Ethics Observations On The Pro-Trump Rioting At The Capitol

DC riots

1. First and foremost, anyone who did not condemn all of the George Floyd/Jacob Blake/Breonna Taylor/ Black Lives Matters rioting that took place this summer and fall is ethically estopped from criticizing this episode.

That means I can, and will, condemn it as stupid, useless, self-destructive and anti-democratic violence, but most Democrats, progressives and media pundits cannot.

2. Representative quote of the day: “Stop this bullshit right now…This should be condemned. I’m saddened and disappointed by what I’ve seen.”—Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R).

3. From the President: “You have to go home now. We have to have peace. I know how you feel, but go home in peace.”

4. The President did not “incite” this riot, but those who have essentially blamed him for everything imaginable for four years of course are saying this now. I seldom quote Glenn Reynolds, who is quite a bit too doctrinaire Right for me, but I will this time, because he’s right:

“With 40% of the country thinking the election was stolen, this was to be expected — especially after the unified voice of the media saying for years that if you feel disenfranchised it’s okay to riot. Our ruling class, and particularly our media, have been playing with fire for years and I hope that this will be enough to shock them into more sensible behavior. But so far they’ve not lived up to my hopes.”

With the nation facing what was going to be an unusually bitter election, Democrats deliberately pushed through a mail-in ballot scheme guaranteed to make a Biden victory, if it occurred, suspicious, and the news media exceeded even past extremes in refusing to give both candidates fair coverage. This placed the President and Republicans in the position of meekly accepting a corrupt fete accompli or risk inflaming anger that could easily burst into violence by challenging it legally and rhetorically. On Ethic Alarms, I have advocated the former approach, unsatisfactory as it is and contrary to my nature, for exactly the reasons made clear today.

5. More than anything else, the rioting was stupid, stupid, stupid. It didn’t even have the beneficial effects (for the activists) of the Black Lives Matter riots. This fiasco undercut the also ill-conceived GOP protest in Congress of the election results. Of course it did.

6. The Democrats who are calling for impeachment or a 25th Amendment removal of the President based on this just show how obsessed and unmoored to reason and reality so many Democrats are. But look at the list: Ted Lieu, Gwen Moore, Ayanna Pressley, Ed Markey, Illhan Omar… these officials spewed hate at the President and his supporters for four years, and when the violence finally erupted, they are shocked and outraged.

7. And let me give a special call out to the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, a nearly unparalleled ass, who declared a curfew in Northern Virginia just to make the D.C. disruptions seem more ominous than they were.

81 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On The Pro-Trump Rioting At The Capitol

  1. Any prosecution of those accused of this act must be consistent with evidence and law, just like any prosecution of those who threatened the Mark O. Hatfield courthouse

    Feel free to take the case as a defense attorney.

    You could argue this was just a fiery peaceful protest that intensified.

  2. Amid all the chaos I want to nominate Twitter as an ethics villain for locking Trump’s account out and forcing the deletion of two tweets that (I haven’t been able to confirm) called for level-headed behavior. As a techie I used to consider Section 230 protections a bit too broad, but generally useful. After today I believe Twitter should be fully held responsible as a publisher for manipulating the messages that were allowed to reach the general public.

    • Remember this gem from Nancy Pelosi?

      This incident reinforces the idea that she owes DHS agents an apology!

  3. I think we need to identify the perpetrators of the violence before we put labels on them as to who they support and their purpose for being in DC.

    I am a bit confused as to why the media is not running the banner headline that an unarmed protester was killed by law enforcement officer as to routinely do when police shoot a black man who is in the process of committing felonious assaults.

    Just for arguments sake why was this labeled a riot when far less damage was done (except for the killing of a protester by law enforcement) today than the event in DC where several buildings were torched by Antics and BLM groups which were labeled mostly peaceful protests.

    This double standard is what precipitated the events which unfolded today. Amassing the numbers that turned out today requires a real belief by the group that they have been hosed big time and for the last time. Most of these people left their jobs to be there today. They put at risk their livelihoods. Despite what the MSM would have you believe Trump is no Svengali who manipulates his supporters with propaganda. There is no Trumpian cult. There are only people tired of having to pick up the tab so others can live large. These people are sick and tired of being fired for holding a belief their co-workers find objectionable. They are tired of being labeled racists, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes, or told they are privileged because someone thinks their skin tone gives them special advantages. These people are simply following a man willing to fight for what he and they think is best for America. His supporters no longer will support the Casper Milquetoasts in the party like Romney and others who capitulate to the opposition at the first sign of being labeled as a racist or xenophobe.

    Biden’s demand that it must stop now will be ignored because he and others supported the mayhem in the streets in 2020.

    You can screw some of the people some of the time and your opposition all of the time but you can’t expect them to suck it up all of the time.

    I will condemn the lawlessness in the Capitol but I will lay the blame on individuals not the group. For all any of us know those who broke in may have been anarchists donning Trump attire. I would not put it past them.

        • The reichstag fire was used to justify cracking down on the perpetrators and siezing total power by the opposition.

          So if this riot results in crackdowns against the right and/or arresting Trump himself while allowing the left to seize full government control, that would make you the nazis. They too acted in the name of ‘saving’ their country from a great evil.

            • Hitler had been chancellor 4 weeks. They suspended a lot more than habeas corpus, they purged the chamber of Communist members, which made the Nazis a majority, and THEN Hitler consolidated his power. The man who actually set the fire, or at least confessed to it, an almost-blind Dutch (not even German) former bricklayer turned Communist named Marinus van der Lubbe, who said he acted alone, was later found guilty and guillotined (thunk!). Eventually the conviction was thrown out on the grounds that the prosecution was a political one by an illegitimate regime, but there has never been a factual finding that he did not actually set the fire.

              To this day it is not conclusively known whether this was simply a confluence of events that the Nazis exploited, or a false-flag operation to create the opportunity to do so. However, even absent proof one way or the other, it seems to be a common belief that it was the latter.

              • Didn’t the Russians capture documents (that were made available after the fall of the Soviet Union) saying it was gang of SA with molotovs?

                • They did not. An affidavit signed by an SA member in 1955 says that the SA was responsible using self-ignited incendiaries and van der Lubbe merely a patsy, and a German army officer executed another affidavit stating that Hermann Goring had boasted about involvement. However, when the affidavit was read to Goring at Nuremberg, he denied any involvement (why lie then, when he knew he was probably facing death anyway and lying would not save him?). So many of the early storm troopers were later done away with on the “Night of the Long Knives” and so many more people who would have been expected to have knowledge were killed in WW2, and so many records were destroyed that I think we’ll never know the complete truth.

                  • I doubt Goering was involved but it’s absurd to say he had no reason to lie, playing to the audience and the history books and controlling his own image were all he had left.

                    • He’d lost the war and knew he was doomed to be vilified. One involvement more or less wasn’t going to save his image either. That said, we can’t go back and read his mind.

                    • We know he spent his time at trial trying to justify his actions and those of the Nazi regime. What is that if not image management?

                      (Turn on closed captions)

        • You cannot fucking read. See the first goddamn paragraph I said Identify people first before labeling them. Yes I said Antifa is possible but I did not say they are to blame and even then the whole point of the sentence was to say get the evidence before making accusations; hence the prefatory clause “For all we know”.

          Instead of answering the questions I posed in paragraph 2 and 3 you decided to channel your inner Chris Matthews by equating one line in the last paragraph to Hitler and his propaganda. I hope you got a thrill up your leg when you labeled me.

          You are the Fascist by taking a bit of truth and distorting it to promote your narrative so that that any opposition to your way of thinking must be crushed by the authoritarians. Keep in mind it was the local police under the control of Mayor Bowser who ordered the police to scan license tags for the Proud Boys chairmen, find him, and arrest him. Is this usual for a misdemeanor charge of vandalism? How does a judge issue a stay away order for a protest leader without violating that citizen’s rights. Did the local government do the same for those that set fire to the Episcopal Church or injured scores of police officers. Last I checked he had not been tried and convicted. Who is using the power of government to suppress a person’s right to peacefully assemble? Who has the media in their pocket? Who has the Chamber of Commerce in their pocket? Who has the trial lawyers in their pocket and who has the financial services industry in their pocket? Please learn how Fascism works. It works by controlling thought, as well as important economic and legal institutions. It works by by demanding that we all agree to “that’s who we are” and if we don’t we will be eliminated economically or through violence. Fascism owes no allegiance to the right or the left. It is a means to an end not a political ideology.

          We do know that law enforcement fired the weapon that killed a protester. Where is your condemnation of that? We also know that the cities that were set afire in those supposedly “peaceful protests” were not caused by Trump supporters yet I heard all about false flag operations to shift responsibility away from BLM and Antifa and rarely if ever referred to as riots by the media. So where was your statement about Hitler then? I know that Biden called ANTIFA an idea and not an organization that riots. So who burned all the cars and buildings? How does an idea light an incendiary device?

          In fact, I blamed no one without evidence. Your consistent Hitler reference is exactly what I am talking about. People are sick and tired of being equated to evil so that you can pretend to be superior. It is you that put labels on people. Not me. So go straight to hell.

            • Valygirl – let the video of genuine, Jewbaiting Nazis in the Capitol talking about “Our Boy Donald Trump” speak for itself.

              I know you are upset. I know you are angry.

              Calling a fucking fascist a fucking fascist may make you feel better, but does nothing for your credibility.

              Be effective.

              Anger gets in the way. It leads to suboptimal performance in neutralising the threat.

              Worse, those who fight monsters must beware that they too do not become monsters thereby.

              Best wishes, Zoe

              • Calling a fucking fascist a fucking fascist may make you feel better, but does nothing for your credibility.

                With no reason to hide these words, I feel
                And no reason to talk about the books I read but still, I do
                That’s ’cause I’m a
                Sister I’m a
                All over this town

        • I don’t care who the identities of the people doing the damage was. I’ve seen some dumbasses like Nick Fuentes and Baked Alaska identified: Throw the book at them.

          But V, Chris nailed it on the head in the third paragraph, it was Jack’s opening point, and I’ll reinforce it: You have no credibility on this issue. You carried water for rioters the entire year, and now that the rioters are from a different political party than you, all of a sudden the bucket has holes. If I believed for a second that you had a principled position against rioting, I’d welcome you with open arms, but I don’t. You’re a hack. This is about scoring political points to you. No one should take you seriously.

            • I don’t accept your premise. I know you aren’t being serious, but I think this needs addressing: This wasn’t a coup. I’m not entirely sure what it was, riot is probably the most fitting. There was less loss of life in this riot than many of the Freddy Gray riots, there was less property damage in this riot than the Freddy Gray riots, there was less occupation and political disruption in DC than there was for CHAZ. There is no metric you could define that you or people like you failed to criticize, explain away, or actively defend when we were talking about people you agreed with politically.

              The things you don’t like don’t become the worst things they could possibly be based on your subjective political bias. People that disagree with you aren’t nazis, not everything people that disagree with you do is a parallel to fascism or the holocaust, and riots aren’t coups.

            • Not so much a coup, Valkygirl.
              A tragicomic attempted Putsch.

              Even the beerhall putsch debacle killed more.

              By the way – drink warning next time please regarding your principled position. That’s the kind of words we need now though.

          • “No one should take you seriously.”

            I don’t think many do.

            She cheered on the possibility of young soldiers being murdered on Election Day who were merely present to prevent violence.

            Come to think of it, this whole episode shouldn’t have bothered her.

                  • The police were in an impossible position. Back off and enable this, or come down with the mailed fist and be accused of being storm troopers only against the right.

                    • As opposed to their current position as stormtroopers only against minorities? Being seen as equal opportunity murderous thugs is a step up from white supremacist murderous thugs.

                    • As opposed to their current position as stormtroopers only against minorities?

                      Cheap shot (a specialty of yours, but still). As many pointed out, the majority of rioters in Portland and Seattle were white. The Rodney King protesters were multi-colored. In Baltimore, police were ordered to “stand down” and allow the riots BECAUSE the rioters were black.

                      Otherwise, good point!

                    • ” The police were in an impossible position. Back off and enable this, or come down with the mailed fist and be accused of being storm troopers only against the right. ”

                      Concur.

                      Decescalation meant a reduced death toll.

                      Only one Capitol Guard was bashed to death by the mob.

                      Only one of the mob went over the line where deadly force *had* to be used to protect lives, not just property.

                      And only one of the armed mob accidentally killed themselves with their own weapon – a lesser lethal weapon at that.

      • Well, they have already identified numerous Antifa/BLM activists in the Capitol. The large group shouting ‘ACAB! ACAB!” at the police seem much more consistent with BLM than with MAGA supporters.

        Remember, for months leading up to this election, BLM told their supporters to vote for Biden despite the fact that he was more racist than Trump. They said vote for Biden because he will be more easily intimidated than Trump. We might now be witnessing the BLM getting on the Trump train for expediency.

  4. I share this perspective.

    http://lbpost.com/voices/opinion-trump-is-to-blame-for-inciting-violence-in-the-capitol-wednesday

    Opinion: Trump is to blame for inciting violence in the Capitol Wednesday
    Tim Grobaty
    444
    The repellant and disturbing scenes of pro-Trump protesters storming the US Capitol on Wednesday afternoon were enough to sicken every citizen except for people who still ardently and stubbornly believe that Donald Trump should be president for another four years.

    – ADVERTISEMENT –
    Trump, who has crept steadily from crackpot to madman in recent weeks, was the generating force—the main promoter—of the protest, egging and prodding his backers in a sort of rabid pre-game pep rally Wednesday morning from the White House to protest his now-overly-verified loss to Joe Biden in November.

    “We will never concede!” he barked at his cheering fans. “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”

    In his crazed and baseless post-campaign campaign of the last several weeks, the president has thrown body after body under the bus, his latest victim being his vice president, Mike Pence, who rebuffed Trump Wednesday afternoon by attempting to merely fulfill his duty by certifying the Electoral College vote, refusing to take any further part in what’s now no longer a bloodless coup attempt.

    Later, thousands crawled up the Capitol steps and began smashing windows and bursting into the Capitol Building waving Trump, Confederate and Gadsen flags and chanting “Stop the Steal!” and eventually worked their way into the Senate chamber.

    Earlier, some Republicans were trying to do just that, most notably Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who insisted that yet another study be done on what he believes to have been a flawed, crooked and stolen election. He cited the fact that a large number of people believe that Trump had rightfully won the election as the sole, wobbly reason for a further study. When lame-duck Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (yet another once-faithful follower and abetter who is now dead to Trump) recommended to cease fighting the election, it became rather apparent that this thing was finally nearing an end, save for a few squandered hours from a handful of legislators still hoping to score some last-minute Trump points.

    While discussion was still going on about election flaws in Arizona, Pence was suddenly rushed from the room as the insane violence began breaking out outside. Trump abandoned, briefly, his typical bellicose Tweet-braying and urged his followers to support the police and to “stay peaceful!,” a message he repeated several minutes later, though he remained hidden from view somewhere between the Oval Office and the third tee at Mar-a-Lago.

    It was a meek tweet coming from the man who caused all of this, from the Election Day whining to the more full-throated war cries of recent days.

    The day’s first truly presidential moment came between Trump’s twin tweets when President-Elect Biden came on television to decry the riots and to urge a pull-back and “allow democracy to go forward.”

    “The words of a president matters,” Biden said. “At best they can inspire; at worst they can incite.” “Worst” is what Trump does best, as he demonstrated Wednesday morning.

    Biden called on Trump to appear on TV to demand an end to the siege, likely recognizing that Trump is the only person these conspiracy/QAnon fanatics will listen to.

    It is not hyperbole to term Wednesday’s actions, from the efforts of a few Republicans to reverse the verified results of the election, to the riots of Trump’s supporters—and the thousand or so who participated in the protest on Wednesday is just a small handful of the total across this country—that Wednesday was one of the saddest and disappointing days of American democracy in memory. You would have to have been alive during the Civil War to recall a more disquieting moment.

    The sole bright spot of the day, though it was still a somber and sad one, was Biden’s televised speech urging quiet, calm and conciliation, and it signals a more hopeful and encouraging next four years. Biden laid the day’s violence at Trump’s feet and deservedly so.

    Shortly after Biden’s speech, a Trump spokesman said the president would release a taped statement later.

    There is no reason to watch it or listen to it, or believe what Trump says. Ever again.

    – Tim Grobaty

  5. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked at the assault on the Capitol today, which ended up taking a life. I’d also be lying if I said I was all that shocked. Maybe it’s the lawyer in me, but I happen to believe that context matters, and I also happen to believe that the totality of the circumstances matters when judging something. The totality of the circumstances is that what happened today did not happen in a vacuum. I haven’t forgotten what happened this summer, featuring such highlights as the burning down of most of downtown Minneapolis, 100 nights of rioting and assaults in Portland, the attempt to secede from the United States and warlordism in Seattle, assaults by Molotov cocktail on police in New York and the assault on the White House, together with the destruction of a good chunk of this nation’s public art. Neither should anyone else have.

    I also haven’t forgotten that the recent election cycle, despite the mainstream media’s attempt to blow past it, was rife with problems, mostly due to capitalization on the current pandemic to introduce loose and unsecure mail-in balloting to benefit almost exclusively one party. Finally, I haven’t forgotten that those who want to examine these problems thoroughly have been denied the ability to make their case, as court after court dismisses them on procedural grounds before a record can be developed, or even to discuss them, as Big Tech appends discrediting labels or silences them outright.

    I seem to remember a few phrases getting thrown around this past summer, and one of them was “riots are the language of the unheard.” It means that if you feel disenfranchised, or unfairly treated, or like you are not being heard, then violence and destruction are justified. Congratulations on undermining every parent in the world, but, putting that aside, it’s both foolish and unfair to think that reasoning is reserved for only one side or one set of issues. If you didn’t think that reasoning and phraseology would leak across the aisle, then you don’t understand human nature. Leak across it did, and those who assembled today in Washington and decided to make a “mostly peaceful” demonstration no doubt had exactly that phrase and many others on their mind, together with the idea that turnabout is fair play, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and so on.

    The president sure as the devil doesn’t get a pass on this. When you know the forest is bone dry, you make damn sure you don’t create any sparks and you sure as hell don’t throw a match into it. The president threw a torch into it. That said, he’s really no different than the same people who whipped up all these other disturbances, just on a larger scale. However, just as he should have known not to do that, the Vice President should have known not to ostentatiously release a statement about what he would or wouldn’t do, and the Capitol and Metro police should have known, indeed had to know unless they hired a whole new force this fall, that this could go sideways really fast, and that they should be ready. Then again, it might have stuck in more than a few blue craws that they were ordered to use kid gloves on BLM/Antifa this summer, but to come down like an anvil now. Finally, the folks who gathered there should have known that this action was a foolish one to take, would achieve little, and would actually make them look like they were stooping to the other side’s level.

    That said, there is also only so much anger, frustration, and helplessness that people can feel before they throw all that to the side. That goes double if there is a perception, right or wrong, that the rules are being enforced unfairly, and the other side is getting away with things they should not be. It doubles again if there is a perception, right or wrong, that your side is being muzzled and your views do not matter. It doubles yet again if the other side mocks you, and we all know there is a lot of outright mockery out there. The internet really brings out everyone’s inner 14-year-old who has to be as obnoxious as possible.
    So, this is just one more symptom of the illness that has plagued this nation for about five years, since one side decided the other had no legitimacy and nothing to say because it said so. I don’t like that it came to this, but it did, and it’s likely to keep coming to this if that side keeps up the same attitude. I warned several times earlier this year if we didn’t stop this we were going to be headed for a point when the right was going to get fed up and strike back. Well, here we are.

    Oh, and if you didn’t speak up last summer when cities were getting burned and trashed, don’t speak up now.

    • Then again, it might have stuck in more than a few blue craws that they were ordered to use kid gloves on BLM/Antifa this summer, but to come down like an anvil now. Finally, the folks who gathered there should have known that this action was a foolish one to take, would achieve little, and would actually make them look like they were stooping to the other side’s level.

      When DHS agents were deployed to protect to Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in Portland, Nancy Pelosi called them stormtroopers.

    • I’m not inclined to defend Metro police especially after today but I don’t think they have any authority in the federally-owned parts of DC, that’s all Capitol police.

        • I found it, looks like you’re right. It looks like Metro police need permission from the Capitol police to work on their turf.

          https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/2/1961

          Provided further, That the Metropolitan Police force of the District of Columbia are authorized to make arrests within the United States Capitol Buildings and Grounds for any violation of any such laws or regulations, but such authority shall not be construed as authorizing the Metropolitan Police force, except with the consent or upon the request of the Capitol Police Board, to enter such buildings to make arrests in response to complaints or to serve warrants or to patrol the United States Capitol Buildings and Grounds. For the purpose of this section, the word “grounds” shall include the House Office Buildings parking areas and that part or parts of property which have been or hereafter are acquired in the District of Columbia by the Architect of the Capitol, or by an officer of the Senate or the House, by lease, purchase, intergovernment transfer, or otherwise, for the use of the Senate, the House, or the Architect of the Capitol.

          One does presume that such permission would be given in a situation like yesterday. Unless the Capitol police were in on it and then we’d have already heard from 500 whistleblowers, it’s not like that’d have to fear reprisal with Trump leaving in 2 weeks.

          • Obviously you’re not too familiar with police unions or the blue wall of silence. Like any other police force, the Capitol police have their eyes on their pensions and on a relatively smooth ride through 20, 25, or however many years it takes. Like any other police force, they also know that anyone who rats other officers out will suddenly find himself VERY alone in the world. Sounds like the Metro folks need to be either invited in or request permission to come in. Maybe they didn’t ask for permission, and maybe they weren’t invited in. Why not? Probably because then a question arises of who pays for them to come in. It’s one thing for them to come in for large, established events that are planned and budgeted well in advance. Maybe this isn’t one of those and the bureaucratic wheels just didn’t turn fast enough. Right now there are too many maybes to assume something untoward happened.

                • With new people. 100% turnover destroys all institutional memory and allows a new culture to develop.

                  It’s similar to the idea of abolishing ICE though in that case all their responsibility (and budget) would be loaded off on CBP and the FBI after all the ICE agents are fired.

              • Boston did that in 1919 after a strike. The State Guard had to patrol the City for 3 months. The City of Camden did that here, and essentially handed off to the County, specifically to destroy an expensive labor agreement, and rehired most of the same officers. The idea of firing all 700,000 law enforcement officers in this nation and starting over from scratch is a pipe dream.

                    • Even after the Good Friday Agreement which ended the Troubles, the Royal Ulster Constabulary was renamed (to the Police Service of Northern Ireland) reformed (in an attempt to redress the heavily Protestant v. Catholic numbers, through affirmative recruitment, which didn’t achieve its stated goal of a 50:50 force, but did move it from 9:1 to 7:3), and reduced by 4,500 officers over 10 years to be more a peacetime police force than a militarized one (they pared it down to about 6,700 from about 8,500, with attrition, buyouts, and early retirement). Abolition and replacement with a totally new force was never even considered. So…

              • You think it’s limited to cops? How about this one. DA pled guilty for forcing her employees to give her pain meds at the office. She served out her term… cute, isn’t it. It’s human nature to have this. Ever discussed a poor treatment of you by a doctor to another doctor? They close ranks. You’d have to fire everyone and in no time at all you’d have the same thing take place because it is human nature to protect your own tribe.

  6. John F Kelly makes surely the key point for the longer term :
    “We need to look infinitely harder at who we elect to any office in our land — at the office seeker’s character, at their morals, at their ethical record, their integrity, their honesty, their flaws, what they have said about women, and minorities, why they are seeking office in the first place, and only then consider the policies they espouse,” Kelly said. (WAPO today)

    Why does the system continue to produce so few decent candidates?

    • Do you remember the saying “if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen”? Whether inadvertently or as misdirection, it omits the fact that the heat is controlled from the kitchen – not just for the kitchen but for the whole house. That leads to the emergent behaviour that the system is only ever run by those who find it congenial to drive off other sorts of people by running up the heat. So you aren’t going to get decent people trying out for politics once the other sort have worked on the environment, any more than you get many other plants thriving in the leaf litter of gum trees.

      By the way, if history is any guide, if Trump really were out for co-opting the system, this is where he would bring out the power to pardon: just as Tudor monarchs used it to enable their bully boys, so also could Trump if he had the will and the underlings for it. They would have “carte blanche”.

    • As to Kelly’s comment: he gets the General Obvious award, but it also obvious nobody in either party will follow it, or ever has. The position here has been that the nation is better off with ethical leaders of character than leaders chosen based on policy, but the evidence has been inconclusive: Jimmy Carter is an ethical man, and was a rotten leader.George W. Bush is a decent man.

      The system produces no decent candidates because to be elected President you have to survive and thrive in an unethical system and culture. It’s a Catch 22: if you are ethical, you won’t be a successful politician. It you’re a successful politician, you have mastered unethical habits and devices.

  7. Why does the system continue to produce so few decent candidates?

    Because we elect candidates who promise us stuff. They represent us. Obviously most of us are all greedy . How many employed people or retirees are demanding that they don’t need stimulus checks and whatever moneys allocated should be set aside for people actually impacted by the governmentally ordered closures of business? Why is Jeff Bezos promoting lockdowns and hammering for more stimulus in the Washington Post? Because he knows a good portion of the money will flow right to his business interests.

    “. . . -at the office seeker’s character, at their morals, at their ethical record, their integrity, their honesty, their flaws, what they have said about women, and minorities, why they are seeking office in the first place, and only then consider the policies they espouse,”

    Let’s break this statement down. What morals are we talking about: Fidelity in marriage, or heterosexuality; or, not wanting to end human life in the womb. Morality seems to be a difficult one to define in today’s world.

    How does what they say about women and minorities make someone a better candidate. The statement alone suggests bias. Why only women and minorities? Shouldn’t we consider if any of their statements suggest bias against any group?

    Perhaps a better question is not why they are seeking office in the first place but why should they be allowed to remain in office.

  8. These are the First Fruits of the seeds sown by the Democrats over the past four years. A much more bitter harvest is coming. I think the worst of it, however, will not come from Conservatives acting like Liberals, but from their own destructive agencies (BLM, Antifa, etc) unwilling to let loose of the power previously allowed them. A wildfire does not stop simply because the wind has shifted. Yes, a bitter harvest indeed.

  9. For those who wondered about “Dr. Richard Dominique” whom I assume is as much of a “Dr.” as Jill Biden (or less), his non-substantive and insulting comment was spammed as soon as I saw it,because he was banned more than a year ago, after his very first comment. This is the second time he has sneaked a comment on EA after being told he could not, common unethical behavior from banned commenters, who often validate my decisions to ban them this way.

    After the “Dr.’s” first comment in violation of policies here, I described him as a “dick-head.”

    I do not regret it.

  10. 1. First and foremost, anyone who did not condemn all of the George Floyd/Jacob Blake/Breonna Taylor/ Black Lives Matters rioting that took place this summer and fall is ethically estopped from criticizing this episode.

    I bring attention to the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse Ethics Train Wreck, encapsulated in this Quora answer.

    http://www.quora.com/By-claiming-that-urban-protests-and-riots-are-a-foretaste-of-Joe-Biden-s-America-is-Donald-Trump-missing-the-fact-that-they-are-occurring-during-his-watch/answer/Michael-Ejercito

  11. I’ve probably never posted a comment on a blog or social media that I was more convinced that the owner of said blog or media wouldn’t care about at all, but I’m going to do it right now.

    It’s been a good six years, Jack. OK, it’s been a good four, maybe four and a half, but honestly, over the last couple of them your blog has degenerated into something that isn’t… ethics? I mean, you certainly make the attempt to connect everything to ethics, but it’s just kind of noise around politics for me.

    This, though, is where we part. If you honestly can’t see that the rebellion against democracy yesterday was encouraged and even orchestrated by Trump, then I can no longer spend my time reading your stuff. To be honest, I’ve spent much less time on it since the election, anyway, only checking in once a week or so and skimming through your posts. And as the mental health experts (or whoever it is I’m listening to that you might disagree with), the expenditure of my energy on something negative isn’t worth that energy. I am removing you from my life because, in my opinion, you’ve just become another angry old white guy. I did enjoy reading many of your things over the years after I somehow was directed to your blog via Twitter; I was even selected for a COTD once! But the enjoyment for me has past.

    I wish you and your readers well, and hope that you continue to try to broaden your horizons and open your mind to new things, as I did most of the time I read your blog.

    • This, though, is where we part. If you honestly can’t see that the rebellion against democracy yesterday was encouraged and even orchestrated by Trump, then I can no longer spend my time reading your stuff.

      What evidence do you have?

      No one in the medai accused Trump of directly calling for violence.

      But there was a rebellion against democracy four years ago.

      https://ethicsalarms.com/2020/08/01/ethics-quote-of-the-month-andrew-mccarthy-and-the-integrity-test-it-presents/

      This blog recognized what was going on in general , if not all its specifics: hence the stuffed 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, still crazy after all these years. I knew the FBI and the deep state ein the Justice Department were part of the plot, as well as the Clinton campaign. I did not suspect that Barack Obama himself was involved until recently—Biden too, of course. That was my confirmation bias: much as I believe Obama was a destructive and wrongfully admired POTUS, I do not want to think holders of the highest office in the land actively work to pervert democracy.

      – Jack Marshall

      “The Obama administration and the FBI knew that it was they who were meddling in a presidential campaign — using executive intelligence powers to monitor the president’s political opposition. This, they also knew, would rightly be regarded as a scandalous abuse of power if it ever became public. There was no rational or good-faith evidentiary basis to believe that Trump was in a criminal conspiracy with the Kremlin or that he’d had any role in Russian intelligence’s suspected hacking of Democratic Party email accounts…To believe Trump was unfit for the presidency on temperamental or policy grounds was a perfectly reasonable position for Obama officials to take — though an irrelevant one, since it’s up to the voters to decide who is suitable. But to claim to suspect that Trump was in a cyberespionage conspiracy with the Kremlin was inane . . . except as a subterfuge to conduct political spying, which Obama officials well knew was an abuse of power. So they concealed it.”

      Former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy in the National Review

      Mollie Hemingway also wrote about this.

      What happened then did more damage top the nation than the events at the Capitol, than the events in Minneapolis.

    • Well, you do what you feel you have to, Keith. You obviously gave up reading very carefully around the time you started skimming. (Skimming just facilitates confirmation bias.) Before I read your unfair and counter-factual comment, I posted about the President’s accountability for the rioting and his reaction to it. Saying he did not incite the rioting, which is true, does nor relieve him of responsibility for making them more likely, which is why I wrote here that he should concede three weeks ago. I guess you skimmed that one too.

      And you cab bite me for calling me angry, which I am not, except at comments like this, old, which is, in my case, a state of mind I do not have, and white, which is racial bigotry, no matter what race you are.

      Otherwise a nice, classy exit message that chose to ignore the facts.

  12. Someone told me today that Trump should resign so Pence can pardon him. I said Trump would just pardon himself. The person said that the Supreme Court would not allow that. I asked why he thought the Supreme Court would let Pence pardon Trump. The Democrats have made it clear that they are going to prosecute and convict Trump no matter what. Then, he will commit suicide in prison. I believe Trump is literally fighting for his life right now. Look through that lens for a few minutes and think where this could go.

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