Commenter Crella’s brief observation, which I just now read, is notable for many reasons. First, it was news to me. I spend a ridiculous amount of time (during much of which, my wife and business partner reminds me, I should be making money, writing one of the books on the drawing board, creating a new ethics seminar, writing legal ethics parody song lyrics, etc) tracking ethics developments, and I still miss so much. Second, it’s an example of so many themes here: the totalitarian tilt of the Left, the criminalization of politics, the beyond insane partisan divide, the Great Stupid. Third, the story is a collision of so many ethics train wrecks, its hard to sort the carnage out. I’ll be back at the end, but here’s Crella’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Why Don’t College Students Believe In Free Speech? Because They Are Taught By Totalitarianism Advocates Like Duke Professors Bill Adair and Philip Napoli. That’s Why”:
Robert Reich (just typing his name makes my blood boil) has a new video out, calling for prosecution of Trump supporters for infecting Congressmen. ‘They should be charged with involuntarily manslaughter if any of the Congressmen they infected dies! Two more tested positive as I taped this’
Greeeeeat idea! Prosecuting people because you think they might have given you a disease. The liberals on my Facebook page are lapping it up: “ I agree they should be prosecuted!”. So much for having any standard of proof. If they can prove unequivocally that any of the congressmen and women who get corona now and have tested positive this week didn’t have Christmas parties didn’t have New Year’s parties never left their homes didn’t have big gatherings, didn’t travel, then I might think it possible they were infected by the people who stormed into the capital. Otherwise, seriously!?
1. I don’t think Reich is serious. He’s trying to inflame not-very-bright progressives like Crella’s Facebook friends. The former Clinton Labor Secretary (think about that) is many things, including beings somewhere between a Communist and a socialist, but he isn’t stupid.
2. Intellectuals, academics and lawyers are now openly advocating punishment based on conclusions absent valid evidence. Yesterday’s impeachment was a prime example. Crella’s explanation of why Reich’s prosecution theory is nonsense is legal bedrock, and yet Reich just launched it into the discussion.
3. Punishing people because authorities decide they are guilty by making attenuated connections between political action and unproven crimes is the a characteristic of totalitarian regimes…and Crella’s Facebook friends either can’t see it, or they would welcome the “right” totalitarian regime. Unfortunately, so would most of mine.
4. Please, don’t use “covid” here. This is a virus spread around the world because of deliberate China deception and incompetence (speaking of totlaitarian regimes), and its name should make that clear. Trying to ban the name “Wuhan virus” was classic political correctness thought manipulation, and we should refuse to capitulate to it.