Today is the anniversary of one of the United States’ more unethical international adventures, and one of its more successful ones.
Mexico had threatened to declare war after the U.S. took Texas into the union, but that wasn’t going to happen, and the U.S., under expansionist President James K. Polk, was hungry for more Mexican territories. In November of 1845, Polk sent the diplomat John Slidell to Mexico to bargain for boundary adjustments in return for the U.S. government’s settlement of the claims of U.S. citizens against Mexico. He also offered to buy California and New Mexico.
When the offers were rejected, Polk ordered the U.S. army to advance to the mouth of the Rio Grande, the river that Texas, and now the U.S., claimed as its southern boundary. Mexico had maintained that the boundary was the Nueces River to the northeast of the Rio Grande, so in the absence of a treaty or agreement, Polk was challenging Mexico to start a war. It worked: when Mexico sent troops across the Rio Grande to defend against what it regarded as a U.S. invasion, Polk could declare the Mexican advance to be an invasion of U.S. soil, and on May 13, 1846, Congress declared war on Mexico. The war created widespread resistance and dissent that foreshadowed citizen protests over the Vietnam war, but in the end, the United States got the land it had offered to buy without paying for it, and more.
1. And speaking of the Mexican border, the spin, propaganda and distortions being presented by the news media is staggering, or would be if we weren’t so accustomed to our so-called journalists campaigning for open borders. On local news in Norther Virginia this morning, we were told that “migrants” (they are illegal immigrants) were involved in a “humanitarian crisis” (it’s a law enforcement crisis) and that all the people trying to break our laws were doing was “escaping poverty” and seeking a “better life” for their children. How could any one with a heart oppose such a thing? Then can the interviews with “good immigrants” explaining their “dreams.” No mention of criminals, disease or fentanyl entered the conversation, of course.
2. And still speaking of the Mexican border...Progressives are having a meltdown over Trump saying during his town meeting on CNN that he would re-institute the practice of separating children from their illegally entering parents, explaining, “Well, when you have that policy, people don’t come. If a family hears they’re going to be separated, they love their family, they don’t come.” The concept, which Democrats and the news media increasingly seem to regard as taboo, is “deterrence.” Trump is right. Adults are using children as shields and props, appealing to the “Think of the children!” mush-heads who take the bait every time. Taking one’s children on the dangerous trek to the border is strong evidence of child abuse. I’d be tempted to support a law that mandated all children so used to be permanently removed from their parents’ care and processed for adoption, foster care, and U.S. citizenship.
3. Back to Texas: University of Texas at Arlington was playing the unethical game of blocking conservative speakers on their campuses—after all, their words do harm and make students feel “unsafe”!—by requiring groups sponsoring such dissenters to pay exorbitant security fees while the campus Marxists promised to make security necessary through threatening and disruptive protests. University of Texas at demanded a $28,600 security fee charge to the conservative student group Turning Point USA for two events hosted by TPUSA during the school year. On April 25, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Center for Academic Freedom confronted the school, sending a letter pointing out that “charging over $28,000 for two small events is prohibitively expensive speech, not free speech” and threatening legal action if the fees were not rescinded. Having no legal leg to stand on, the university backed down. So this was a blatant attempt to intimidate and punish a conservative student group for its failure to embrace the “right” politics and priorities. Nice.
4. And speaking of that town hall: Apparently CNN’s staff as well as its audience were so used to the network being a full-time Democratic Party and progressive agenda promotional vehicle that they were horrified at the network presenting an opportunity for viewers to see the leading GOP Presidential hopeful answer questions in an unscripted and spontaneous format. Courting ethics hero status, except that his position is the only rational one in a democracy, CNN’s star Anderson Cooper defended what shouldn’t require a defense, saying, “You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again, but do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person go away?” No, they think using the news media to censor, distort and misrepresent Republicans and conservatives is an acceptable, though totalitarian, strategy. Since he is not an ethics hero, Anderson tempered his remark by making an obligatory reference Trump’s “ridiculous lies” without specifying them.
5. Speaker McCarthy is apparently evil for believing in the justice system. “Wednesday’s indictment of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) gave House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) yet another chance to call for the controversial congressman to resign,” claimed the Huffington Post, which I no longer use to check the news because of framing like that. McCarthy proved he was contemptible by saying instead, “I think in America, you’re innocent till proven guilty.”
The 21st Century Left takes the position that a charge is the same as a conviction. I believe the Republicans in the House should have pressured Santos to resign based on his obscene misrepresentations to get elected, and that he should be treated as the proverbial skunk at the picnic until he is gone. However, public statements from elected officials that an individual is guilty as charged before they are tried prejudices the process—but then, progressives want it to be prejudiced if Republicans, former Presidents, police officers and ex-marines are on trial.
One thought on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/13/22: Everything Is Seemingly Spinning Out Of Control!”
#2: Trump’s right, but unfortunately that would only end one of the moral hazards that have been created (though it could be a significant one). Providing benefits for bad behavior only encourages more bad behavior.