Did you have an ethical day?
Ethics are cool, you know.
(So was Bing…)
1. The New York Times this morning, apparently determined to double down on the deliberately dishonest assertion that El Paso’s Walmart shooter was channeling the sentiments of “right wing pundits” and the President, plastered a tiny print excerpt from the manifesto—which, last I checked, it has still refused to publish in complete or readable form—on the front page, with the word “invasion” highlighted every time it appeared. As I wrote in Part Two of the Ethics Alarms’ post about the screed (and the news media’s unconscionable conspiracy to withhold it from the public while journalists misrepresent its contents…)
“Yes, it is true that both President Trump and the shooter use the term “invasion,” and to many critics this single convergence is sufficient to claim that the President is “responsible” for the El Paso shooting. “Invasion” is a word, not a theory or a philosophy, and the two apply it differently. President Trump has used it to describe illegal immigration, for which it is a defensible, if inflammatory, description.
Describing legal immigration as an invasion is not defensible—invasions are not legal—and is materially different. Ironically, it is the President’s foes, who intentionally refuse to distinguish between the validity of illegal and legal immigration—just like the shooter!—who have spread the lie that the President has called immigration itself “an invasion.”
Invasion is a loaded and pejorative term, but still a fair and accurate one. Illegal immigration advocates don’t like it because the term frames the unlawful migration as destructive and wrong, which it is. The word is not misleading, as the illegal immigration apologists ‘ use of “immigration” to describe illegal immigration, and “immigrants” (or “migrants”) to describe illegals is. Nor is it deceptive, like calling support for ending the lives of unborn children support for “choice,” or calling the President’s statements “racist: when they meet no definition of racism, or calling thge standard law enforcement procedure of separating children from law-breaking parents when the parents have brought their children along as they breached the law, “putting children in cages.” The obsession with “invasion” is both hypocritical and petulant: it’s a more powerful and more accurate framing of an issue than the progressive cover-words. Yesterday a Level-5 Trump-Deranged Facebook friend started using the word “inaction” as a substitute for “The Second Amendment,” “individual rights,” and the refusal to pass useless, symbolic, incremental laws in hopes of eventually reaching gun confiscation—the real objective.
2. Take their medals, kick them off the team, ban them from international competition. At the Pan American Games in Lima over the weekend, gold medal winner in the women’s hammer throw Gwen Berry raised a clenched right fist and bowed her head as the US national anthem played, evoking US sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico. She told US media was aimed at “extreme injustice.” A day earlier, two-time Olympian fencer Race Imboden “took a a knee” as his team celebrated gold in the team foil event.
As with smug anti-Trump soccer blow-hard Megan Rapinoe, these athletes are embarrassing their nation, which they are pledged to represent with dignity, their sport, and themselves. They especially embarrass themselves when they attempt to explain their conduct.
“We must call for change. This week I am honored to represent Team USA at the Pan Am Games, taking home Gold and Bronze,” tweeted Imboden. “My pride however has been cut short by the multiple shortcomings of the country I hold so dear to my heart. Racism, Gun Control, mistreatment of immigrants and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list. I chose to sacrifice my moment today at the top of the podium to call attention to issues that I believe need to be addressed. I encourage others to please use your platforms for empowerment and change.” Imboden also kneeled at the 2017 Fencing World Cup in Egypt.
He’s an asshole, to cut to the chase. I’d give my left arm to quiz him about the “shortcomings,” racism, gun control and the rest, about which, like most athlete grandstanders, he knows little or nothing. He’s virtue-signaling and repeating rote progressive taking points, that’s all. This isn’t his platform to use for cheap protests. As with Kaepernick, it is an unethical act of abusing trust and position.
Mark Jones, vice president of communications for the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said after these jerks marred the ceremonies that the governing body was considering what sanctions to impose:
“Every athlete competing at the 2019 Pan American Games commits to terms of eligibility, including to refrain from demonstrations that are political in nature. In these cases, the athletes didn’t adhere to the commitment they made to the organizing committee and the USOPC. We respect their rights to express their viewpoints, but we are disappointed that they chose not to honor their commitment. Our leadership are reviewing what consequences may result.”
Oh, stop being diplomatic and ban these jerks. They violated their contracts. They are athletes; they need to compete. Give them the choice between competing and displaying their public issues fatuousness where it doesn’t belong, and I guarantee, nobody will take knee again. Start with Imboden and Berry; send them off to high school coaching careers. Problem solved.
3. I’m still supporting Bernie as “Most Unethical.” Bernie Sanders is languishing at the bottom of the “Who’s the most unethical candidate” poll (which is now the most active poll in Ethics Alarms history) at about 3% of the vote. Here’s some more support for my vote: CNN Fact checker Daniel Dale has shown that Sanders continues to make the false claim that the United States spends “twice as much per capita on health care as any other nation on Earth.” Politifact—you know, the most Left-biased, untrustworthy factcheck service north of Snopes?—rated the claim “false” in 2009 and 2015, according to CNN. Yet Bernie keeps saying it. In a CBS interview last week, he said, “We are now spending twice as much per capita on health care as do the people of any other country.” During a CNN interview back in June, Sanders said, “Right now, we spend twice as much per capita on health care as do the people of any other nation.”
Do note that in neither case did the hosts have the integrity to point out the well-debunked lie. Funny about that: remember how CNN wanted to do live “factchecks” on Trump during the debates?
Bernie’s lie is exactly the kind of irresponsible hyperbole that Democrats go ballistic over when Trump engages in the device. In fact, the Sanders lie about health care is absolutely Trumpian, According to 2018 estimates from the OECD, the primary source of data on international health spending the US spent $10,586 per person last year. Switzerland $7,317 per person, Norway $6,187 per person and Germany’s $5,986 per person are all above half the US level. The situation was similar in 2017. But “twice as much” is so much more impressive, and to quote one of Bernie’s rivals, its truth, not facts, that matter to Democrats.
And this is essentially what the Sanders campaign’s response was when the inconvenient facts were laid at its door. A Sanders campaign official, on the condition of anonymity, said last month that “the overall point” was valid, since the United States spends more than other countries. Gee, they never let the White House get away with that dodge.
If you are wondering why blatant media foes of Republicans and the President like CNN and Politifact are going after Bernie, you shouldn’t be. They know that running an ancient white, male, crypto-Communist with Bernie’s delusions is courting a McGovernesque anti-Democratic landslide. They want a strong, honest, ethical candidate, like Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren.