MC: Ready, contestants? For your first challenge, consider this latest controversial Truth Social post by former President (and soon to announce candidate for President in 2024) Donald Trump!
Our ethicist from Alexandia, Virginia is first to buzz in! Yes, Jack, what’s your answer?
JACK: Wink, I say it’s all three. I’s unethical, because Trump is attacking rising conservatives in his own party for his own gain, or at least he perceives it that way. It’s disloyal, it’s irresponsible, and it can’t possibly benefit anyone but him. That kind of gratuitous attack is a Golden Rule violation, and it’s a Categorical Imperative breach as well: Trump is just using Virginia Governor Youngkin as a convenient prop to remind everyone how valuable (Trump thinks) he is as he senses hostility from Republicans after his attacks on Ron DeSantis.
The message is also obnoxious, though in a way Trump’s fans are used to: he’s boasting like a 10-year-old, taking credit for someone else’s achievements, and asserting, as usual, that everything is about him. The bit about Youngkin’s name sounding Chinese is off the charts; it’s arguably beneath a 10-year-old. I saw a pathetic defense of Trump’s message that claimed there was nothing in what Trump wrote that constituted an attack. Bias makes you stupid (not necessarily you, Wink, but this is something ethicists say, at least this ethicist): everyone knows what Trump thinks of China. If he had written “Sound Jewish, doesn’t it?” would there be any doubt about his intent?Mostly, the message is stupid. At the exact moment that many of his allies in the GOP and the Republican media are critical of his influence on the illusory “red wave” and angry about his threat against DeSantis, Trump, as is his pattern, doubles down and attacks another GOP rising star that might be competition for him in 2024. This isn’t shooting oneself in the foot, it’s shooting oneself between the eyes. Notably Scott Adams, the “Dilbert” cartoonist who, despite his own left-leaning proclivities (he celebrates Black Lives Matter and has his pronouns on his Twitter profile), has defended Trump consistently since 2015, reacted to the latest outburst by tweeting, “I’m out.”
WINK: Well, Jack, you blathered on for so long that there’s no time for any of our other contestants to weigh in! Thanks a lot, you verbose jerk! We’ll see you all back here next week, same time, same channel, when once again it will be time to play,
“Unethical, Obnoxious, Or Just Plain Stupid!”