Tag Archives: civic ignorance

The Unethical And Deliberately Misleading”Senate Popular Vote” Talking Point, Or “Why Is The Left Trying To Make The Public More Ignorant Than They Already Are? Oh, Come On! You Know Why…”

Look at those crazy shapes! GERRYMANDERING!!!!!

Progressives and the news media have decided that they don’t like the Constitution, so they are actively trying to confuse the public, which is depressingly easy.

We know Democrats and the mainstream news media hate the Electoral College and don’t view it as “legitimate.” The latest anti-Constitutional spin is that there is a national “popular vote” that should rigidly dictate the party representation in Congress. Vox’s Ezra Klein suggested that a revolution was coming if the imaginary Congressional “popular vote favored Democrats and Republicans held the House, but that’s Ezra and Vox—I assumed that this was an aberration. No! The same wacked-out theory was all over social media. The concept is based on regarding the Democratic and Republican Parties as Borg-like hives, with there being no legitimate distinction between on party candidate or another, as if no voter actually cares about experience, character, the record, skills, or any of those minor matters. Party is All.

I hate to keep pointing out that the Left is behaving, speaking and thinking increasingly like totalitarians, but the Left is behaving, speaking and thinking increasingly like totalitarians. Here’s what one of my Facebook friends, a lawyer and pretty openly a militant socialist, wrote yesterday (in part):

If you are on the left, fight for your ideal candidate in the Democratic primary and then vote Democrat in the general. The primary is the time for “who should represent the left in this election.”The general is the time to support the left over the right.

I don’t care if that nominee is “too far left” (Gillum) or “too centrist” (Sinema or McCaskill) or just “not exciting enough.” In every general election in the United States there are two candidates who have a chance to win. The Democrat is on the left, the Republican is on the right.

There is never a situation in which the agenda of any self-identified progressive or liberal or marxist or socialist or lefty or whatever is advanced by a win by the Republican. Never.

As anyone who has read Ethics Alarms for any length of time knows, I reject that argument absolutely. It is unethical, flat out. The agenda of our representative democracy is to have qualified, dedicated representatives and leaders whose judgment we can trust. It is, however, a nice summary of how someone can rationalize voting for people like Hillary Clinton, Bob Menendez, Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters. Or Jack the Ripper, as long as he ran as a Democrat.

But I digress. Totalitarians can only prevail by misleading the public, and so the “popular vote” confusion is apparently deemed worth promoting. ABC’s News’s Matthew Dowd brought up the fact that more ballots were cast in favor of the total number of Democratic candidates than Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate. That’s a nice piece of meaningless trivia, but he raised it as if it meant something. It doesn’t, but “The View’s” Joy Behar—remember, this woman has a daily platform to spout her analysis of news and politics—finished Dowd’s thought by saying, “Because of gerrymandering.” Continue reading

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Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Facebook, Government & Politics

Sports In The Ethics News!

Gynnastics and Football! Mary Bono, yes, Sonny’s widow, resigned as the interim CEO of the USA Gymnastics Federation after a tweet in which she dared to express disapproval of Nike, presumably because of its decision to elevate renegade NFL kneeler Colin Kaepernick to role model status.  The tweet pre-dated her agreement to serve as an interim head while the embattled organization tries to dig out from a sexual molestation scandal. Nike is being sought as a major sponsor of women’s gymnastics, as several fled after the Federation was disgraced in the Larry Nasser scandal. Simone Biles and other gymnasts used social media to questioned whether Bono was fit to lead the organization and whether it was wise to alienate a potential sponsor. Chalk this one up to another set of timid bureaucrats being more terrified of social media than they are interested in running their organization competently. Nike now politicizes everything it touches, and has taken up permanent residence on the Left, because it thinks that where the market and the money is. Surely there are potential corporate sponsors that aren’t fond of using divisive messages to sell merchandise.

Is the new cultural standard going to be that impulsive tweets from the past, recent or distant, are legitimate reasons to can qualified people from jobs in which they have done nothing wrong? Bono’s fatal tweet just said that she had crossed out the “swoosh” on her own shoes.

Boy, when President Trump’s tweets come out, he’s going to be in BIG trouble…

On the other hand, Bono is an idiot. Her post resignation tweet suggested that both the kneeling NFL players and her swoosh censorship were protected free speech. She was a member of Congress, and she doesn’t understand the First Amendment. Worse, every time a presumed authority repeats that dead wrong “the players have a right to protest on the field” canard, America gets a little dumber.

Fire her for THAT.

Baseball! (Of course…): Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Rights, Social Media, Sports

Comment of the Day: “Rueful Observations On Obama’s Speechwriters Laughing About Writing Lies To Pass Obamacare”

TRump fans

Chris Marschner tackled the difficult issue of how we should regard the supporters of Donald Trump, in light of so much abuse and blame being heaped on them by pundits, the news media, and, yes, me. He chose a post to do so that discussed the cynical attitude of former  Obama speechwriters regarding how easy it was to manipulate the public and the press. Chris has done as good a job at this as can be done,  and thus earned his Comment of the Day distinction. I believe, however, that explaining the various factors activating Trump supporters, such as the arrogance of power-brokers like the Obama speechwriters, does not in any way excuse Trump voters, justify them, or relieve them from accusations of recklessness and ignorance.

I suppose I should be grateful to Trump and his supporters, because they have clinched two long-standing arguments in my favor. The first is one that has often surfaced on Ethics Alarms: does a responsible voter vote for the character of a leader, or the positions the candidate espouses? Trump proves my point in spectacular fashion. If the candidate doesn’t have a trustworthy character, it doesn’t matter what he or she says.

The second argument the Trumpites win for me is my opposition to those who decry the low rate of voting in the U.S. and want to “fix it.” My reaction to their complaint has always been: the low rate of voting is GOOD. If you are apathetic, lazy,badly informed, ignorant, hateful, stupid, gullible and naive, your vote interferes with democracy, it doesn’t advance it. The Founders believed that civic literacy was essential to a functioning republic. They were right. The Republican primaries illustrated what can happen when a large bloc of voters who are unfit to exercise the franchise suddenly decide they care, but lack the basic cognitive skills and abilities to translate their concern into intelligent and responsible civic participation. They become sitting ducks for con artists, liars and frauds to manipulate and exploit.

Here is Chris Marschner’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Rueful Observations On Obama’s Speechwriters Laughing About Writing Lies To Pass Obamacare“:

[Quoting another commenter]

“Pundits don’t understand why saying dumb things about women or minorities doesn’t skewer him. I do: His voters don’t care. His voters don’t care where people pee, they don’t care how many abortions the lady down the street gets, they don’t care about racism, sexism or whatever-phobias. They care about taking care of their families. They care about jobs. This is the demographic Bernie and Trump tapped into. People not like us. Uneducated people. People living day to day. Bills to pay and mouths to feed, when nothing in the world is free.”

First let me say that I find Trump’s rhetoric distasteful and I did not vote for him in the MD primary.

Labeling all Trump supporters as “uneducated and unlike us” may be too simplistic. Actually many do care where people pee or how many abortions take place. You might want to consider that it is just a matter of priorities when faced with the possibility that a progressive candidate like Hillary Clinton might get elected leading to further stagnation of their upward mobility while forcing them to succumb to even more government intrusion into their lives.

Perhaps there is also a group of educated voting taxpayers who are tired of being labeled as social misanthropes when engaging in reasonable debate over a variety of issues. Many well educated people who earn more than the median income but less than that which is necessary to be absolutely financially independent understand the economic repercussions of challenging some progressive ideas that are at odds with their own reasoned thinking. How exactly does a conservative faculty member debate a topic when he/she runs the risk of being labeled a racist, Uncle Tom, misogynist or other type of person in what could be called the “Hater” segment of society for not towing the employer’s or the group’s normative thinking. How many business owners publicly regurgitate the progressive ideology or opt for a low profile to avoid the onslaught of protesters that can threaten that which they may have spent a lifetime working long hours to build

Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Citizenship, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Leadership

A Catastrophic Existential Failure Of Ethics And Institutions

Now what, Ben?

Now what, Ben?

I woke up this morning nauseous, after a restless night. It could have been dinner, but I’m pretty sure that it was Indiana.

Not that seeing Ted Cruz suspend his quest to be President was upsetting in and of itself. He’s a terrible candidate and a dangerous man, and almost certainly unelectable, which in his case is a good thing. As it did with Chris Christie, who was exposed as a character-free fraud; as it did with Jeb Bush, who demonstrated an inability to think; as it did with Ben Carson, who proved why his theory that leaders need no relevant experience at all was nonsense; as it did with Marco Rubio, who provided the definitive definition of “empty suit,” the primary system worked, and eliminated aspiring nominees who were unqualified and unfit in various ways.

It has not worked, however, with Donald Trump. This was not a failure of the primary system or the political system (Hillary Clinton’s impending nomination will be a failure of the political system) but something far more ominous. We are faced with the threat of an unstable, incoherent, ethics-free and irrational man becoming our President because of a catastrophic breakdown in the ethics of our cultural, societal and political institutions, over a long period of time. As a result, our democracy, ideals and way of life are imperiled as never before.

It didn’t have to be this way. It’s just how things broke, that’s all. The United States has sewn the seeds of its own destruction many times before and lucked out, smelling like a rose after mistakes, miscalculations and stupid actions that easily could have ended Mr. Jefferson’s experiment in tragedy and chaos. We might get lucky again, I suppose. Trump might get squished by a falling piece of space junk. Hillary Clinton might get possessed by the spirit of Julia Sand. I wouldn’t bet on it though. Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Education, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Popular Culture, Race, Religion and Philosophy, Social Media, The Internet, U.S. Society

Yes Indeed, Elite College Grads Can Still Be Civically Incompetent Fools

They have been rumored, and caught in dubious, fuzzy photos, but does an intelligent, rational Donald Trump supporter really exist? The quest continues...

They have been rumored, and caught in dubious, fuzzy photos, but does an intelligent, rational Donald Trump supporter really exist? The quest continues…

In my constant quest to find someone, anyone, who can defend their support of Donald Trump with a substantive argument rather than the emotional, nonsensical rationalizations I have heard and read so far, I came upon  a USA Today essay by “Weekly Standard” contributing right-winger Charlotte Allen—she is kind of like Ann Coulter, but not funny— called “Why a Stanford grad joined the Trump revolt.” I was momentarily thrilled, then my hopes were immediately dashed. The answer to the headline’s question is simply “Because graduates of prestigious schools can be just as irresponsible and ignorant as anyone else.” Her pathetic essay proves it.

To begin with, appeal to authority is a lazy debate fallacy (“Proposition X is valid because Authority A says so”—you know, like “bats are blind because Neil De Grasse Tyson says so”…), but appealing to your own authority is ridiculous. “I went to Stanford, and I voted for Donald Trump. So did my husband. He went to Yale,” Allen begins. The required response: Who the hell cares? The only people who think a degree means you are smart are dumb people, some of whom have impressive degrees themselves.

Now, the essay could have been so dazzling in its pro-Trump logic that it simultaneously redeemed Trump supporters and the two schools the piece embarrasses. It was not.

The essay begins with the boot-strapping argument that it isn’t ignorant and irresponsible to vote for Trump because in Massachusetts a lot of educated people voted for him. “Low-information voter” doesn’t mean uneducated voter, however. It means people who aren’t paying attention, or who filter out information they don’t want to hear, or who are informed in some areas but get their political news from partisan websites and cable stations.  Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Education, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership

First Up On Anti-Trump Sunday: An Unethical Quote Of The Month

“No more politicians for President!”

— A Donald Trump supporter, on a conservative web site today.

Bizarro has an observation to make...

Bizarro has an observation to make...

I have been reading and periodically shooting down the comments of Trump supporters on a series of websites in my continuing and desperate quest to find a single, substantive, intelligent, informed argument for why anyone should support Donald Trump for President. I’m only looking for one. You would think there would be one. Yet so far, my research hasn’t yielded any more valid that the unethical quote above.Why is it unethical? It is unethical because it shows that the speaker is incompetent at citizenship, and has failed the basic responsibility of those who live and benefit from democracy: understand how the government works, and what leadership in a democracy requires.

No, “He can beat Hillary Clinton” does not make the grade.  First of all, he can’t, for the simple reason that if someone like me, who knows Hillary Clinton’s record and character well, rates ethics and character as prime qualifications for President, and who regards her as approaching Richard Nixon as the most dishonest and flawed individual ever to run for the office (but without his talent and skill), would still vote for her to avoid the disaster of Donald Trump, he can’t beat Hillary. Second of all, it is a Rationalization #22,  “It’s not the worst thing” excuse, and that’s all it is. It is, to evoke “Jurassic World,” like releasing the T-Rex because you want to stop the Indominus. (Actually it is Trump who is the Indominus, the unnatural monster.) Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Citizenship, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, History, Leadership, War and the Military

But This ISN’T A Spoof, Unfortunately: A PhD Professor Of Gender Studies Writes An Amazing Op-Ed For Gun Control

Hold on to your cranium.

This is a real person. Unfortunately.

This is a real person. Unfortunately.

This morning an esteemed commentator, while discussing Melissa Harris-Perry, fell for one of those “if you fall for it, it’s a hoax and you’re an idiot, if you don’t it’s just satire so mock anyone who did” websites that I have designated Unethical Websites in more than one month. Here’s the reason why he did: to rational people, the things card-carrying members of the extreme progressive/ Democratic axis are prone to assert, say or write with complete sincerity so often consist of content that just a few years ago would be considered proof positive of creeping insanity that it is nigh impossible to tell the difference. For example, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton want to expand Social Security. I was already preparing this post when the hoax site responsible for the quoted Harris-Perry story was reported, and it send me back again to check this one. It really is true, and thus tells us something quite disturbing, as I will specify later. The op-ed by Dr. Barbara Savoy is much more ridiculous than the parody.

The Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle asked Dr. Savoy, who teaches women and gender studies at The College at Brockport, a SUNY institution (Its tuition is $33,235 per year), to write an op-ed on gun control. She did, and here is a shortened version. You really should read the whole thing, though:

I voted for Barack Obama. Twice. During his 2008 presidential campaign, my two daughters, partner, and I ate every meal in our house on Obama placemats. We bought these at our local supermarket, plastic-coated, plate-sized paper rectangles with an image of his face framed by colors of the flag….
Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Rights