council members were not looking at him, or appeared to be listening. Most were looking at their computer screens or smart phones, scrolling and apparently doing other tasks, or looking at porn, for all he knew. So instead of meekly accepting the disrespect and rudeness of his elected municipal representatives, he called them on it.

“It’s real discouraging to come up here and see all the heads down…,” he began, but Councilwoman Debora Juarez, who was presiding,  interrupted , saying “You’re on a two minute timer here, so let’s go.”

Schwartz professed puzzlement at the response, and after standing silently for several seconds, he asked,

“So it was unreasonable for me to ask that people look up and give me their attention?” Juarez answered by telling him that he only had only a minute and 30 seconds left, and lying, saying that he had their attention, when he obviously did not.

Discarding his prepared statement, since it was obvious that the City Council would only observe its obligation to take public comments in form rather than in good faith, Schwartz said that this was why he came to comment: “the state of our democracy.”  He pointed out that when State Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle) spoke in a public comment session the previous week,  she was four or fine minutes and the council was attentive, while everyone else at that session was limited to a single minute.

“It reminded me of George Orwell’s famous line from ‘Animal Farm’ about how all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” Schwartz continued. And that’s how I feel like I’m being treated now, just because I was kind of asking for your attention, like I noticed you all were very attentive to Ms. Jaypal last week. And I immediately got a hostile response back from you. I don’t understand that.”

With no response, he asked the council members if they ever responded to constituents.  Juarez told him his time was nearly up, as her colleagues either tended to their phones or looked bored.

“Well, it’s all on tape and I think it’s a pretty sad commentary that you think that asking for you guys to look up off of your computers and give attention during the short period of time was an unreasonable thing,”  Schwartz  said. “I really feel bad about that.”

He should feel bad about that. We all should. Democracy doesn’t work when elected officials treat the public this way; it can’t. This is democracy in name only. The stunning thing is that Seattle’s city council is so corrupted by their own sense of entitlement, wisdom and certitude that no ethics alarms pinged when an engaged voter begged them to pay attention to him for a couple of minutes.

For a second straight post, let me reference this November 9 whine-fest by feminist Jessica Valenti called, “How do I tell my daughter that America elected a racist, sexist bully?”

Valenti makes it clear that her main interest in the 2016 election was that it would elect a woman as President, and apparently any women would do (if she was happy with Hillary, that had to be the case) making her a gender bigot, not that there’s anything wrong with that if it’s the “right” gender. She concludes that she should tell her daughter that …

… sometimes people make bad decisions, and that the wrong people are chosen to lead. We’ll remind her of lessons she’s learned in school about times in her country’s history when we’ve done the wrong thing – horrible things. We’ll remind her of how good people organized and fought, loved each other and believed things could change.We’ll tell her that we will have to be the good people who fight now. And soon, when we’ve had a chance to grieve and gather ourselves, we’ll remind our daughter that part of the reason this man was elected is because of how powerful we actually are. That our power scared him and others who are not ready to change and grow….”

All of which is nice cant and self-aggrandizing dishonesty, and certainly sufficient to begin the long, mind-killing process of indoctrination that the public school system and college experience will almost certainly continue. That’s not what happened, though. If they were honest, and had any objective perspective, they would tell their daughter that:

Power corrupts even good people, and people who become convinced of their own goodness and infallibility are often the ones who become the most corrupt.  When this happens to the leaders of a democracy, the democracy is in mortal peril, and a government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people becomes a cynical sham, where those we put in power wield that power with contempt, disdain, favoritism, and bias, telling the people only what they want the people to know, and governing to stay in power, not to use that power to make society better and just.

We know that our democracy is sick when we hear leaders call those who disagree with them “bad people” because they won’t follow the mob and allow the leaders, who think they know better than the people themselves what is best for them, to continue to mouth inspiring platitudes that their actions seldom match. Thomas Jefferson, who was the author of the Declaration of Independence,  wrote to James Madison, one of the primary authors of the Constitution, What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?” Jefferson even went so far as to recommend that the warning should  involve taking up arms, but that was a different time. There are better and less violent  ways to send the necessary warning today. The system Jefferson helped devise, in its remarkable adaptability that has served the nation so well, arrived at a different method  to send the needed warning. Show those arrogant elites who see themselves as rulers who is really in charge still, and do it by electing the perfect symbol of rebellion, a human thumb in the eye. The nation can survive four years of a boorish and impulsive leader; it cannot survive domination by a whole political class that regards the people as cattle to be herded, and democracy as a tool to strangle our liberty and spirit.

And that’s why Donald Trump is President.

14 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Richard Schwartz, Responsible Citizen, And How His Experience Explains Donald Trump

  1. Seattle is a one party town and its rulers believe they are appointed by some sort of secular divine right. This attitude has been common since I came here in 2004, and one of the reasons I moved to the suburbs a few years later (see the monorail debacle for the head-exploding potential, heck, I had to pay a car tab tax for Kingdome bonds, and the place was demolished before I moved here). Until there is a top-to-bottom house cleaning, arrogance and entitlement will continue, until the whole system collapses – and that is something I do not want to see.

  2. Wow, just wow…I have no words. If it were my kid I would have destroyed their device and never let them have another…

    If I was running against them, this video would be my whole platform.

  3. “We’ll remind her of how good people organized and fought, loved each other and believed things could change…”

    If she’s talking about civil rights, slavery, and women’s right to vote…those good people were nothing like Valenti, and she is nothing like them. She is cosplaying as heroes from the past with whom she shares nothing.

    As for that city council, they probably see that old man as a relic from the stuffy old patriarchal past who should just hurry up and die so they can get back to building rainbow monuments in the middle of their brave new world.

  4. Remember when people had a permitted protest in Seattle to support the Constitution and antifa showed up with AR-15’s? Remember when the police told a reporter he was inciting violence with his presence because antifa members threatened to kill him? Does this city council explain how that could happen?

  5. Power corrupts even good people, and people who become convinced of their own goodness and infallibility are often the ones who become the most corrupt. When this happens to the leaders of a democracy, the democracy is in mortal peril, and a government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people becomes a cynical sham, where those we put in power wield that power with contempt, disdain, favoritism, and bias, telling the people only what they want the people to know, and governing to stay in power, not to use that power to make society better and just.

    Just as a sort of side-note or an additional comment — of some relevance really — the sort of democracy we live in and under is of itself inclined to factionalism. When dissimilar peoples are brought together, or forced together, in a democracy of the sort we have, the system itself produces conflicts.

    The present democratic form, perhaps having entered a late phase, must necessarily produce unresolvable conflicts between different people from different orientations and world-views, with different interpretations of what ‘America’ is and means, and of a dozen other factors which stand behind the political-, social- and value-conflicts that are strongly manifesting theirself.

    The ‘leaders in our democracy’ are doing what can only be done in such a situation: serving a sector in the factionalism, trying to align with the group and the group-interest that they are *betting on* to come our stronger and victorious.

    The issue actually stems not from a sound, somewhat strict Liberalism which were practiced in a situation and at a time of homogenous agreement between a generally united population, but when a democracy begins to fracture as it must when the culture becomes too different, to dissimilar, too tendentious.

    This problem:

    [That] we put in power wield that power with contempt, disdain, favoritism, and bias, telling the people only what they want the people to know, and governing to stay in power, not to use that power to make society better and just.

    I suggest is an inevitability within a democracy established under the terms of present-day America. The problems will not *just go away* and (I suppose) can only grow more severe. We are in a crisis of values that is more significant than it seems. And this calls forth a totalitarian response and will which is anti-democratic as a cure for the democracy itself!

    • A further comment — an interesting one I think — is that the business class can only desire that *things settle down* and that such extremes of tendentiousness be ended and suppressed.

      This will lead to a situation in which State actors, through State Police, will seek to locate and neutralise those who manifest themselves as ‘part of the problem’.

      This is what we are now seeing: the State apparatus, in association with Media Systems, allied with powerful business interests with vast and unimaginable quantities of money in jeopardy, must act in concern with intelligence agencies to restore things to *normal*.

      It does not matter if that is a semi-totalitarian *normal* nor what the cost may be. I suggest that this is one significant factor that is playing out in the present.

      • Business class is on an airplane. American businesses generally prefer market solutions of every sort, including freedom of thought, word and deed.

        Government tends to be far more lazy and greedy than business. Especially so in one party dominated environments. Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but business people who aren’t elitist, global slave labor exploiters tend to like Mr. Trump and his far more democratic, iconoclastic approach.

        • Respectfully, I do not think you understand the politics and economics nor the global endeavors of your country. Sorry to say that.

          I refer to a ‘business class’ as one powerful faction within the American polity and system.

          That is why I said:

          This is what we are now seeing: the State apparatus, in association with Media Systems, allied with powerful business interests with vast and unimaginable quantities of money in jeopardy, must act in concern with intelligence agencies to restore things to *normal*.

          All of this can be further explained . . . but I’ve got to catch my flight! 😉

        • This is what I am referring to:

          Link to FB Blog

          Facebook is banning white nationalism and white supremacy from its social network following criticism that it had not done enough to eliminate hate speech on its platform.

          The social media giant said in a blog post Wednesday that conversations with academics and civil rights groups convinced the company to expand its policies around hate groups.

          “Today we’re announcing a ban on praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism on Facebook and Instagram, which we’ll start enforcing next week,” the company wrote in the post. “It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services.”

          Scrutiny of Facebook reached new heights in the past two weeks after a gunman in Christchurch, New Zealand, used Facebook to livestream his attacks on two mosques that killed 50 people.

          Under Facebook’s change, people who search for terms associated with white supremacy will instead see a link to the page of Life After Hate, a nonprofit that helps people to leave hate groups, the company said.

          This is just one manifestation of the first steps toward a larger policy of restricting the discussion and exchange of ideas ‘the business class’ determines is against its interests.

          I would suggest that this does not accord with: “American businesses generally prefer market solutions of every sort, including freedom of thought, word and deed.”

          I further suggest that the American intelligence agencies, with their International partners, are extremely concerned about the ideas that those who hold to ‘white nationalist’ beliefs, or contrary ideas about *all of this*, will be progressively isolated, de-platformed, harassed, exposed, embroiled in lawsuits, etc. There is a whole *bag* of options that will be used.

          My view is that it is the business, executive and manager-class that has very good reasons to protect its ‘interests’, and that these interests take precedence over ‘the people’s will’ or their own ideas about what is proper and good. This points back to a social engineering class and their efforts to design the present System which is, overall, a specific economic model.

          There is too much money riding on the status quo not to intervene. This is an example of para-democratic decision-making.

    • Have you ever thought of charging — say $5 each — for questions marks?

      When this happens to the leaders of a democracy, the democracy is in mortal peril, and a government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people becomes a cynical sham …

      A basic question is that of the matter of what the democratic ‘will of the people’ actually means? A democratic state could adopt almost any political position: militarist, pacifist, liberal, absolutist, religious, centralized or decentralized, either ‘progressive’ or ‘reactionary’, and vacillate between them even while still remaining completely a democracy.

      And what about in a democracy in which the demos ceases to favor democracy? What if they decided, by rational choice or by lack of desire to hold to the form of democracy, to renounce it . . . in the name of democracy!

      Could a given people — as may happen soon enough! — embrace socialism, or Bolshevism or a fascist form of government as a direct expression of their democratic will and ‘the will of the people’?

      What would the Overlords do then?

      What about when, in a democracy, factions within it subvert it? or manage, through political machinations, to gain power over it? What if it does not any longer really exist, but rather a simulacrum of it? What if people do not really understand ‘democracy’ nor even appreciate it, what if a given class or sector would assume control of their affairs while maintaining the façade of ‘democracy’ (helllooooooo Americanopolis!)

      Could you trade democracy in for a 10 foot wide TeeVee? A new boat? A vacation in the Bahamas? For the right to be a polygamist?

      How do you identify ‘the will of the people’? Who goes around to ask? to create lists on an Excel spreadsheet?

      What if ‘the will of the people’ has itself become a sham? What if there really is NO CLEAR WILL? What if there are 10 or 100 or 1000 various ‘wills’? What if ‘the will of the people’ is revealed to people not through what they genuinely want, but as a top-down affair? That is, through slick commercials viewed at halftime? or other forms of social and political propaganda?

      Time to face the facts. The whole show is up in the air. With no discernible ‘will of the people’, and no mechanisms through which they might reveal their ‘will’ — and no respect for such a will even if it were clarified! — it is political and cultural managers that feed a vision of their own ‘will’ back to them. The system has become a trick! It is a charade in so many senses. Soon, the bottom will drop out and things will be revealed in clarity, don’t you think?

      Really, many more need to sign up for my Ten Week Email Course. It’s changing lives®.

  6. Too many City Councils are like this. Mine is and certainly San Antonio’s is. Do none of them hear the knell of impending doom?

  7. … We’ll remind her of how good people organized and fought, loved each other and believed things could change.We’ll tell her that we will have to be the good people who fight now…

    (quoting another), and

    Power corrupts even good people …

    No. There are no good people. This isn’t simply the gospel teaching that no-one is good save God alone, it’s that any meaningful standard must necessarily encompass the whole range, so if it is to work at all its limits have to be beyond anything that actually exists (some philosophy would say that those are effectively the same statement). That insight almost automatically implies that “people who become convinced of their own goodness and infallibility are often the ones who become the most corrupt”, because the former is corrupt. That is, nobody ever correctly believes that.

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