Nearing The Abyss: The Democrats, “The Resistance” And The Media Cheer On Campaign Sabotage

Brian looks pleased, doesn’t he?

What Ethics Alarms terms the Axis of Unethical Conduct or AUC—the alliance of the Democratic Party, “the resistance” and the mainstream news media—reached a new low in hostility to democracy and  new high in hypocrisy yesterday after it was confirmed that the turnout for President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa had been undermined by Nixon-style “dirty tricks.”

Yesterday morning, the front page of the Times was gloating over the surprisingly small audience for the President. Written by a team including staff Trump assassin Maggie Haberman,  the story, which yesterday had a headline stating that the rally “sputtered” and on line says it “fizzled,” said in part, “The weakness of Mr. Trump’s drawing power and political skills, in a state that voted for him overwhelmingly and in a format that he favors, raised new questions about his electoral prospects for a second term at a time when his poll numbers were already falling.” It quickly became clear that there were sinister factors at work, but the reporters allowed confirmation bias to suppress what should have been an automatic instinct: “Gee, what could have caused this?” Instead, they went with an analysis based on their desires and hostility to the President, and presented readers with fake news.

Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias.

It soon became clear that Tik-Tok and K-Pop users, mostly teenagers, reserved hundreds of tickets for the rally, without any intention of showing up. Brian Stelter, CNN’s risible “media watchdog,” happily reported Sunday morning,

“And it seems that one of the other reasons why there were so many empty seats is a no-show protest. A no-show protest. This all started with a video on TikTok created by Mary Jo Laupp, who is effectively being called a ‘TikTok grandma.’ So, she made a video more than a week ago urging viewers to go to Trump’s site, sign up to attend the rally, but pointedly not show up at the rally. And look, it did seem to work to some degree. We don’t know exactly how well but Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale was out there talking about how many people were signing up…..

In a tweet, Parscale had announced that there had been 800,000 requests for tickets.

Stelter then rewarded the organizer of this operation by bringing her on his show to interview. Her rationalization for the dirty trick was that black activists were angry because the President had scheduled his rally on the same week as “Juneteenth,” that revered annual holiday that virtually no one, including CNN, had ever talked about before the George Floyd Freakout. Continue reading

So Apparently This Is The Media’s Rule: What Joe Says, Goes…Even His Big Lies.

A month ago, Professor Turley, who has been gradually losing patience with the totalitarian tactics of progressives and the media, noted that the term “conspiracy theory” was almost exclusively reserved in the media for Trump and his supporters. Yet Joe Biden had repeatedly said that he was certain Trump plans to delay the election this fall. Although this assertion, Turley wrote, “is utterly without factual or constitutional support,” Biden’s fear-mongering, linked to Big Lie #3: “Trump Is A Fascist/Hitler/Dictator/Monster,” was accorded the status of “a prediction” in a Politico article. “It has been peddled by various Democratic figures and commentators for months and is all the rage on the internet, even though it should be sold as a set that includes a tin foil hat and an electromagnetic ghost detector,” wrote the professor.

“Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow, and come up with some rationale why it cannot be held,” said Biden. To fair, rational, objective people who have not been disabled by the Trump Hate Virus, this is despicable, and no more acceptable from a political leader than the worst of the President’s tweets, like the one suggesting that Joe Scarborough might have murdered an intern. Compare the news media treatment of Trump’s conspiracy theories and Biden’s.

Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/9/2020: “If” And Silver Linings

Good Morning!

My father’s favorite poem, which I read at his funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery in 2010—-was it really that long ago?—is especially relevant and valuable now. Some of the woke-addled have “canceled” Rudyard Kipling because of his offenses against presentism (and because he ended “If” with female-excluding nouns). This is like cutting off your nose to spite your face, or perhaps lobotomizing yourself to spite your character. However you choose to describe it, not being able to channel “If” when all about you are losing their heads—like now—is a severe and unnecessary handicap.

1. “Forget it, Jake. It’s The Times.” Nobody at the Times protested, as far as we know, when the paper, over the weekend, ran a story titled, “Vote for Trump? These Republican Leaders Aren’t on the Bandwagon” that claimed, “Former President George W. Bush won’t support the re-election of Mr. Trump.”  The article attributed this revelation about George W. Bush’s intentions (and Jeb’s) to unnamed sources “familiar with their thinking.” This is the variety of fake news Ethics Alarms categorizes as Psychic News, based on mind-reading and nothing else. Speaking on behalf of Bush 43, a spokesman  told the Texas Tribune, “This is completely made up. He is retired from presidential politics and has not indicated how he will vote.” Ford reiterated this statement to the Times, indicating that the former president would stay out of the election and speak only on policy issues. Has The Times retracted or corrected its claim? Of course not.

I would personally be shocked if George or Jeb voted for Trump, given how much the Bush family hates him for his personal insults against them, but that doesn’t mean a newspaper can declare as fact that they won’t. Their other big scoops were that Colin Powell wouldn’t vote for Trump, against based on those who have read his mind, though we know he voted for Clinton in 2016 (he said so) and that Mitt Romney, who voted to convict Trump in the impeachment trial just to stick a metaphorical thumb in the President’s eye, would also abstain. Oh…I almost forgot Cindy McCain, who wouldn’t even invite the President to her husband’s funeral. The Times says she’s not supporting him either. Stop the presses!

The silver lining here is that the evidence that the mainstream news media is biased and untrustworthy is becoming so obvious that those who deny it increasingly brand themselves as fools or liars. Continue reading

Ethics Alarms 2020 Election Update: Nearing A Tipping Point, Part 1

Less than a month ago, I wrote this post, explaining why, despite the near complete ethical bankruptcy of and rejection of democratic values by the Democratic Party and its allies, I would nonetheless refuse to vote for President Donald J. Trump in November. I wrote,

Absent my professional and public assessments as a professional ethicist, I would have no difficulty at all in officially concluding that Donald Trump is the preferable, indeed essential, choice to lead the country in the next four years when the alternative is a party that has revealed the corruption and antagonism toward American ideals as has the Democratic Party. But President Trump, as I pointed out repeatedly in 2015 and 2016, is the antithesis of the kind of leader my knowledge and expertise  indicates should ever be placed in a leadership position of any kind, or in a position of power and trust.

For me to vote for such an individual would render my credibility in my profession, and what is more important, my personal and professional integrity, void.

An ethicist cannot, in my view, support or vote for Donald Trump as President, nor can an ethicist, at least this ethicist, have any position but the rejection of the current iteration of the Democratic party as antithetical to American values.

I have not reached the point of reversing myself on this crucial decision for me personally, professionally, and as an American. Not yet. I feel, however, that the time may be approaching where my case of ethics zugswang cannot be honestly addressed by refusing to take a side. This week, in particular, has forced me to consider that a tipping point may be at hand.

As I have written before, whatever cosmic script-writer came up with the harebrained idea that someone as personally repellent and ethically inert as Donald Trump should be thrust into the position of being this great nation’s crucial last defense against the rising totalitarianism and fascism of the left is a sadist with a sick sense of humor. It is increasingly difficult to deny, however, that this is the ethical conflict that America finds itself in. At the point, fast approaching, when I have to confront the conclusion that defeating the Democrat/”resistance”/ mainstream media collective is the only way to ensure that the United States and its values remain viable and intact, refraining from making a noxious choice will no longer be an option.

Three stories today accelerated the likelihood of my having to face that tipping point:

I. Writing at the Washington Post, staff cultural reporter Alyssa Rosenberg argued that the networks should cancel all the cop shows on television. You can read the thing here; if I have to explain what is frightening about her argument, then you are already too far gone to be cured. This, it is increasingly clear to me, is the agreed-upon modus operandi  of the American Left. Since they cannot advance their agenda by logic, arguments, civic debate and persuasion, they will accomplish it by intimidation, mind control, indoctrination, and censorship. We must like what they like, hate whom the hate, and believe what they believe, and every aspect of the culture, including entertainment, must advance that objective.

This is, of course, how Orwellian cultures operate, and we have witnessed a steady and barely opposed drift toward this as the preferred path to power by the Democratic Party.  Rosenberg believes that citizens should not be allowed to see TV programs that don’t comport with the Left’s now mandatory view that police must be regarded as racist villains and law enforcement be  seen as a malign force. The Post op-ed follows on the heels of the New York Times capitulating to its “woke” staff’s demand that non-conforming (to the Times’ world view) opinion pieces be rejected for publication. The news media’s activist agenda is out of the shadows and indisputable. Continue reading

Ethics Alarms 2020 Election Update: Nearing A Tipping Point, Part 2

The first two stories pushing me to a tipping point are discussed in Part 1, here.

This is the third.

3. Brown University issued embarrassingly rote agitprop in support of the George Floyd protests, and Brown Professor of Social Sciences and Economics  Glen Loury, an African American, searingly called them on it.  The letter is a template for the indoctrination virtually all students now receive at elite institutions of higher learning; it could have issued from any one of a thousand schools. Like Twinkies or Lucky Charms cereal, the letter is devoid of nutrition, though of the intellectual variety. Loury published a rebuttal. He’s an ethics hero. Here is Loury’s letter: Continue reading

“What”s Going On Here?” The Polls

Now there’s a poll that you won’t find highlighted in many mainstream media reports. From the Washington Examiner, part of the conservative media:

Despite a wave of critical news coverage and Democratic catcalls, President Trump sits at his “highest” approval in the latest Gallup survey, and above where four of the last six presidents, including Barack Obama and George W. Bush, were at this point of the first term.

…After two weeks of bad news on the coronavirus and economic front, Trump maintained his 49% approval rating, and his disapproval crept up just 1 point, to 48% in the Gallup survey of adults, a broad test.

Gallup said that Trump’s approval is “tied for the best of his presidency.”

…At 49%, Trump is a hair away from the generally accepted 50%-51% approval political experts consider a lock to win reelection. Both Obama and Bush were at 50% approval on their reelection days.

The paper adds that some pollsters attribute Trump’s positive number to “backlash against the media’s coverage of Trump and the coronavirus and the economy.”

Wow! That’s some theory. So they theorize that a lot of Americans not appreciating a cabal of Democrats, members of Congress, the news media and popular culture figures relentlessly attacking, insulting, impugning and accusing the President of the United States and the head and symbol of their nation on any pretext might cause them to rally to the support of their elected leader, whom they recognize is trying to perform a near impossible job when attempted under the best of conditions, never mind when power forces in society are determined to sabotage you. Huh. I never would have thought of that.

Observations: Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “OK, I Give Up: What IS This?”

Believe it or not, one of the main reasons I write Ethics Alarms is to learn things, and the things I learn sometimes come from researching an issue, and sometimes come from you.

Since a prime starting point for ethical analysis of an event or someone’s conduct is  answering the question, “What’s going on here?”, Joe Biden’s statement that if you believe Tara Reade, the ex-Biden staffer (who Joe says he doesn’t recall) now accusing him of sexual harassment, assault and indeed rape, you shouldn’t vote for him genuinely puzzled me, and I asked for assistance in figuring out what Joe was doing.

In a neat, concise, Comment of the Day, Rich in CT answered my question. I had never heard of the phenomenon he identified, being constitutionally resistant to economic theory from childhood. Above is a video that further elaborates on the topic, the Pareto Optimality or Pareto Efficiency, “a situation that cannot be modified so as to make any one individual or preference criterion better off without making at least one individual or preference criterion worse off.”

Got it. Now I know what that is. Thanks, Rich.

Here is Rich in Ct’s Comment of the Day on the post, “OK, I Give Up: What IS This?”: Continue reading

OK, I Give Up: What IS This?

In an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Joe Biden said he had no recollection of Reade, but said she “has a right to be heard but then should be vetted, and the truth ultimately matters. And I give you my word, it never ever happened.”

Then O’Donnell asked what he would say to women who were “eager to vote for Joe Biden but this gives them serious pause because they do believe Tara Reade.”

“Well, I think they should vote their heart,” Biden replied. “If they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me. I wouldn’t vote for me if I believe Tara Reade.”

What is that? Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Declaration: I Know Who I Won’t Be Voting For In November, And Why”

When I wrote this post, I knew it would cause some consternation, and it did. I wrote it after becoming disgusted with Alyssa Milano, Kamala Harris, and all the other passionate #MeToo advocates who insisted that a decades-old, recovered memory, conveniently-timed, recited-in-a-baby-voice accusation against a distinguished judge nominated for the Supreme Court was sufficient to disqualified him for that office because respecting “women/victims/survivors” was a paramount and non-negotiable value in our society,  but that a more credible accusation by a Presidential candidate’s former staffer alleging a more serious sexual assault by that man should be shrugged off because beating Donald Trump is more important than those same values we were told could not be outweighed. 

I realized, as every day the latest outrageous trick, lie or plot from the Axis of Unethical Conduct (that’s Democrats, the “resistance”, and the news media) dragged me closer to a decision to vote to re-elect the President, that if I reached that decision I would be doing exactly what the #MeToo hypocrites are doing.

Oh, I could rationalize a difference: their convictions regarding Trump are based on propaganda, Big Lies and impeachment cabals, and they are, in the case of the Milano types, ignorant of the threat to democracy that today’s Left poses, and in the case of Harris, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, and the rest, they are part of it.  My problem is different, as it stems from the fact that while one choice this November is undeniably worse than the other from an ethical perspective, making either choice requires me, as an ethicist, to contradict the principles and values I spend all day and all year trying to promote.

I have to pick an ethics system, and after reviewing the ethics decision-making models, I believe in my case, where integrity is crucial, the system to be applied is Absolutism, where the Rule of Universality applies. The only other choice is the most brutal form of utilitarianism, the ends justify the means. I feel that if I choose that I should author an apology to all of Biden’s #MeToo supporters (and Bill Clinton’s too) and pack it in.  Kill Ethics Alarms, close down ProEthics, and become a porn flick director.

Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Declaration: I Know Who I Won’t Be Voting For In November, And Why:

I think that as a Canadian, I can take a step back and look at this from a different view from people in America.

Frankly, I get this. 100%. I’ve been really struggling talking to some of the people I used to talk with constantly, because I find them… aggravating. It’s like there’s an Anti Trump-Derangement Derangement, where people that have held conservative beliefs for their entire life all of a sudden turn on a dime to defend Trump from what they would have called out 10 minutes ago from anyone else. i get how it happens, Trump has been under siege for years and it’s sometimes hard to figure out whether or not the criticism laid at his feet is legitimate or not. But frankly, sometimes it isn’t hard at all to point out when the criticism is legitimate or not, it is, and the response from previously thoughtful commentators is so obviously mired in this deep morass of tribalism, except instead of a left-right tribalism, the crux of the differentiation is a type of blind loyalty to Trump. I don’t find that interesting, intelligent, thoughtful, or even particularly honest.

Loyalty to Trump is not a defining principle of conservatism. It’s even less of a defining principle to any other ideology, other than Trump’s cult of personality. Continue reading

Declaration: I Know Who I Won’t Be Voting For In November, And Why

I have to be nicer to the Democrat hypocrites who are saying that they will support Joe Biden even after insisting that #MeToo and  condemning sexual harassment and sexual assault was a  core value of their party and their own beliefs. I owe them a debt of gratitude for eliminating any question in my mind regarding who I won’t be voting for when the election rolls around.

It won’t be anyone in the Democrat Party; I knew that even before Joe Biden started looking like the the Presidential candidate. The Democrats cannot be trusted with national power in their current anti-democracy, anti-Constitution, anti-American mindset; they really need to change their name, to what, I don’t know.

Nor can the unconscionable strategy they have been pursuing since they lost the Presidential election in 2016 be permitted to succeed. If it does succeed, and, tragically, perhaps even if it doesn’t, American democracy will be permanently scarred. Completely embracing the ends justify the means as a party philosophy, Democrats set out to destroy an elected President before he ever had a chance to do his job, a stunning defiance of basic democratic norms as once stated by the exact same individuals who led the revolt. They did this in defiance of law and ethics; they encouraged internal betrayal, illegal sabotage, and the breach of basic decency, loyalty, and responsibility. Taken as a whole, the party’s attack on American institutions was far worse than what Richard Nixon and his cronies did, and it continues today.

I predicted that if he was elected, President Trump’s flamboyant lack of character would corrupt public discourse as well as much of the public. That has proven true, but the damage done to the nation by “the resistance” and Democrats has been far more damaging, and, I fear, far deeper and long-lasting. It has, for example, completely corrupted the news media, meaning that the “informed electorate” the Founders pronounced essential to a functioning United States of America no longer has a strong and trustworthy institution that can ensure that, even in its previous far-from-perfect state. It has, for another example, managed to undo in a little more than a decade much of the progress the U.S. had made in racial trust and accord by seeking to ruthlessly exploit racial division in sick mimicry of the GOP strategy of the Seventies.

Regarding the Democratic Party and the fate it has earned for itself, I am repeatedly reminded of the memorable line uttered by actor Jeff Corey (written by William Goldman) as Sheriff Bledsoe in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” The two likable outlaws come to him in desperation, hoping for some way out of their dilemma, which has a price on their heads and a relentless, highly-paid posse on their trail. The sheriff, an old friend,  shatters their hopes, saying, essentially, that they are doomed.

“It’s over, don’t you get that?” he says.  “Your time is over and you’re gonna die bloody, and all you can do is choose where.”

That is the fate the Democrats deserve, and I fervently hope it is the one they get. My willingness to say this, however does not mean  that I can or will vote for Donald Trump.

The reason I cannot is the same reason (well, one of the reasons) I find Nancy Pelosi, Alyssa Milano, Senator Klobuchar and so many of my Facebook friends contemptible who now say that they must vote for Joe Biden because beating Trump is more important than what they once said was a moral imperative. Their fecklessness and hypocrisy proves that it was never a moral imperative; it was a posture of convenience.

My position as an ethicist and a leadership consultant cannot be a posture of convenience. I have to stand for certain essential principles, and I do not have the luxury, as some do, indeed as virtually anyone reading this post does, of deciding that circumstances require,  in this rare ethics conflict, rejecting the principles my credibility and integrity rest upon in pursuit of a greater good. That would be what the #MeToo hypocrites are doing, or think they are.

Absent my professional and public assessments as a professional ethicist, I would have no difficulty at all in officially concluding that Donald Trump is the preferable, indeed essential, choice to lead the country in the next four years when the alternative is a party that has revealed the corruption and antagonism toward American ideals as has the Democratic Party. But President Trump, as I pointed out repeatedly in 2015 and 2016, is the antithesis of the kind of leader my knowledge and expertise  indicates should ever be placed in a leadership position of any kind, or in a position of power and trust.

For me to vote for such an individual would render my credibility in my profession, and what is more important, my personal and professional integrity, void.

An ethicist cannot, in my view, support or vote for Donald Trump as President, nor can an ethicist, at least this ethicist, have any position but the rejection of the current iteration of the Democratic party as antithetical to American values.