Ethics Observations On The Democratic Reckoning: Part II

Youngkin-Wins

Additional Observations (Part I is here):

1. Is there any more useless and dishonest profession than professional political polling? 538 came closest to predicting the actual margin between Youngkin and McAuliffe going into yesterday, but only because it included Fox News’ outlier poll showing Youngkin 8 points ahead. Even then, the margin was 100% larger than 538’s average, 2% over .9%. Fox’s shocking call emerged after several conservative pundits complained that the network’s past polling always over-counted progressives….a coincience, I’m sure. I knew that Youngkin was going to win by the desperate way McAuliffe was campaigning in the last two weeks, with flagrant lies, shrill ads and an absurd obsession with Trump. Youngkin, meanwhile, looked and sounded like a candidate who was getting good news from the field. Internal polling is intelligence and tends to be more accurate, but the stuff the newspapers and TV shows publicize are shot through with bias and hidden agendas–Will this get more of “our” voters to the polls? Will this discourage the deplorables?

2. Hanlon’s Razor alert. Answering questions from reporters at the climate change summit, President Biden actually said that he saw nothing suggesting that “how I’m doing” would have any effect on how his party’s candidates fared at the polls. Was he lying, or have his IQ points dropped into single digits? Nah, those soaring gas prices, inflation, mask mandates, and supply chain interruptions overseen by a proud daddy who left his post, and all the Americans left to fend for themselves against the Taliban didn’t influence voters! Why wouldn’t they vote in more members of the same party responsible for it all?

3. The talking point that Critical Race Theory is a myth and isn’t taught in the public schools is such an audacious and insulting lie when the evidence to the contrary is everywhere. The “1619 Project” is taught in schools all over the country, and is rooted in critical race theory ideology. On the Virginia Department of Education website, “Critical Race Theory in Education” is highlighted as a “best practice” and the site’s definitions of “racism,” “white supremacy,” and “education equity” are derived from CRT. Outgoing Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s public education officials openly endorsed the anti-white, “Racist America” theory as an “important analytic tool” to “further spur developments in education.” Yet McAuliffe claimed in the last days of the campaign that CRT was just a “racist dog whistle” used to panic those bigoted Republican voters.

This is real gaslighting—Critical Race Theory? What Critical Race Theory?—and Democrats are depending on the mainstream media’s disinformation to get away with it. In the midst of the general freakout among MSNBC talking heads last night, Nicolle Wallace blamed “Republican lies” about the rise of critical race theory in schools for the state-wide Democratic defeat in Virginia. “Critical race theory, which isn’t real, turned the suburbs 15 points to the Trump insurrection endorsed Republican,” Wallace said on the air. It isn’t real! MSNBC was also constantly referencing the “insurrection” last night another bit of gaslighting.

People don’t like being lied to and treated like fools. There are two reasons to be ethical: one is that it’s the right way to live, and the other is that being unethical eventually catches up to you, depending on the vagaries of moral luck. Relying on Trump Derangement and big lies about a stupid riot of less than 300 people having existential significance is simply not going to work over the lon-term; both have already reached the point of diminishing returns.

4. This column yesterday by regular Washington Post pundit Greg Sargent had several benefits. For one thing, it reminded me why I don’t get the print version of the Post any more. However, it was also a useful compendium of leftist mania and the distortions Democrats now rely upon to confuse the public. Sargent began by calling a Youngkin ad featuring a black family “repulsively cynical” because his campaign was “built heavily around stoking white grievance with attacks on phantom critical race theory in schools.” Critical Race Theory is a “phantom”!

The Post’s motto is “Democracy dies in darkness,” by the way.

Until last night, I wasn’t aware that Youngkin’s running mate, GOP Lt. Governor candidate Winsome Sears, was born in Jamaica, and was the first Black Republican woman to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly. She is also a Marine veteran, former vice president of the Virginia Board of Education and owner of an appliance business. She won last night, becoming the first black woman to hold the post of Lt. Governor in the former slave state. Sargent doesn’t mention her, and while ABC, CNN, PBS MSNBC and the rest were rejoicing over Boston electing an Asian-American femalen mayor, Sears received scant mention despite her remarkable story. The local media here didn’t cover her candidacy either. A black gun-owning woman who opposes school indoctrination and is a Republican doesn’t fit the narrative. SHE’S the phantom.

Sargent’s main claim is that “Youngkin and his allies have pumped that raw right-wing sewage directly into the minds of the GOP base, behind the backs of moderate swing voters, via a right-wing media network that has no rival on the Democratic side. Democrats will have to reckon with this. Whether Democrat Terry McAuliffe wins or loses — it will be very close either way — this race highlights this lopsided communications imbalance with unique clarity.”

I live in Virginia, and as I read that, I wondered, “Imbalance? What is he talking about?” It was Fox News! It has “no rival on the Democratic side”—what about those other SIX Democratic echo chambers that leave Fox as the only counter-balancing right-biased network? How is a six-to-one progressive bias advantage an “imbalance” that favors the one?

Sargent wouldn’t write something so transparently ridiculous if he realized that he and his colleagues are hopelessly, unethically biased and incapable of objectivity. He really thinks that all the other networks, and of course the Post, are just giving the news straight, and Fox News is the evil purveyor of fake news, hoodwinking those dumb conservatives. How can a journalist or pundit function who is that estranged from reality?

Fascinating.

So the Holy Trinity of progressive excuses for the loss in Virginia is now Trump (whom Youngkin barely mentioned at all during his campaign while McAuliffe couldn’t stop talking about him), the “insurrection,” which had nothing to do with Virginia and wasn’t an insurrection, and Fox News, which Sargent says was spreading lies about “phantom” Critical Race Theory “even though it isn’t taught in Virginia schools.” This last part is magnificent deceit: no, the theory itself isn’t taught as such, but Virginia’s teachers are instructed to frame their lessons—and indoctrination—according to the dictates of CRT-based books and other materials.

Sargent also brands himself a propagandist by endorsing Merrick Garland’s memo abusing his position to intimidate dissenting parents as an effort to “protect education officials from violent threats.”

Read it all.

5. The issue that propelled Youngkin into office was ideological indoctrination in the schools, and this was a long time, too long, coming. Parents have trusted the schools for decades, seldom checking what their progeny read or were being told to think. Then their pre-marinated kids went off to college, where the more submissive were molded into proto-Marxists with a contempt for their own country. But one of the unanticipated consequences of the Zoom classes inflicted on society was that apathetic parents finally got to see and hear what goes on in classrooms, what kind of biases teachers are passing along, and how untrustworthy so many of the people entrusted with their children’s intellectual development are.

Was this crucial epiphany worth the destruction of the Wuhan lockdown? Maybe.

29 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On The Democratic Reckoning: Part II

  1. Q. How is a six-to-one progressive bias advantage an “imbalance” that favors the one?

    A. When the incompetence of those six combined cannot overpower the mediocrity of the one. But then, maybe this was a rhetorical question?

    Probably the thing that left me flabbergasted in this entire race is the constant denial that CRT is being taught in the schools. People (granted, on the right) are documenting hundreds of egregious examples, and the point is that those examples are egregious.

  2. The right needs to be more clear about what they mean by CRT being taught in schools. I don’t think it will matter too much, but clarity does seem to be important.

    • That’s a pathetic talking point the Dems have been circulating and repeating for way too long. As Dean Vernon Wormer might say, “Nitpicking is no way to win an argument, son.” Any thinking human knows full well what people mean when they object to CRT being taught in schools.

      • I don’t know about this being a “Dem talking point” or obvious but seeing has I have had to personally explain it to many conservatives and democrats alike, I don’t think that is the case. A methodology and subject matter aren’t necessarily the same thing.

        So when Democrats say “It isn’t being taught in schools” they mean the subject matter isn’t taught in schools.
        When conservatives (or whoever) says “It is being taught in schools” they (normally) mean subject matter is framed with a CRT methodology.

        Another example: I teach using the Socratic method but I have never taught the Socratic method. If someone asked my students if I taught the Socratic method, I’m willing to bet they would all say no.

        I wouldn’t call this nitpicking.

        • Hah. I would. What is CRT other than Marxist analysis applied to racial relations in the United States? Saying CRT is not taught in schools is like saying Hegelian or Marxist theory is not taught in schools that are indoctrinating students in Marxism.

  3. 4. Ms. Sears’ win (great name, Winsome!) allows me to get on one of the best hobby horses in the stable. She’s being ignored because she’s not “African American,” She’s not really black because she’s from Jamaica, Mon. People of color from the Caribbean don’t count as people of color. They may descend from slaves, but they weren’t slave in the United States. So buzz off. This is why major league ballplayers from the Caribbean aren’t to be taken into account when deciding whether MLB is adequately populated with people of color. Guys who are fully of African descent from the islands and South America, aren’t African Americans, so they don’t count. Which is preposterous and displays the xenophobia in the of color industrial complex. Why aren’t our black brothers from the Caribbean significant? Because we’re running a scam here, that’s why. Just ignore the players of color all over the field and in the dugouts.

    So, Winsome Sears doesn’t count. As in baseball, in politics, she’s invisible. She’s Jamaican.

    And of course, who’s the unimpeachable Kamala Harris’s Daddy? A GUY FROM JAMAICA! HAH! You go girl. If lefties didn’t have two faces, they wouldn’t have any faces at all.

    • “She’s being ignored because she’s not ‘African American,’ ”

      Hyper partisan, Über Lefty Moron (forgive the redundancy) Joy Reid echoes Lefty’s panic:

      “Republicans are dangerous…[T]his isn’t a party that’s just another political party that disagrees with us on tax policy. That at this point, they’re dangerous. They’re dangerous to our national security.

      Historic VA Lt. Governor Elect Winsome Sears CHALLENGES Joy Reid To Invite Her On MSNBC Show

      Sears: “I wish Joy Reid would invite me on her show. Let’s See If She’s Woman Enough To Do That. I’d go in a heartbeat.” (bolds/caps/italics mine)

      Get yer popcorn ready, OB, this $#!t’s ’bout to get interesting!

  4. #4 – Can’t blame a fish for not knowing it’s wet. After all, “reality has a liberal bias” according to the non-deplorables.

    #5 – My very liberal coworker this morning said that the Virginia loss was due to “party infighting.” I’m guessing he’s one of the people who still support Biden’s presidency.

  5. If you haven’t already, take ~3:45 and watch shell-shocked MSLSD Lefties try to make sense out of the VA election.

    MSNBC Hosts In Full Meltdown Mode After GOP Victory

    MONEY QUOTE/Nicole Wallace Division: Critical Race Theory, Which Isn’t Real…”

    Runner Up /Her Colleague: Critical Race Theory Is A Lie.

    You know; It Isn’t What It Is!

    • I saw this live. I went to bed and they were still saying it was too close to call. Had the vote totals run the other way, they’d have called it before the first pitch of the World Series. I guess they didn’t want to lose viewers?

      They’re not melting down, they’re just reverting to the norm.

  6. Is there any more useless and dishonest profession than professional political polling?In defense of polling, it has become very difficult.  Conservatives often refuse to answer, making it hard to get an accurate sample.  Sample bias is a huge problem these days because of this phenomenon, and some of the more honest firms admit that.  What is useless and dishonest are the media-sponsored polls, as these are used only to generate stories that drive the desired narrative.  If a poll doesn’t fit their narrative, they simply act like it doesn’t exist.There are honest, hard-working polling firms out there doing their best, but they know it’s hard these days to get past the sample bias created by the dishonest media polls.Was he lying, or have his IQ points dropped into single digits? Embrace the healing power of “and.”The talking point that Critical Race Theory is a myth and isn’t taught in the public schools is such an audacious and insulting lie when the evidence to the contrary is everywhere.Of course it is.  But the Democrats know that they have to lie, even while embracing CRT.  It’s the linchpin to the kind of person they want the schools producing – socially indoctrinated and functionally illiterate.Fortunately, it looks like Americans aren’t buying what they’re selling.  The sad part is, it doesn’t matter – the teachers are not going to stop, and the parents are not going to be able to get rid of enough of them.  They are counting on this issue to eventually die down on its own, because they cannot afford to change their position.Sargent wouldn’t write something so transparently ridiculous if he realized cared that he and his colleagues are hopelessly, unethically biased and incapable of objectivity.There, fixed it for you.Was this crucial epiphany worth the destruction of the Wuhan lockdown? Maybe.From your lips to God’s ears.

  7. On the topic of CRT and specifically “CRT? What CRT?” I wrote on this last June, and wouldn’t update this much for a today posting;

    https://humbletalent.substack.com/p/critical-race-theory

    To make a long post short: I think that Democrats are desperately trying to get lost in semantics to avoid having the conversation about the issues. Parent sees X. Parent does not like X. Parent calls X “CRT” and starts talking about it. Democrat says “You fool! X is not CRT!”. Parents say, “I don’t really care what you call it… Let’s deal with X.”

    But the Democrats don’t want to deal with X, X is uncomfortable for them to talk about, they know it’s unpopular, but they want to continue doing it. So they play Shitty Socrates, get lost in Semantics, and wear people’s capacity to care down to nubbins! And for any other topic, this might have worked, but they poked the bear. They fucked with people’s kids in only a slightly less literal sense than John Weaver did, and parents have an apparently unlimited capacity to care when it comes to their kids.

    • Always nice to have more articulate, energetic people successfully make the points I try to make notwithstanding my short attention span.

    • From your link:

      Ibram Kendi’s “How To Be An Anti-Racist” and Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility” are great examples. These aren’t serious, critically thinking people, they’re dwarves standing in the shadows of giants, trying to make bank.

      Exactly the problem in a nutshell. The problem isn’t the big idea, it’s all the third-rate thinkers riding the coattails of the big idea, trying to achieve immortal fame (or at least a steady paycheck) with a minimum of talent and intellectual effort.

      • I think the Dems are stuck with defending CRT or indoctrination or whatever one cares to call it. I think it’s the third rail in Dem politics because of … THE TEACHERS UNIONS. I don’t think it’s about race and getting the black vote. I think it’s a fear of crossing the teachers unions. They must hold sway over the party. I think the Dems view not backing CRT or whatever you want to call it as political/financial suicide. It’s what the teachers unions want (like remote ‘learning’ and masks and vaccines for kindergarteners), so that’s how the Dems will go, even if it involves driving the bus right off a cliff.

    • parents have an apparently unlimited capacity to care when it comes to their kids.

      Bingo!

      They ought to know that, just about every human being knows that.

      Or, perhaps, teachers do realize that, evidenced by the stories of them telling kids not to let their parents know what is going on in class. They surely wouldn’t do that if they thought the parents would agree with it, or wouldn’t care about what happens to their kids.

      Equally, perhaps educators have been lulled by a lot of inaction by parents into thinking they don’t care.

      But, in America, you have huge numbers of folks involved with their local PTA’s, helping their kids out with things like cookie sales, bake sales, costumes, school projects, and on and on.

      I think what American parents have (until recently) believed was that school boards also had the best interests of the kids as top of mind. Fool me once…..

    • That’s a terrific post, HT, and I will both quote from it today and again plug your substack newsletter. By the way, they are gaslighting, and Rufo is right: CRT is a fair term for a broader range of indoctrination than technical critical race theory, and the Left has gone way beyond technical critical race theory in search of political expediency.

  8. Jack’s comment: “There are two reasons to be ethical: one is that it’s the right way to live, and the other is that being unethical eventually catches up to you, depending on the vagaries of moral luck,” is going into my “More Important Quotes to Remember and Live By (and quote when a conversation calls for it)” collection.

  9. I would like to offer, if I may, a qualified defense of Critical Race Theory.

    Right off the bat, let me say that CRT has a serious motte-and-bailey problem. The motte of CRT is simply the academic study of things like where the concept of “race” comes from, and how it evolves over time. It’s also greatly concerned with how facially race-neutral policies can actually be motivated by racial animus, and how they can serve to perpetuate race-based power structures. For instance, we can look at how laws against drugs were originally targeted against black jazz musicians (marijuana) or Chinese immigrants (opium). We can point to Watson v Stone, where a judge opined a gun control law “was never intended to be applied to the white population and in practice has never been so applied.” It also involves challenging and exposing white perspectives that are being passed off as racially neutral, objective perspectives. Such enterprises embody the very soul of valuable, legitimate intellectual pursuits: to challenge our assumptions, to dig into why things are the way they are, to expand our minds to new and different points of view. I would argue this sort of approach is important to achieving real civic literacy in the United States.

    That’s the motte. Unfortunately, CRT typically comes bundled with quite an extensive bailey. When we speak of people are being defined, politically and morally, by their race, that is racial essentialism, which is a form of reductionism, which is a lazy kind of oversimplification that genuine intellectual inquiry ought to eschew. When it is assumed that every racial difference must be due to racism, that is an unsupported claim, and furthermore it is a dogma, another perennial enemy of free inquiry and intellectual growth.

    • Yes, this is why I wish conservatives would simply refer to wanting to stop the promotion of racism in schools — simple and to the point.

      • There’s a problem with that though, and it’s far worse than the disjoint between the conservative and liberal CRT definition… It’s that the liberal design of “stopping promotion of racism in schools” is the application of CRT.

        Racism by their definition isn’t simply prejudice based on racial expression, rather it’s prejudice+power. Racism only exists if it’s exercised by people in power, i.e. “whites”.

    • I think the problem with referring to this in a motte and bailey context is that for most of the people we’re talking about, there is no motte.

      The bailey is the bold, controversial claim (Defund the police!) Motte is a relatively obvious, uncontroversial statement (Actually, I meant scale back the police and change their mandate) that people retreat to when they’re called on the controversial bombacity of their bailey claim.

      When pressured on CRT… The left doesn’t have a motte, with very few exceptions, they’d be completely unable to enunciate something even as fractionally as reasoned as what you wrote. Instead, they pretend the arguments don’t exist. Which leaves us with Schroedinger’s bailey, where the bombastic argument’s existence depends on whether the speaker feels pushback from their audience.

  10. This was a reaction to the Great Awokening.

    http://www.vox.com/2019/3/22/18259865/great-awokening-white-liberals-race-polling-trump-2020

    The timing of this change suggests that the Ferguson protests were a key flashpoint in changing thinking about the discrimination issue. But Brian Schaffner, a Tufts University political scientist, says the beginnings of the shift were visible even during Barack Obama’s first term.

    “I don’t think it’s just a reaction to events,” Schaffner says. Rather, “even prior to Ferguson, people take cues from elites,” and Democratic elites were beginning to signal to the rank and file that they should take systemic racism concerns more seriously.

    One of my longtime Usenet allies made this point.

    The difference between the “racism” people complain about today and what I saw and experienced as a kid is the difference between the “misogyny” of Alec Baldwin yelling at his daughter and Richard Speck.

    – Christopher Charles Morton, dba Deanimator

  11. So here is a portion of the election analysis by Carl Cannon of Real Clear Politics (emphasis added):

    one plausible conclusion from Tuesday’s vote is that a majority of voters want Biden to be the president he promised to be. He was the moderate who defeated a slew of presidential contenders to his left — the one who vowed to work for all Americans, not just those who supported him. Yet he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi somehow find themselves under the thumb of the left wing of their own party. This nation’s electorate rejected the excesses of Trumpism. Tuesday was another corrective, a reminder to the Democratic Party that although few moderates remain in Washington, tens of millions of them live outside the Beltway. They are paying attention and they vote.

    I don’t think that that is all of it, but the thought that there’s a heck of a lot of moderates out in the real country does ring true to me. I don’t believe that most of this commentariat are radicals — but compared to the liberals running the government today, likely almost all of us are.

    • “Somehow”? A President doesn’t “somehow” end up doing what he doesn’t want to do. Either he is weak, and expecting him to be strong is futile, or he is being controlled, in which case his campaign promises are meaningless. He ran under the banner of a party that had already embraced multiple far Left, crazy ideas, and that undermined democracy for four years by trying to remove President Trump. Why would any one believe Biden’s promises? Obama also promised to work for all Americans, not just those who supported him.So did Trump (and mostly, he did, and Biden pretended he didn’t). There was never any reason to believe that Biden, moderate or not, could do the job.
      So the opinion boils down to “most Americans are gullible, naive, and almost, but not quite, as stupid as Democrats think they are.”

      • Yes, I noticed that word as well — one reason I quoted as much of that paragraph as I did.

        Biden was either a)Lying to us the whole campaign, b)Not aware of what was going on last year (and, of course, as a corollary, this year either), c)So wanted to be president at whatever the cost that he made a bargain with the Sanders’ wing — support me and I’ll push your agenda through even though it goes against all my beliefs, d) Since the election has imitated Woodrow Wilson and is essentially so cognitively impaired that other folks are deciding and implementing the policies, or e)Has truly renounced everything he believed in prior to 2020, knows what’s going on and how much it is damaging the country and doesn’t care.

        Or some combination of the above. Whatever you believe, I think it is safe to say that this is not the Joe Biden that we watched the first 75 years of his life.

        ===========================

        Hmmm…..Biden says he’s a Catholic. The Catholic church does still believe in demonic possession. Maybe we need an exorcist…..

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