Tag Archives: backlash

Althouse’s Commenters Delineate A Trend

Is something in the etho-cultural air? I wonder. Suddenly hints that patience with the resistance/progressive/Democratic/mainstream media assault on the Presidency, democracy, fairness, honesty, civic discourse and the rule of law is running out even with typically left-leaning citizens are turning up in multiple venues all at once. This is, of course, gratifying here at Ethics Alarms, since I have regarded this as an ethics crisis since 2016.

Fascinating evidence can be found in the comments to a recent post by Ann Althouse, in which she pointed to a res ipsa loquitur piece in Politico, “‘What Happened to Alan Dershowitz?’,  which I would summarize as “Whatever could have possessed Alan Dershowitz to make him opt for objectivity, principles and integrity at a time like this?” Ann, as she frequently does, didn’t comment substantively on the essay, deciding instead to make an arch observation while pointing the way for her readers. She flagged what she called “the most obvious quote” in the essay: “Maybe the question isn’t what happened to Alan Dershowitz. Maybe it’s what happened to everyone else.” Of course, nothing happened to Dershowitz. He’s doing what a lawyer, an analyst and a trustworthy pundit is supposed to do: apply the same standards to everybody; not let emotion rule reason, and when all around him are losing their heads and blaming it on him, keeping his own despite temptations to follow the mob.

Ann’s readers distinguished themselves in their reactions. I wonder if the Democrats are paying attention. They are fools if they don’t.

Read as many as you can. Here’s a representative sample: Continue reading

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Ethics Quiz: “The Stickering”

More than a dozen handmade stickers reading “It’s okay to be white” were posted around overnight in Harvard Square earlier as well as around the nearby Harvard Law School campus.

Law School Dean of Students Marcia L. Sells, who is black, wrote an email to law students in the wake of what Stephen King might call “The Stickering”:

“It seems likely that these anonymous postings, made in the middle of the night, were provocations intended to divide us from one another HLS will not let that happen here. We live, work, teach, and learn together in a community that is stronger, better, and deeper because of our diversity and because we encourage open, respectful, and constructive discourse”

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Dayand watch your step!—is…

Do you think posting the stickers was unethical? Do you think the Dean’s response was responsible?

Continue reading

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/31/2017: A Hate Outbreak, A Bigoted Judge, A Lost Post, And More Halloween Ethics

Good Morning!

1 On Facebook, many of my progressive friends literally expressed glee at yesterday’s indictments, especially at the charge that Paul Manafort had engaged in “conspiracy against the United States.” Lots of social media users were expressing similar sentiments, the thrust being that they were excited that two individuals who worked for the Trump campaign were facing criminal charges…simply because they worked for the Trump campaign. This cackling mob hadn’t read the indictment, or if they did, they didn’t understand it. They just were engaging in free-standing hate by association.

The reaction is not sort of like, but exactly like, what I called  the “Ugliest moment of election night”: Trump’s crowd chanting “Lock her up!” as the upset electoral victory approached. Criminalizing the political process is not the way of democracy, and rooting for people’s lives to be ruined because of their partisan alliances is disgusting. Who among the people so thrilled to see Manafort and former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos being prosecuted know anything about them other than the fact that they worked for the President’s campaign? What do they think justifies cheering their indictment? Papadopoulos pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about when he tried to meet with Russians claiming to have damning Hillary Clinton e-mails—which, I hope you know (and I bet the Facebook mob doesn’t) isn’t a crime.

Last night, Stephen Colbert, the full-time attack jester of “the resistance,” said of the indictments, “I know it’s almost Halloween, but it really feels more like Christmas!” What an idiotic and hateful thing to say, as well as a statement that is misleading to his audience, who naturally would think that the action implicates the President and the White House in something. (It doesn’t.)

2. Colbert also engaged in gratuitous race-baiting, because dividing the country along racial lines and promoting racial distrust is apparently what progressives think is funny and cool. Noting that the charges against Paul Manafort were filed on Friday but that he didn’t have to turn himself in until Monday Colbert smirked,  “Wow, we white people really do get arrested differently.” The “joke” is untrue, and racist in its own implications, suggesting that only whites commit white collar crimes and are regarded as low flight risks, while blacks commit the violent crimes and robberies that lead to immediate arrests.

These are ugly, mean-spirited people, poisoned by ugly, mean-spirited thoughts.

You can quote me.

3. Judge W. Mitchell Nance, a Kentucky judge, resigned after judicial ethics charges were filed against him as a result of his refusing to preside over any same-sex couple adoption cases. Nance announced that he would not  participate in  gay adoption matters in April, when he issued an order saying he was recusing himself from such case, arguing that adoption by a gay couple would never be in the best interest of a child.

The judicial misconduct complaint filed last month argued that Nance’s order violated the judicial ethics canons requiring judges to promote confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, to be faithful to the law, and to refrain from showing bias or prejudice.

It does. Good riddance. Continue reading

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Three Ethically Perceptive Takes On The Election

Amidst all the hysterical “the fascists, racists, homophobes, xenophobes and misogynists have taken over! Run! Hide!” commentary—which, incidentally, is inciting violence far more directly than anything Donald Trump has ever said—a couple of non-right wing commentators have tried to bring some perspective and rationality to the question of what happened Tuesday. Naturally, they focus on ethics.

First, however, in contrast, I give you the vile pronouncements of Slate’s professional race-baiter and anti-white demagogue, Jamelle Bouie. His piece for Slate—I will not trust the site as long as they give a bigot like Bouie a forum—was called “White Won.”  Here’s a typical passage:

“After eight years of a black president—after eight years in which cosmopolitan America asserted its power and its influence, eight years in which women leaned in and blacks declared that their lives mattered—millions of white Americans said enough. They had their fill of this world and wanted the old one back. And although it’s tempting to treat this as a function of some colorblind anti-elitism, that cannot explain the unity of white voters in this election. Trump didn’t just win working-class whites—he won the college-educated and the affluent. He even won young whites. Seventeen months after he announced his candidacy, millions of white Americans flocked to the ballot box to put Trump into the White House. And they did so as a white herrenvolk, racialized and radicalized by Trump.”

Three observations: 1) This is the mentality that Barack Obama and the Democrats have encouraged and nourished, in order to derive maximum political benefit from dividing the nation, 2) what epic gall to call Trump’s 58% of the white vote proof of racism, when Obama’s 93% black vote in 2012, after a disastrous first term (though the second term made it look good by comparison), was happily regarded as “loyalty,” 3) The fact that Trump’s opponent was corrupt and insulted half of all voters had nothing to do with how anyone voted.

Oh: Bouie’s screed was sub-headed, “We are still the country that produced George Wallace. We are still the country that killed Emmett Till.”

I didn’t vote for Trump, but on behalf of my country, I am offended and insulted.

That’s enough of that toxic jerk. Here are three open-minded commentators who are trying to blunt the left’s calculated strategy of turning half the nation against the other.

1. Robby Soave: Trump Won Because Leftist Political Correctness Inspired a Terrifying Backlash

I’ll begin by saying that Trump’s win is attributable to anger over political correctness goes too far, but the Left’s increasing hostility to free speech, and non-conforming opinion was definitely a prime source of legitimate suspicion and distrust toward Democrats. It was certainly among the factors that finally convinced me not to vote for Hillary.  Soave also is patting himself on the back for playing Cassandra. There is a lot of this “I told you so” going around, as usually happens when the conventional wisdom is spectacularly wrong. It’s all moral luck, of course. The pundits and experts seeking recognition as geniuses are trying to capitalize on being at least as lucky as wise. Still, Soave was right, and many others saw what he did. The Reason journalist writes in part…

I have tried to call attention to this issue for years. I have warned that political correctness actually is a problem on college campuses, where the far-left has gained institutional power and used it to punish people for saying or thinking the wrong thing….I have warned that a lot of people, both on campus and off it, were furious about political-correctness-run-amok—so furious that they would give power to any man who stood in opposition to it.

…The left sorted everyone into identity groups and then told the people in the poorly-educated-white-male identity group that that’s the only bad one. It mocked the members of this group mercilessly….It called them racists….

There is a cost to depriving people of the freedom (in both the legal and social senses) to speak their mind. The presidency just went to the guy whose main qualification, according to his supporters, is that he isn’t afraid to speak his.

2.  Will Rahn:  Commentary: The unbearable smugness of the press

This is Ethics Hero territory: a CBS reporter pointing an accusing finger at his employer and the rest of the profession. Journalists finally pushed their arrogance, incompetent and bias to the breaking point, and serious wounded—I hope killed—the public’s trust. They slimed Sarah Palin and got away with it; they distorted Mitt Romney to re-elect Obama. But handed a candidate so awful that all they had to do was tell the truth, the news media still decided that it needed to make sure its candidate won. Americans like fairness. When Trump said the the election was “rigged” because the news media was supporting Hillary, it was so obvious that he was right.

Rahn:

Had Hillary Clinton won, there’d be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic. So much for that. …Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice…This is all a “whitelash,” you see. Trump voters are racist and sexist, so there must be more racists and sexists than we realized. Tuesday night’s outcome was not a logic-driven rejection of a deeply flawed candidate named Clinton; no, it was a primal scream against fairness, equality, and progress. Let the new tantrums commence! 

3. Mike Rowe, on Facebook

The “Dirty Jobs” reality TV star is perceptive, objective and articulate, and when asked his reactions to the election—he was not a Trump supporter—replied in part:

I know people are freaked out…I get it. I’m worried too. But not because of who we elected. We’ve survived 44 Presidents, and we’ll survive this one too. I’m worried because millions of people now seem to believe that Trump supporters are racist, xenophobic, and uneducated misogynists. I’m worried because despising our candidates publicly is very different than despising the people who vote for them…

I don’t think Donald Trump won by tapping into America’s “racist underbelly,” and I don’t think Hillary lost because she’s a woman. I think a majority of people who voted in this election did so in spite of their many misgivings about the character of both candidates. That’s why it’s very dangerous to argue that Clinton supporters condone lying under oath and obstructing justice. Just as it’s equally dangerous to suggest a Trump supporter condones gross generalizations about foreigners and women.

These two candidates were the choices we gave ourselves, and each came with a heaping helping of vulgarity and impropriety. Yeah, it was dirty job for sure, but the winner was NOT decided by a racist and craven nation – it was decided by millions of disgusted Americans desperate for real change. The people did not want a politician. The people wanted to be seen. Donald Trump convinced those people that he could see them. Hillary Clinton did not.

Finally, a bonus analysis to provide perspective: mine.

Last night, as often happens, a comment from a reader (and old friend) prompted a “Eureka!” moment. I realized how very American this election was, and gained some respect and a great deal of understanding for what happened. The commenter wrote about how terrified people were, and how a friend had told her that she was seriously considering suicide. She also said she was beginning to lose her confidence that “it can’t happen here.” I was watching video of protests and riots as I read this. I wrote (I edited this slightly):

And this is what the scaremongering does to the ignorant and weakminded, to be brutally blunt, and why the scaremongers need to cut it out.

Anyone who seriously sees parallels between Trump and Hitler understands neither, nor the corresponding historical context, nor the two nations and their very different cultures. Hitler rose because the Germans, who always had wanted a strongman, were desperate, and their self-esteem had been destroyed. Americans got tired of being pushed around, lectured, and being told that traditional cultural values made them racists and xenophobes. They decided to say “Screw that!” by electing a protest candidate whose sole function was to be a human thumb in the eye, because he was so disgusting to the people who had pretended to be their betters. Don’t you understand? It’s idiotic, but the message isn’t. It’s “Animal House”! and “Animal House” is as American as Doolittle’s Raid:

Otter: Bluto’s right. Psychotic… but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!

Bluto: We’re just the guys to do it.

In Germany, The Big Cheese says jump and the Germans say “How high?” In the US, the response is “Fuck you!” Obama never understood that. He and the Democrats are finally getting the “fuck you!” they have been asking for. I love that about America. And much as I hate the idea of an idiot being President, I do love the message and who it was sent to. America still has spunk.

I love spunk.

 

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