Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Flea Market, 8/28/21: An Atheist Chaplain And Other Exotica”

triple facepalm

In this potpourri piece, I linked to a Salon rant by a regular contributor named Chauncy DeVega, who, I summarized, “believes conservatives have been programmed by Fox News to believe in an ‘alternate reality’ based on anger and outrage while he proves that he exists in an alternate reality based on anger and outrage.” DeVega’s perspective is genuinely frightening (but then so is “Salon,”) as it is literally what he accuses conservatives of creating, a mad, counter-factual delusion fueled by hate. I consider the piece self-indicting, but I also didn’t have the energy to fisk it. Thus I am grateful to veteran commenter Michael Ejercito for accepting the challenge to a significant extent.

I hope Michael forgives me for injecting a few editorial notes as we proceed. They will be bracketed in italics. I couldn’t resist.

Here is Michael Ejercito’s Comment of the Day on the Chauncy DeVega head-explosion hazard linked to in “Ethics Flea Market, 8/28/21: An Atheist Chaplain And Other Exotica.”


I will reply to some of this article….

In my public warnings about the Age of Trump and America’s descent into fascism, I have often been far ahead of the hope-peddlers, stenographers and professional centrists of the mainstream news media. But I am no Cassandra or otherwise possess any preternatural gifts. I simply pay close attention to what the Jim Crow Republicans, Trumpists and other neofascists say and do — and I take them at their word. As a black working-class person in America I do not have the privilege and luxury that many white folks do — especially those with money — of pretending that everything is going to magically be fine, that “the institutions are strong,” that the “norms” of democracy will hold, or that “we are a good people.” I know for certain that the Trumpists and other neofascists are not “exaggerating” or engaging in “hyperbole” in their threats to create a new American apartheid.”

Government executive officials (not legislatures) have taken unprecedented coercive actions purportedly to combat the spread of COVID-19. This recently includes vaccination requirements to go to bars and restaurants, even though no such requirements existed with respect to polio, measles, or mumps.

So he has a point there.

[ME is being arch. That wasn’t DeVega’s point, but that “Trumpists” are trying to create an “apartheid” nation where only whites are protected. I also have to note that this is a great example of DeVega accusing the Right of advocating what the Left is doing. See today’s post on segregated classes at American University.]

“I have learned Joe Biden should be impeached because he is a traitor and perhaps mentally incompetent. Biden and Kamala Harris hate America and are responsible for every “crisis” from Afghanistan to “the border” and the overall downfall of American society. “Critical race theory” is the equivalent of the Taliban. “Liberals,” Democrats and other “America-haters” should be dealt with by ‘patriots.'”

This is actually a matter of opinion. and nothing indicates these opinions are detached from reality.

Trump had a plan to defeat the Taliban, but Biden, the Democrats and the liberal media stabbed our military in the back.”

That is actually a reasonable opinion.

[Like much of the Salon piece, it is also deliberately misstated. Trump has a peace deal with the taliban, and he never claimed that it would “defeat them.”]

“I have also learned, of course, that Democrats and their allies stole the 2020 election from Donald Trump.”

And the Russians stole the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton, right?

[I have to give Chauncy credit here. His characterization is just general enough to be fair, and also true. The Democrats and their allies, mostly the news media, quite probably did steal the election, not necessarily through fraudulent votes, but by false accusations repeated by reporters as facts, by an constitutional impeachment, and by the news media witholding crucial information from voters during the campaign.]

“Black Lives Matter and antifa are terrorists working to destroy the country. Trump’s followers who attacked the Capitol were originally said not to exist at all, but are now described as noble patriots being unjustly incarcerated as political prisoners.”

Compare their treatment with those who attacked the White House in 2020.

[As throughout his unhinged screed, Chauncy contrives the most exaggerated and extreme version of conservative positions and represents it as cant. What a weasel.]

“There are also great schools I can enroll in online that will teach me the true history and facts of America and the Constitution from a patriotic perspective.

Yes, there are.

“COVID-19 is not really a danger to the country or the world — yet somehow Donald Trump also helped create vaccines to defeat the disease.”

It is not a danger to the country. It is a danger only to a subset of the population. Public health officials are more of a danger.

[The vaccines were developed during the timetable Trump announced, and as he was President, he gets credit. The fact that intractable foes like DeVega can’t bring themselves to admit this reminds me of Democrats who won’t give Reagan credit for bringing down the Soviet Union.]

“Law enforcement and other experts have warned that the United States is likely to experience a violent right-wing insurgency that could last for years. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have warned that white supremacists are now a greater threat to the U.S. than Islamic terrorists. There will be blood. There has already been much blood spilled.”

It is not violent right-wingers doing drive-bys in the inner cities. But vaccine mandates just to visit public establishments (note that this was not done for polio nor measles nor mumps) may incite an insurgency, and not just from the right wing.

[Not only that, but cherry-picking “experts” is the watermark of a hack. According to fanatics like Chauncy, all whites are “white-supremacists.”]

2 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Flea Market, 8/28/21: An Atheist Chaplain And Other Exotica”

  1. To be honest I had a hard time trying to figure out what the Salon writer was doing. It took me a while to understand that he is running down a litany of expressed opinions/beliefs/reasoned analysis to validate his claim that all Trump supporters are neo-fascists. At first I thought his words were what he believed as fact but could not reconcile his first paragraph with all that followed. He really needed a transition to tie his thesis statement to what he sees as evidence of the growing new apartheid.

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