A Perfect Explication Of The “2016 Post-Election Ethics Train Wreck” By Someone Other Than Me

Nicely timed to compliment yesterday’s post officially christening the Stormy Daniels-Donald Trump Prosecution Ethics Train Wreck as yet another extension of the horrifically destructive—and still rolling—-2016 Post-Election Ethics Train Wreck is a post on a substack I had never heard of called “The Ivy Exile,” ironically a title I could use myself. It includes an excellent explanation of that most disastrous of all recent ethics train wrecks, though I have been attempting to explain it for seven long years.

Ethics Alarms’ intense concentration on the phenomenon, which I believe is the most dangerous and significant cultural ethics breakdown in American political history, exceeding even the Red Scare and the McCarthy Era, has been costly. So many people hate Donald Trump so much, or are so committed to the progressive excesses he has significantly curtailed, that they rejected this site because it has insisted, and will insist, that core ethical and democratic values must apply to all regardless of their character or perceived misconduct. The efforts by what I have branded the Axis of Unethical Conduct, the “resistance,” Democratic Party and mainstream media to scar and defile American tradition and process in order to undermine, punish and remove a duly elected President, and its disastrous influence on the public that has promoted bright-line legal and ethical breaches that would once have been unthinkable, have so polluted civic discourse and political culture that it may never recover.

Yet many previously rational and intelligent people, once followers of this blog as well as my social media contacts, reflexively chose to regard my insistence that ethics and democratic mandates must apply to Mr. Trump (as the prime offender the New York Times would say) exactly as they must to any other President, political figure, American or human being as evidence that I had become a MAGA fanatic, a “Trumpist” and/or a fascist.

To this liable and slander I respond, “Wrong, Bias-Breath!” It means that I am an ethicist, and one who has kept his head while all around me—lawyers, historians, pundits, academics, journalists, ex-Facebook friends, Ethics Alarms exiles, and, sadly, other ethicists—are losing theirs and blaming it on me. Those who have boycotted this site because bias has made them stupid; they cannot handle the ethics truth that the treatment of Trump has been indefensible and existentially perilous for our republic and society. They are, simply, not qualified to participate here.

They don’t really understand ethics, and, when it matters, do not believe in ethical principles. Those whose version of ethics is that people they don’t like or disagree with deserve lesser standards of treatment than those they favor are, to be brutally blunt, ethics dunces, indeed ethics frauds. Bias has made them unethical as well as stupid. Their view of life, politics and ethics, revealed by the messy intrusion of Donald Trump, is at the heart of totalitarianism.

The more I try to make this crucial point, however, the fewer people appear to be listening. Real ethics, after all, is hard. When your peer group or a majority of those you must work and live with embrace double standards and flawed values, endorse flexible, situational ethics, and give praise and approval for the signaling of lazy, convenient, popular but unethical attitudes, it takes determination and courage to stay an ethical course.

And thus it was refreshing to read a clear and erudite description of the consequences of the phenomenon and its offspring that Ethics Alarms has devoted so much attention to. Here is the relevant section of the Ivy Exiles’s post, “Vulgar Displays of Power.” The writer doesn’t mention ethics, and that isn’t his focus. What he describes, however, is profoundly unethical, and the culmination, so far, of the ethics rot created by 2016 Post-Election Ethics Train Wreck

During the Obama years professional progressives could afford a certain smug magnanimity, confident that demographic change had bequeathed permanent lock on power. It was smarter to nudge the great unwashed toward what was decided than boil the frog too quickly.

So the populist reaction of 2016 struck many as profound betrayal: perpetrators had to be punished, examples made, and push brought to shove. What began as institutional resistance amid the Trump interregnum has become actively vengeful governance under the Biden regime—a policy agenda nonsensical as to most of its official objectives but coldly strategic as retribution against structural opposition, not just punishing saboteurs but putting subjects in their place.

Whether wrecking American energy to wreak far worse environmental damage elsewhere, printing enough funny money to substantially devalue the dollar, insisting on demonstrably harmful Covid mandates, or ushering in millions and millions of unvetted migrants, it amounts to a sort of shock treatment to corral and humiliate an unruly electorate that has been found wanting.

Yet the crass opportunism only guarantees greater backlash and further delegitimizes the actual progressive project, or whatever’s left of it. Generations of hard work and good faith have been squandered in just a few short years, trading credibility and potential for spiteful self-indulgence….


Pointer: Instapundit

5 thoughts on “A Perfect Explication Of The “2016 Post-Election Ethics Train Wreck” By Someone Other Than Me

  1. And meanwhile, China and Russia are happily nuzzling up to each other to create a new, truly fascist hegemon. Good work, lefties.

    • The west is doing the same thing. They ran around screaming fascist at Trump to confuse people so no one would accuse them of fascism when they implemented it.

  2. ““It is well to remember that any man who denies justice to someone he hates prepares the way for a denial of justice to someone he loves.” ~ Wendell Willkie, “Fair Trial”

  3. By the way, this is why the racism non-existent problem has been resurrection by the culture crafters on the Left. It’s an easy target. There’s just enough of a tiny minority of people who govern their lives with racist thoughts to point at a political opposition and expect them to focus on cleaning up that part of their political house.

    Keeping the American Right constantly on it’s heels attacking the windmill of racism, keeping American moderates desperately trying avoid association with “the racists” on the Right, the Left is able to 100% cram through it’s society-devastating revolution that will leave America a sad, confused, anchorless shell of it’s former self, ripe for the nascent totalitarians of the Left.

    You really think drag queen story hour is a problem????? There are still racists voting in Republicans!!!!

    You really think mutilating children to “change” their sex is really a problem???? These guys on the right can’t even support George Floyd because he’s black!!!!

    You really think it’s that big of a problem that a few school districts want to teach kids how to give blow jobs????? The conservatives still have a couple of people who don’t like Obama because he was black!!!!!

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