Few read Ethics Alarms on weekends (I guess I should write, “even fewer”), and I may start Mondays with more comment highlights from the Dead Zone past. This weekend was unusually lively. This Comment of the Day by Null Pointer took off from item number #2 of yesterday’s warm-up, regarding the GOP’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar speaking at white nationalist event, in which I quoted The National Review’s David Harsanyi:
“ On social media, conservatives grouse that there’s a double standard. Democrats, they say, never condemn their extremists, they celebrate them. That’s a double standard worth living with. After all, any denunciation of Omar, Tlaib, or any other Squad member lacks credibility if House Republicans can’t publicly take the position that hanging out with (actual) white supremacists is deplorable.”
Here is Null Pointer’s Comment of the Day on “Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/27/2022…”:
White supremacy is bad. All forms of racial supremacy are bad. All forms of supremacy are bad.
Republicans need to jump on the “all forms of supremacy are bad” principle, hard. Otherwise you will see white supremacy taking off again.
No, you cannot have a double standard. If you have a double standard, you do not have a fair principle that addresses the problem equally across the entire spectrum of the problem. If you don’t have a fair principle, no one is going to listen to you. People will not agree to operate by unfair principles.
Extremism is bad, in all its forms. Some extremists are not good while others are bad. If you tell some extremists they are good, then you are telling all the extremists extremism is good. That is simply the practical, real world fallout of promoting extremism.
The Republicans cannot stop the Democrats from promoting some types of extremism, but they can strongly condemn all types of extremism themselves. The republicans have not strongly condemned all types of extremism. The republicans have fallen into the trap of debating the relative merits of different types of extremism, and now the consequences are showing their ugly faces.
Double standards in principle lead to no standards in real life.
Black lives are not more important than white lives. Trans lives are not more important than non-transgender lives. All lives are sacred. All lives matter. If the republicans don’t have the balls to say it, then the criteria for universal radicalization have been met. That is just how the cookie crumbles in the real world.
If the Republicans want to root out the white supremacy disease, they need to get out there and start espousing a real principle. They need to start actually caring and stop pretending to care. They need to start doing something about the problems of poor rural white people. Meth labs are not employment. Fentanyl habits are not life goals. If the Democrats don’t care about poor white people, and the Republicans don’t care about the problems of poor white people, but the white supremacists do care about the problems of poor white people, who gets the vote? The white supremacists!! Ding ding ding!
Oh where, oh where could our white supremacy problem be coming from? Our political leaders, that is where the problem is coming from.