“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”
—-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during a fundraiser—just as Mitt Romney’s infamous “47%” comment in 2012 was made at a fundraiser!—the LGBT for Hillary Gala in New York City on Sept. 9, 2016.
One of the consistent features of both Clintons is that they engage in so much problematic conduct that often one incident worthy of serious criticism will be knocked out of the headlines by another. Hillary’s 9/11 “over-heating, well, dehydration, well, ok, since it’s on video, she has pneumonia” fiasco demonstrating that suspicions that she and her campaign aren’t being truthful about the state of her health are not “conspiracy theories” effectively muted discussion about her “basket of deplorables” classic, complete with an imaginary word, “generalistic,” that if it had been uttered by George W. Bush would have been mocked far and wide.
I categorize this as an ethics quote rather than an unethical quote, because it is both ethical and unethical simultaneously. (The Clinton’s seldom say things that aren’t adaptable to multiple interpretations; this allows them to leap from one to the other, like they were ice floes, when one meaning is justly condemned or found to be false.)
On the ethical side, it is completely fair and accurate to diagnose Trump supporters as deplorable, defined as “lamentable, or deserving censure or contempt.” This doesn’t apply to those potential voters who have reluctantly decided that in the terrible binary choice Americans have had shoved down their civic gullets by the two incompetent political parties, Donald Trump is preferable to Hillary Clinton. That is not the responsible choice—it can’t ever be responsible to give such power to an unstable and ignorant—but it is an excusable mistake, given the horrible dilemma. Supporting Trump, however, as in actively wanting him to become President, is as good a definition of “deplorable” as I can imagine. In this respect, Hillary was too generous. 100%, not merely 50%, of Trump’s supporters are deplorable. They lack the values, civic responsibility, understanding of their own nation and its history, or sufficient intelligence to be competent voters.
You know: deplorable. Continue reading
Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Race, Religion and Philosophy, Rights, This Will Help Elect Donald Trump, U.S. Society
Lyle Jeffs, the polygamist religious leader indicted in a huge food stamp fraud, violated his house arrest this summer by coating his ankle monitor in olive oil, sliding it off, and vanishing. As his lawyer, Jeffs’s public defender attorney cannot help authorities find her missing client (nor can she assist Jeffs in eluding the police). Thus Kathryn Nester filed court documents last week asking for a continuance, writing,
“As this Court is well aware, Mr. Jeffs is currently not available to inform his counsel whether or not he agrees to the Continuance. Whether his absence is based on absconding, as oft alleged by the Government in their filings, or whether he was taken and secreted against his will, or whether he experienced the miracle of rapture is unknown to counsel.”
Washington Post reporter Cleve R. Wootson Jr. describes this development as follows:
“Jeffs’s attorney has put forth a divine reason for his disappearance — the miracle of rapture..”
If Nester really did claim that the Rapture was the reason Jeffs vanished, she would be engaging in sanctionable dishonesty and a misrepresentation to the court. The one who is lying, however, is Wootson and, as his editors let him do it, the Post. All Nester said was that she did not know why Jeffs was missing, and mentioned three of many alternative fates that she had no knowledge of whatsoever. Her job is to try to defend him from additional criminal charges, and at this point, that means arguing that nobody can say with certainly that he is a fugitive from justice. That is the opposite of saying “one of these things happened.” It is saying “I don’t know what is behind his disappearance, and neither does the FBI. Here are three of many explanation that I cannot, based on my knowledge, rule out.” Continue reading
I’ve received several inquiries requesting an Ethics Alarms analysis of the current controversy roiling France, namely the so-called Burkini Ban. Muslim women had been wading into the French Riviera surf wearing “burkinis,” body-covering swimsuits designed to be compliant with the Islamic faith , and one resort town after another, fifteen in all including Cannes and Nice, declared them illegal. The women entering the water wearing such attire have been ticketed for not “wearing an outfit respecting good morals and secularism.”
Well, I try not to spend much time here writing about the obvious. The ban is unethical. In the U.S., such laws would be over-turned before the arrested women’s bathing suits were dry, since the meaures violate both the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. It should be obvious that the ban is unfair, as it is sexist, directed against one religion, and makes no sense whatsoever.
Sometimes I wonder if the French quite get this ethics thing. This is an example.
Both conservatives and many liberals in France support the ban. The conservatives, in addition to wanting to punish Muslims for recent Islamic terrorist attacks, claim to be upholding France’s core principle of “secularity,” enshrined in the nation’s constitution. Liberals argue that the Islamic strictures against women exposing any part of their bodies in public are misogynist, patriarchal, and “regressive,” so the bans defend the rights of women…by preventing women from wearing what they choose to, observing their own religion, and taking a swim.
You see what I mean about not quite grasping the whole “ethics” thing? The equivalent argument in the U.S. would be if feminists argued that sexy bathing suits be banned because they objectified women, even when the women wearing them felt like being objectified. The Burkini Ban is, to be blunt, idiotic. Continue reading
At the Rio de Janeiro Olympics today, Egyptian Olympic judo fighter Islam El Shehaby refused to shake the hand of his Israeli opponent Or Sasson.
After Sasson defeated El Shehaby he put out his hand, which is customary in judo. Competitors are expected to either shake hands or bow at the beginning and end of matches. El Shehaby, however, insulted his opponent by rejecting the gesture and backing away, shaking his head. The referee called him to returnto the mat to bow, and he gave a perfunctory nod. Then he walked off.
Ah, that glorious Olympic spirit! Continue reading
Long-time commenter (and blogger) Glenn Logan has authored not one but three COTD-worthy posts of late. I have chosen his commentary on the gross negligence/extremely careless distinction for the honor, but any of them would have been worthy choices. You can find the others in the threads here and here.
Before I get to Glenn, I want to point out that a recent and ridiculous news story illustrated the difficulty of the gross negligence/extreme carelessness distinction perfectly:
A North Florida woman is saying her prayers after running her car into a home — after saying her prayers.
The 28-year-old woman was driving in the tiny town of Mary Esther, located west of Fort Walton Beach in the Florida Panhandle. Deputies from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office say the driver told them she was praying and had her eyes closed before the incident took place.
According to NWFDailyNews.com, authorities say she ran a stop sign, going through an intersection and into the yard of a home. The driver tried to back out, but her car got stuck in sand and dirt around the home. No one was hurt inside the home and the driver was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation. She was cited for reckless driving with property damage.
Gross negligence would be praying, driving, and closing her eyes knowing well that it endangered others, and doing it anyway. Extremely careless would be praying, driving, and closing her eyes assuming that no harm would come of it, perhaps because God would be driving the car. “Reckless,” however, may cover both.
Here is Glenn’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Prelude: Intent, Gross Negligence, And ‘Extremely Careless’”: Continue reading