Good morning, all!
1. Bad guys 1. Paul Krugman’s column yesterday had the despicable headline, “The Right Sends In The Quacks.” “The quacks” according to Krugman are the Americans who are protesting in public to send a vivid message to increasingly dictatorial mayors, governors and police departments that opening society and allowing people to live their lives like free citizens rather than inmates needs to be a priority, a concept many in office as well as much of the news media appear to have discarded.
Why are the protesters “quacks?” Well, for one thing, they don’t regard protesting government policy as a non-essential activity, as we were told last week by one of our courageous, first-responder police departments. Second, many of them wore MAGA hats, meaning they are per se racists and idiots. Worst of all, some of them carried guns, legally, but still. Guns bad.
Although if I were a protest consultant, I would advise against the guns, legal weapons symbolize the Second Amendments assertion that individual rights much not be squashed by government over-reach, and that citizens have a right to arm themselves as a matter of self-defense, against their own government if necessary. It may be a message that progressives and anti-Second Amendment fanatics are incapable of processing, but it is a crucial message nonetheless, particularly when Americans are witnessing things like this, or this.
2. Or this: Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, currently the face of Wuhan virus crypto-totalitraianism, told Rachel Maddow last week that she was considering extending social distancing guidelines in response to Michigan protests against her stay-at-home restrictions. “We might have to actually think about extending stay-at-home orders, which is supposedly what they were protesting,” Whitmer said.
To some—I’m not quite sure myself—Whitmer’s statement sounded like the familiar totalitarian device of escalating the condition being protested to punish any dissent, like the Nazi prison camp commandant in “The Great Escape,” who keeps doubling Steve McQueen’s solitary confinement in “the cooler” every time he makes a derogatory comment.
I do not think Whitmer is an aberration. I think she is close to the center of the current instincts of the Democratic Party. It was sensing this tilt toward anti-democractic values that caused me to conclude at the last second in 2016 that placing this party in control of the White House was just as dangerous as allowing someone like Donald Trump become President, and quite possibly more.
After the events of the past three year, I now believe “more.”
3 .Bad guys 3. Here is the ever articulate and unbiased CNN news anchor Don Lemon:
“You’re out there with guns, with weapons strapped to your chest, saying, oh, you want to get — you’re fighting against the people who are telling you to stay at home, trying to save your lives, you’re upset with those people? In the meantime, there are people keeping your cities going, keeping your loved ones alive and you want to get a haircut? Who the hell do you think you are? What is wrong with people? I don’t understand. I don’t want to hear from those people who are out there protesting with guns, right, and that is threatening — a threatening look for people. You’re protesting with guns. Don’t — don’t criticize people who are taking a knee at a ball game, entertainment, saying, ‘I don’t want people protesting at a ball game,’ when people are who are peacefully protesting — don’t give me that when you’re out there protesting with guns and saying, ‘I want to get back to work, I want my liberty. Don’t be a hypocrite,”
Imagine: a major news organization is paying someone with the reasoning deficits that statement demonstrates to clarify the news for its audience. Lemon’s rant is so brain-flaying stupid that it speaks for itself—res ipsa loquitur—but for those who haven’t finished their coffee, I’ll detail why in the next item..
4. Bias makes you stupid, and in Don Lemon’s sad case, being stupid makes you stupid. Here’s how incompetent Lemon is (the ethical breach here is vast incompetence and irresponsible abuse of position)
- The protesters are confronting, not “fighting” those in authority who they perceive as taking away their jobs, financial security and personal autonomy. They have every right to do so.
- “Telling” Americans to “stay home” is a clear breach of personal liberty, which may be temporarily justifiable in a national emergency. However, it is the government’s ongoing obligation to justify such extreme measures, and a citizen’s obligations to insist that the government’s justification is something more persuasive than “Because we say so” or “Because we know best.”
- Removing personal and societal liberties to “save lives” is the rational of all totalitarian regimes, yet Lemon accepts it as benign, apparently without any qualms.
- How, exactly, are these measures “keeping cities going”? Could cities be less “going”? I am reminded of a famous family incident when my aged and ailing grandmother, a life force who was depressed at her increasing health problems that made it difficult for her to get out of bed, slowly shambled into our living room using her walker. “See, Mama?” my dad said, trying to be encouraging. “You’re walking!” “You call this walking???” she spat back.
- “There are people keeping….keeping your loved ones alive and you want to get a haircut?” Lemon reduces wanting to work, have income, send children to school, buy “non-essential” items, get needed dental work and medical procedures, visit elderly relatives and more as “getting a haircut,” a classic advocacy cheat. He also ratchets up the risks being averted, which is pure deception. These measures are protecting people against a non-negligible threat of serious illness that might result in death. That is far from “keeping loved ones alive.”
- Who do the protesters think they are? They think they are Americans, Don, you asshole. They think they have a voice in the trade-offs necessary in this crisis. And they do.
- Don Lemon is collecting millions of dollars to do his job, which is not threatened (and which he does at a level that would get most Americans fired, whether they be lawyers or movie ushers) and he’s berating struggling citizens who want to be able to pay their bills.
- “I don’t understand.” THAT, I believe.
- Don “doesn’t want to hear” from protesters. He doesn’t respect views that counter his, and apparently would suppress them. he certainly won’t report on such views objectively thoroughly or fairly, because that’s not his view of journalism.
- Yes, Don, we know you don’t comprehend the Second Amendment. We read the transcript of your various special editions regarding gun policy, like this one.
The last part, where Lemon asserts a legally and logically flawed, indeed embarrassing analogy between the pointless NFL kneeling stunt (that the participants couldn’t even agree on what it signified) and the public protests against excessive government restrictions during the pandemic, would be shocking if Lemon hadn’t already proven himself to be a drooling dolt so many times in the past. First,there is no analogy: the NFL kneelers were not engaging in protected speech, but illicit workplace conduct. Second, legally carrying guns at a demonstration is only threatening to those who are phobic about guns. Third, both protests qualify as peaceful and the peacefulness of the NFL foolishness is irrelevant. If a grocery clerk stages a protest in the store where he works, the fact that it’s “peaceful” doesn’t make it any more appropriate, or mean that he shouldn’t be fired. Fourth, yes, an eight-figure a year talking head is mocking Americans who want to work and who want their liberty. Fifth, there is no hypocrisy in evidence at all. Don Lemon literally doesn’t know the meaning of the word.