Tonight’s 2020 Election Ethics Train Wreck Update!

steam train wreck

You see, no matter how much grandstanding and posturing and gloating performed by the Axis of Unethical Conduct (AUC), including its recent recruit, the social media platforms, and its Deranged zombie followers, your friends and mine, there is no avoiding these facts:

  • Joe Biden is not President-elect until the Electoral College elects him. The AOC itself proclaimed that sufficiently in 2016 when it was trying to steal that election.
  • The news media’s “calls” have no official role in deciding what states land in what column, and it has completely abused its position and influence this time.
  • There will be investigations, recounts and lawsuits, as well as appeals. These will happen. All of the premature chest-beating and the rest won’t stop them, and that’s wonderful. Democrats had a legal force ready to do the same thing in any states were as close as the five or six states the Trump team is looking at.
  • People can assume what will happen, but they do not know. The 2000 Florida challenge and recount should have taught that lesson. I’m sure it did, in fact.

Now here are some opinions that I am confident are accurate, but that do not quite reach the level of “facts”:

  • For the Democrats, aided by the news media, to act as if the election is settled when it isn’t is dangerous—irresponsible, reckless, and stupid. What are the odds that a series of discoveries will, after sufficient litigation, demonstrate that enough states should be moved to Trump’s column to either elect him or send a deadlock to the House? If it’s half of 1%, that’s too much—not when the Left is falsely asserting to be true what they don’t know to be true. Given what we know about this side of the ideological spectrum in 2020, if the .5% occurrence came to pass, the United States would be facing violence in the streets never seen in peacetime. Is a half a per cent chance of a civil war or revolution worth the risk? A quarter of a per cent?
  • The effort to force the determination of the election’s victor before all the votes are counted and those that have been counted are shown to be genuine appears to be part of a pernicious effort by the AOC to sidestep fairness and transparency.
  • The hypocrisy of Democrats in even attempting this is of cosmic proportions, and…
  • …provides one more piece of damning evidence of how perilous to our democracy it is to give more power to these people, who have already shown they have no respect for our institutions,  and now are demonstrating that there are no depths to which they will not dive to achieve their self-serving ends.
  • It would be nice if there was a way President Trump could be trusted to address the nation and urge patience and calm without throwing metaphorical gasoline on the metaphorical fire. He can’t. He is not capable of that.

Further Train Wreck Notes:

1. Ethics Hero: Dave Chappelle. Last night, hosting Saturday Night Live, the comic made a strong and eloquent plea on behalf of the Golden Rule:

“I would implore everybody who’s celebrating today to remember that it’s good to be a humble winner. Remember when I was here four years ago, remember how bad that felt? Remember that half the country right now still feels that way. Please remember that. Remember, for the first time in the history of America, life expectancy of white people is dropping because of heroin, because of suicide. All the white people out there that feel that anguish, that pain, they mad because they think nobody cares — maybe they don’t — let me tell you something: I know how that feels. Promise you, I know how that feels. If you’re a police officer, and every time you put your uniform on, you feel like you got a target on your back, you’re appalled by the ingratitude that people have when you would risk your life to save them. Believe me, I know how that feels. Everyone knows how that feels. But here’s the difference between me and you: You guys hate each other for that, and I don’t hate anybody. I just hate that feeling. That’s what I fight, and what I suggest you fight. You gotta find a way to live your life. You gotta find a way to forgive each other. You gotta find a way to find joy in your existence, in spite of that feeling.”

He’s right, but nobody will pay any attention to him.

2. Of course, we have seen this hypocrisy for months: DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall pointed to how the double standard being applied now to pro-Biden celebrations demonstrates how the pandemic measures and reporting was always warped to serve political ends.

“That didn’t necessarily serve the interests of the citizenry, but it did serve the interests of shrill media voices and anti-Trump political opponents. Failing to criticize the weekend political celebration crowds after condemning Trump campaign crowds as dangerous just shows the inconsistency of the political activists,” McCall told Fox News. Boy, I’m sick of mealy-mouthed professors! Just say it: the news media engaged in shaming and fearmongering to use the virus to defeat President Trump, and they are demonstrating that now, with, for example, Jake Tapper expressing concern about being a “scold,” by mentioning that the celebrants were not social distancing. “He essentially acknowledged the varying standards on coronavirus dangers exhibited in the mainstream media,” McCall said. 

“Varying standards” means deliberate distortion of public opinion by the media. That’s totalitarian stuff.  Say it, for God’s sake.

3. As expected, Don Lemon made as ass of himself, getting weepy (like Van Jones) and eliminating any doubt (there really wasn’t any) that he is neither competent, professional, objective, or more mature than the average 6-year-old.

“America needed a release valve at that moment. And they wanted to get it off their chest,” he said. “Finally, the relief came that no longer did we have to live under this oppression. No longer did we have to live under people who pretend that up is not up, that down is not down, that one plus one doesn’t equal two. And so I can’t help but be emotional at this moment.”

 Oh, what oppression, you child? You had to live with President you didn’t vote for. Awwww.  And it is, again, not ethical or responsible to refer to a conditional and unofficial result as if it is certain when you are supposed to be a journalist.

Lemon is not only a hack, he’s a dangerous hack. To be fair, he has lots and lots of company. There should not be a single op-ed in the Times or Washington Post for example, that treats the election as if it is over. Yet there are several.

4. Res ipsa loquitor: since it is Trump who appears to be at the short end of the election, there are no riots, no violence, no looting. All those boarded up shops and the various riot watches in the cities (like D.C) were in anticipation of Biden’s supporters rioting.

What does this tell us? (It’s an easy question.)

5. Confirmation Bias Tweet of The Year:

ABC morons

No, ABC, you ignorant, biased fools. The fireworks were part of the Guy Fawkes Day celebration on Bonfire Night, which occurs every year.

Oh, there is lots more, but Spud wants a walk.

More, I’m sure, tomorrow.


30 thoughts on “Tonight’s 2020 Election Ethics Train Wreck Update!

  1. For the Democrats, aided by the news media, to act as if the election is settled when it isn’t is dangerous—irresponsible, reckless, and stupid.

    The news media plainly made it possible for the Democrats to be able to do this.

  2. I’m rather disturbed by how relieved people are now that they believe Biden has won. Their relief probably dissuades them from skepticism, so I’m slightly less disturbed that they don’t question it.

    Still, what wonderful things must they expect Biden to accomplish? Or Harris? Conversely, what are these terrible things that Trump has apparently been up to? Can they point to anyone that Trump has actually hurt? (Not saying he hasn’t, but if people get caught up in emotions and forget why they feel them in the first place, they lose all sense of proportion and become extremists: a solution that forgot the original scope of the problem.) The president is as the president does. What exactly do they expect to be done differently from the past four years? Or are they just feeling what they’re told to feel?

    It seems to me that most of our problems are basically the same regardless of who’s president, and yet people seem to genuinely believe that the fate of humanity hinges upon replacing one blurry-minded Caucasian male human with another blurry-minded Caucasian male human an unscrupulous ethnic minority female human.

    I keep flashing back to Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
    Democratic Party: “What has Trump ever done for us?”
    Middle East: “Brought peace?”
    Democratic Party: “Oh, ‘peace’! Shut up!”

    There are probably harmful things Trump has done that I’m not aware of, or decent plans that Biden/Harris has that I’m not aware of, but what disturbs me is that people don’t seem to be talking about those. They just talk about how generally awful or great their teams are. If they were talking about what problems they’re facing and various possible policies that would solve those problems, then it shouldn’t matter who’s president. If a policy is a good one, Congress and the president should be able to be persuaded to implement it. That was the original goal, and I’m working on getting people back to that.

    This illusion of the zero sum game is getting more and more ridiculous.

    • Perfectly rational analysis, EC. However, it appears to miss the point. These people have willingly lost their minds. Just for clarity’s sake, I’ve looked up the definition of what’s at the bottom of this:

      “Mentally Deranged” means the person is insane and having psychotic symptoms. It is treated with anti-psychotic medication. It is also treated with various forms of therapy like Talk Therapy and Occupational Therapy.

    • Can they point to anyone that Trump has actually hurt?

      The children who now have no way of finding their parents after the child-separation policy?
      The trans former members of the military after his ban on their service?
      The women sterilized in ICE custody?
      The Kurds?
      The people harmed by the California wildfires that might have been mitigated had Trump not refused to send aid because California is a blue state?
      The protesters grabbed off the street and dragged off in unmarked vans by unidentified federal security forces?
      The peaceful protesters teargassed so Trump could walk to a church and hold up a bible upside-down?

      • Thank you, I was actually beginning to forget about the reasons for disliking Trump, and I was worried that the people most vocal about disliking Trump had forgotten as well.

        I’ll have to look into the details of those to identify in what way he failed his responsibility, because we can’t demand better decisions from another leader unless we have a clear picture of the flaws in this one.

        Another important thing to me is that we can agree on what is and isn’t acceptable regardless of who does it. I don’t really care about Trump as a person; I just want to make sure people talk about the real problems. When we lose sight of our true goals, that’s how we get politicians who thrive on us-versus-them.

        Again, thank you for actually answering the question. It helps move the conversation forward.

          • Be that as it may, it moves the conversation forward by providing specific concerns that can be addressed. I thank you and Michael West for providing the counterarguments to these concerns.

            I’m not certain that these counterarguments address the underlying fears, though. The theme that I see in these concerns is the fear of conflict in the form of the those in power abusing their power to cruelly oppress their outgroups.

            We can argue about whether Trump engages in such oppression more than other presidents, or whether we can trust Biden/Harris not to engage in oppression, or which groups we really care about protecting from oppression, but it seems like it would be most effective to draw some lines regarding treatment of various groups so that we know whether or not they’re being oppressed regardless of who’s in charge. Does that make sense to everyone?

              • I admit I was having trouble finding a good word for what I meant. The concept I was going for was “humans not culturally affiliated with the majority of the humans who have positions of power and influence.” I figured that referring to it as the “outgroup” of those in power would make sense.

                The group of lawbreakers is not an outgroup, as you say, but individuals who are lawbreakers may be members of outgroups. Depending on the situation, many people may argue that the way “humans not culturally affiliated with the majority of the humans who have positions of power and influence” are treated by power structures is a more serious problem than some of the crimes that some of those people may commit, and contributes to some of those crimes.

                It’s well and good for us to hold people accountable for their choices, but if we want to build a more effective society we may need to acknowledge that people can feel pressured by bad situations to do unethical things, and that just as they have a responsibility to be ethical regardless, we have a responsibility to look for reasonable opportunities to prevent people from being put in such situations on a regular basis by the systems that we support and enforce.

                Does that make sense?

      • What a subjective values, biased perpsective and fake news potpourri!!!!

        Evey President “hurts” some interest group every time he makes a choice, and leadership is about choices. This especially true in foreign policy.

        The children who now have no way of finding their parents after the child-separation policy?1. The child separation policy did not originate with Trump, and 2. Parents who use their children as shields and place them in peril while violating US law are at fault for anything that happens to them, not the President of the United States.

        The trans former members of the military after his ban on their service? Trans individuals have been banned since at least 1960. Then they were unbanned, and banned a gain under this administration. There are legitimate arguments for the ban, and the trade-off is the stability of the military vs. the desires for military service of a miniscule minority.

        The women sterilized in ICE custody? 1) The practice dates back well before Trump. 2.) At this point, it is an allegation of a single whistleblower. 2) If you give that whistleblower automatic credibility, then you should give every whistleblower regarding the election instant credibility. 3) The allegation is being investigated, and is unproven—and while Trump is ultimately responsible, this is not a “Trump policy.”

        The Kurds?
        Boy, this is digging deep…

        The people harmed by the California wildfires that might have been mitigated had Trump not refused to send aid because California is a blue state? Flat out false. New York Times: “President Trump reversed himself on Friday, approving a package of wildfire disaster relief for California hours after officials from his administration had explained why the state should not receive the aid. The abrupt turnaround came after the president spoke with Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Republican and the House minority leader, with the White House saying the men “presented a convincing case” for the state receiving the aid.”

        The protesters grabbed off the street and dragged off in unmarked vans by unidentified federal security forces? Violent, law-breaking rioters. There, fixed. No sympathy at all. At ALL.

        The peaceful protesters teargassed so Trump could walk to a church and hold up a bible upside-down? Again, the protesters were also illegal and violating a curfew. The DC mayor supported illegal Black Lives Matter protests and riots, and wouldn’t enforce the law. The President has a right to walk across Lafayette Park without danger to himself at any time, and why is irrelevant. Tear gas is how you disperse illegal rioters.

        Wow. What a weak and contrived list.

        • On the Kurds (among our most loyal allies in the Middle East) – I was a bit annoyed when Trump left them out to dry after they bore the lion’s share of the burden putting ISIS back in its place.

          But let’s not forget that ISIS became a problem because Obama sat back and let them run roughshod across the fertile crescent when he could *EASILY* have provided the air support the Iraqi’s were begging for when ISIS first reared its ugly head.

          But no, he did nothing (in the vein of “traditional American foreign policy” that some news sources are gleefully crowing about a Biden return to) and the Iraqi army was clobbered…and ALOT of dudes who risked their lives and families to trust and support the American vision for Iraq during the Iraq War found themselves mercilessly butchered by ISIS’s roving squads of goons.

        • The kids in Obama’s cages they couldn’t return
          Let’s not forget that many of those kids who could not be re-united weren’t because the family didn’t want them. That’s true for two inter-related reasons. 1st – orphans are created everywhere. People give up kids they can’t take care of, didn’t want to begin with, or who knows what other factors are in play. 2nd – they know that those kids will become foster kids in the united states. They will grow up with more opportunity than if they went home, and parents can make the pragmatic choice it’s better to let the kid go.

          The protesters picked up
          There is video of some of those grabs. The officer are wearing an agency patch and a name on their uniforms.

          This wouldn’t be needed if the city of portland didn’t decide that rioting (yes, it is rioting, 125 days and counting) actually enforced the law.

      • Just to elaborate a bit on Jack’s response –
        The children. There were an unknown number of family separations by ICE during previous administrations, probably many fewer than during the Trump administration. Why no accounting for those under Bush or Obama? Who knows? Why so many more under Trump? Well, he did take an oath of office which includes a solemn commitment to enforce the laws, as did Bush and Obama, but, in this area, Trump apparently meant it. He did campaign on securing the borders. If you arrest those who cross the border illegally with the intent of prosecuting them, then incarceration seems appropriate (as opposed to catch and release). But, you cannot incarcerate the kids, so they were handed over to DHS for care. Those still considered separated apparently are in the custody of sponsors or other family relatives, but locating them and their parents is not an easy task. From one standpoint, the bureaucracy failed miserably in keeping records for eventually reuniting families. From another, those parents disappeared and do not want to be found. Refusal to cooperate by the so-called sanctuary cities is a further obstacle, as are conditions in the children’s native lands, including gang violence, remote villages, and the pandemic.
        Trans persons. There is not and was not a ban on transgender persons serving in the military during the Trump administration. Service members may continue to serve, and new applicants may join, but they must adhere to standards (physical fitness, primarily) based on their biological sex, not their gender orientation. There are separate rules for gender dysphoria, a psychiatric disorder, and for those who have undergone medical transition treatment. In general, those already in may serve in their biological sex. New applicants are presumptively disqualified, but may enter with a waiver. There are other medical treatments which would disqualify someone from serving, and there are many medical conditions which are disqualifying (heel spurs and youthful asthma have been in the news recently). There may be arguments for allowing those with various medical conditions to serve in the military, but the strongest, healthiest military, seems better to me.
        Women sterilized. Medical mal-treatment in ICE facilities is certainly unacceptable. If there has been forced or unwitting sterilization of women, as has been alleged (by more than just one person), that would be criminal behavior. DHS currently has an investigation underway by the Office of the Inspector General regarding the facility in Georgia. So, Trump is guilty of not knowing something he did not know, and, he is to be credited with taking action once he knew, right?
        The Kurds. This is not the first time the U.S. has abandoned an ally (and will not be the last), but it was abandoning an ally of convenience in favor of a NATO ally. Greater minds than mine can analyze the rightness of this decision, but it is in keeping with Trump’s campaign promise to get us out of our endless wars and let regional actors solve regional problems.
        California wildfire aid. FEMA denied aid to California initially because the request did not meet the requirements for federal aid. Similar denials were made for other states at other times. California improved its request, Trump overruled FEMA, and the aid was given.
        Unidentified federal security forces. After scanning dozens of images of Portland rioters engaged with federal officers, I could not find any in which the officers did not have some identification on their uniforms, some clearly labeled police, some shoulder sleeve insignia. DHS says they are clearly identifiable as federal officers, but that names were not on the uniforms because of the threat of doxing and harassment of families. Unmarked vans? Well, unmarked vans do not attract nearly as many Molotov cocktails as those labeled “WE’RE FEDS, PLEASE ATTACK US”.
        Peaceful protesters teargassed. Trump made a poor decision, and federal park police did what they had to do to allow that decision to be carried out. Had the protesters complied with the legal order to disperse, they would not have been harmed.

        • You are so old fashioned — trying to counter arguments by using facts.

          No! We absolutely cannot have that.

          You, sir, must go sit in the corner and eat worms. And you’ll like it!

      • The same kids of illegal immigrants were there under Obama’s rules. Did you care then?

        Biden has been funding a pro-trans child transition group for years. Do you care about the many kids who will grow out of it but will be permanently maimed and chemically castrated over a trend based on propaganda, money, and unnecessary medicalization of kids due an anti-embodiment campaign?

        Did you care when those same women were treated the same way under Obama?

        Were our troops in Syria to fight ISIS or defend the Kurds? Did Trump get Erdogan to eventually back down?

        California like Oregon has poorly managed forests, in part due to climate change rhetoric and local administrators making bad calls. How is it Trump’s fault CA’s government neglects best practices in forest management?

        And finally, was it Trump that burned down every-single-building in the Minneapolis neighborhood I grew up in? Was it Trump supporters that looted and burned down so many businesses vital to Lake Street that they now have food/services deserts? Was it Republicans and conservatives that let at least a dozen or more black men die as a result of the “mostly peaceful” protests?

        Can you look a minority business owner in the eye who had their business severely damaged or destroyed from riots and exclaim, “we did this for you!”? Was it someone from the right or left that said to a black cop this summer, “I hope they hang you first”?

  3. 1, Wow, was Mr. Chapelle shot for wondering that far off the reservation? I saw that story and thought there must have been some kind of mistake. The SNL producers let him say that? They didn’t cut to a commercial? They don’t have a tape delay feature in the control room?

    • “They don’t have a tape delay feature in the control room?”

      FWIW–and yes I get that it wasn’t a completely serious question–but I honestly think that they don’t. I recall a few years ago when someone accidentally said “fuck” and it went out live over the air un-bleeped. All subsequent airings of that episode used the dress rehearsal version of the skit instead, so you’ll never see it unless you happened to record the original, live airing.

      So . . . a little bit of SNL trivia.


      • Thanks Dwayne. SNL left me decades ago. Probably about the time John Belushi stopped appearing. Not sure when that was. The joy and raucous humor went out of the show at some point. I find myself unable to even think about watching anything Alec Baldwin appears in. I’m half Irish and he’s the embodiment of everything terrible about a big, insufferable, Irish boor.

  4. How wrong is the schadenfreude associated with Democrats who are suddenly realizing that BLM and Antifa are turning on them now too, now that mainline Democrats were expecting BLM and Antifa to be shelved away now that their usefulness was done?

    • If it’s wrong Michael…I don’t want to be right!
      The Dems will rapidly realize that their Brownshirts are uncontrollable, unless they have absolute power over their funding, which is unlikely if there is any foreign State support for BLM and Antifa, which seems very possible. Killing the leaders, co-opting the members and assimilating them into similar approved para-military groups, as was done with the original Brownshirts, seems an unlikely solution. Asking the existing police departments to actually do their job is dependent on local political will which in many areas is heavily invested in both BLM and Antifa (Seattle, Portland, many of the inner-cities).

    • More people may be getting on code.

      Video description

      The people who are too lazy or scared to fight white supremacy just showed the world they’ll gladly choose two anti-black racists to be president and vice-president…just so long as he doesn’t say racist things quite so often.
      These people will inevitably have buyers remorse, but will their chosen overlords let them live long enough to regret their mistake?

    • You mean they don’t remember when Cindy Sheehan and her ilk were shoved into the background once Obama was safely in power? The Democrats love crazy passionate people when they can be used against the GOP. They have no use for them when they are in power, and will not hesitate to tell them to be quiet.

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