I have managed to post twice about the name game, and the ridiculous effort to find some way to justify not identifying the Wuhan virus by its place of origin, a campaign led by, naturally enough, its place of origin. The first post focused on the idea that calling a Chinese virus a Chinese virus was “racist,” a concept so devoid of reason and logic that it made my brain hurt.
The fact that the concept was enthusiastically embraced by such proven blights on the political scene as Rep. Omar was one major clue that dastardly motives were involved. This was a pretty much flat out resort to Big Lie #4 in the “resistance” Big Lie tool box, that one being “Trump is a racist/ white supremacist.” It was a short post, because there was no legitimate argument to rebut.
In the second post on the topic, I focused on the positive rather than the negative, in part to cut off the usual human jellyfish who always caves to political correctness demands with a muttered, “Oh, all right, since it means so much to you.” There are powerful reasons to lay the responsibility for the pandemic right where it belongs: the barbaric, oppressive, lying and manipulative human rights-abusing regime that botched this health disaster so spectacularly, and is doing so still. The news media hypocritically began by being informative and reasonable, calling the virus what it was. Then the Trump-hating journalists, as usual taking their cues (or orders) from the party they serve, remembered that the enemy of the President is their friend even when it is a brutal Communist regime. Thus they began supporting Chinese propaganda, including the obvious lie that the United States was the true origin of the virus. It’s remarkable, in retrospect, that the New York Times and CNN didn’t start calling it “The Uncle Sam Virus.” At least three Times op-ed writers did call it variations of “The Trump Virus,” because they are despicable people.
Even though only a few sources have defiantly stuck with “Wuhan virus” as a matter of principle (like Ethics Alarms), it is clear that the main goal of this obfuscation–to use the pandemic to take down the President—has failed spectacularly, as idiotic plans should. Nobody who isn’t at Stage 5 on the Trump Derangement scale buys the logic that the President calling a virus from China a Chinese virus is racist, or even unfair Congressional Democrats called it a “conspiracy theory,” but as the recent impeachment fiasco proved, they are at Stage 5 if not higher..
So now the “resistance” and the hysterical have settled on another theory, one that we have seen in other contexts. Last night, a longtime friend who has been infected with the Trump Hate Virus posted to Facebook a news story about some Asian-Americans who were attacked, and wrote that THIS was why it was so, so wrong to name this virus for its origin. As I see every day, this fever post—the creator is a smart woman, I know she is, and capable of reason and clarity, but this is the tragedy of Trump Derangement—immediately received the obligatory thumbs ups, sad faces and angry faces, as well as comments like “Trump has blood on his hands!”
Aha! There must be some way to gin up Trump hatred: let’s accuse him of murder, or at least mayhem! This is obviously now the new front, though there is not a single case of the virus nor a death from it that can be credibly blamed on President Trump’s actions or inactions. The news media went all in with the fish tank cleaner idiot story, and that, like so many of these ” NOW we have him!” stories aimed at the President, was based on misinformation multiplied by misleading reporting. So the theory being espoused by my temporarily demented friend and others is that the President calling the Chinese virus is making violent thugs beat up innocent citizens.
To be clear, those beatings are not a trivial problem. The Hill says they are occurring at the rate of a hundred a day. But the there is no “mugger’s veto” over facts, and must not be.
The most charitable way to describe such a lame-brained and offensive theory is that it uses the wrong ethics system, so it reaches an absurd result. This is not a Golden Rule situation. This is a Kantian situation where the Rule of Universality must be our guide. Are we prepared to posit a universal rule in which we distort or hide the truth from the public to avoid triggering violent, irrational and emotional misconduct by a tiny portion of that public? The answer is obvious: no. Yet that is what has been called for.
The irrational and unethical reactions of others to reasonable and ethical conduct does not magically make the ethical conduct unethical. This is the fallacy repeatedly used by colleges that censor conservative speakers on their campuses: their speech is dangerous and must be censored because students will react violently to it. No, the students’ reactions are dangerous, and they are the component of the threat that the school should deal with strenuously, not the innocent speakers.
Similarly, the attacks on Asian Americans are completely the responsibility of the attackers, and only them. It not only isn’t incumbent upon the President and the media to blur the responsibility for the pandemic, it is crucial that they don’t.
We have seen similar efforts to censor the facts in news events, notably in the area of domestic Islamic terrorism after September 11, 2001, and lately, in efforts to muzzle criticism of illegal immigrants because it may spark hate crimes against legal immigrants. The rebuttal is simple: censoring facts based on a warped concept of the “greater good”—or to avoid triggering violent morons—is a dangerous habit, and for democracies, a fatal one.
As for China’s culpability in making the pandemic the disaster it is and will be, the evidence is overwhelming and damning. Here are some links: