More Weird Tales Of The Trump-Deranged

This one has an up-beat and even promising ending, but it still raises the question of what the hell has happened to these people to make them like this.

Leo Guinan learned that his parents  placed a pro-President Trump sign on their lawn, and since he believes that they don’t have the right to have political opinions that differ from his (after all, his self-description on Twitter tells us that he “uses his privilege to raise the voices of others,” so he we know he’s an official arbiter of truth and virtue) he decided to punish them, announcing in a Medium post that he had decreed that either they censor their political expression, or they couldn’t see their grandchildren.

In this he was emulating his favorite party, which as we know, is now threatening to hurt the nation in retribution for the President doing what the Constitution says he is supposed to do—nominate a judge to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. Loyal to a party of thugs, Guinan felt that it was incumbent upon him to behave like a thug.

Toward his parents.

Nice guy.

Before lowering the boom on Mom and Dad, Guinan had posted an earlier Medium masterpiece (BOY there’s a lot of crap on Medium!), an “open letter” to his folks explaining why they were abandoning Christian principles by supporting the Republican Party. The letter, to be kind, is pathological. The degree of blindness to one’s own biases required to write such garbage—and proudly publish it!—is staggering. When they study Trump Derangement and the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck in history and psychiatry classes—and they will, I promise you—this letter should be on the reading list. Despite the extravagant claims Guinan makes, there is no substantive argument in the thing at all—and that’s is typical. The Trump Deranged are heralds of wisdom and The Right Way because they just are, that’s all.

“I have done more research into these matters than you would believe,” he claims. I certainly don’t believe it, because if he really researched “these matters”  he would do more than parrot back social media bubble cant. “I have seen some shit, and I mean that very seriously.” That’s the closest Guinan comes to a factual assertion.  “If you would like to actually discuss any of the topics that Fox has been feeding you with an open mind, I will be happy to do so. And I will bring sources to back up my thoughts.” Talk is cheap, you fraud. I’ll discuss those topics with you, and also what MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post  and CNN have been feeding you, buddy. Bring it on. But it’s so much easier to bully your parents.

“Let’s say you decide to believe me, and we can go from there. I can help you find a selection of reasonable news sources,” he continued. I bet. Any guesses what those might be?  “Right now, the Republican party is something I have never seen. The level of corruption and simply evil people in some very powerful positions is something that quite literally resembles pre-WWII Germany,” he stated.

“Quite literally!” I’ll never forget Hitler how was  brokering peace deals for the Jews. And have you noticed how Trump’s brownshirts attack and intimidate…no, wait, that’s Black Lives Matter, endorsed by the Democratic Party

Guinan’s party is supporting riots and arson, and attempting to elevate one race over others. It is, as I mentioned, using threats to intimidate those who want to legally fill a SCOTUS seat; it has refused to accept the results of a Presidential election; it has employed Hitler’s Big Lie tactic as a primary tool, and Guinan concludes  Republicans are acting like Nazis! “I can help you find the historians who are quite clearly making these arguments.” Yes, so can I. You’re appealing to authority because you have no independent thoughts, and those historians have disgraced themselves.

Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: Joe Biden

“It’s estimated that 200 million people will die, probably by the time I finish this talk.”

—Joe Biden, Democratic candidate for President of the United States, speaking in Philadelphia over the weekend.

Yes, a man just stated on television that about 60%  of the United States’ population would die in seconds, and yet the vast majority of my Facebook friends are writing that civilization is doomed if he is not elected the leader of the United States.

As I think about it, this is only slightly less crazy than Joe’s statement. Maybe even a bit worse: after all, poor Biden is in the throes of progressive dementia. My friends are in the throes of progressive dementia. They want to have a sick man who is apparently unaware of what comes out of his own mouth leading the nation.

Biden has always said things that were careless, wrong or silly, because he’s just not very bright, and has never been. He had to repeat the third grade, you know. That’s just not a marker of future distinguished leadership. I remember my former classmates who had to repeat the early grades in elementary school, and they now are either in the custodian trade, unemployed, or teaching elementary school. Running for President was never in the cards for them, at least I used to think so. Yes, Joe’s career success is inspiring, in a way, kind of like Forrest Gump. But Forrest never ran for the White House. Not noticing that you have just falsely asserted that a national slaughter was underway is signature significance; a competent national leader simply doesn’t do that. Continue reading

Notes On The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Ethics Train Wreck

To remind regular readers who may have forgotten, and newer readers who have not taken the time to review the list of Concepts and Special Terms (Shame! SHAME!!!), ethics train wrecks are “chains of unethical conduct created by a central unethical action. As the event becomes more complex and involves more participants, it becomes increasingly difficult to sort out right from wrong, and all parties who become involved with the episode in any way are at risk of engaging in unethical conduct themselves, intentionally or inadvertently.”

In no particular order:

  • It’s not called The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Ethics Train Wreck for nothing. The individual responsible for this ethics train wreck is, aptly enough, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It was irresponsible for her to stay on the court well past her shelf date, as it is irresponsible for any judge to deny the unavoidable effects of age on their acumen and ability. This would have been true if she were completely healthy, but the Justice had cancer, and that also had to sap her energy.

This was arrogance, and any harm to the nation that comes from her refusal to retire ten years ago is part of her legacy.

  • Everyone is a hypocrite. If Mitch McConnell is a hypocrite for treating the SCOTUS nomination by a sitting Republican President differently from his treatment of a Democratic President’s nomination under similar circumstances,  so are Democrats for insisting that he should again do what they claimed was unconscionable in 2016, because this time they think it will benefit them.

Althouse points out: “The strongest argument for Trump to go right ahead and immediately nominate someone is that President Obama made a nomination in the election year of 2016 when Antonin Scalia died. Obama’s nominee was not confirmed, but that was because the GOP controlled the Senate. There was nothing about Obama’s lack of support in the Senate that made him more willing to put forward a nomination in an election year. He made the nomination in spite of the lack of support. Why should Trump refrain when he has Senate support?”

Oh, you know: Because he’s different, and what other Presidents do or did is automatically outrageous when he does the same thing. Continue reading

Joe Biden, The Human Lawn Chair

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States…”

I’ve been thinking about what would be the fair and expository Ethics Alarms nickname for Joe Biden, and I’ve settled on “The Lawn Chair,” or TLC for short.

In 2016, I wrote repeatedly in posts and comments that I would vote for a lawn chair over Donald Trump, using the same standard that I had applied in the past to first term Presidents who I had found unacceptably incompetent or untrustworthy (Nixon, Carter, Bush I, and Bill Clinton). Joe Biden, in his drastically diminished 2020 model, is the closest thing a U.S. Presidential contest has had to an actual lawn chair, and it is clear that those preparing to vote for him to lead the nation at this critical time would literally vote for a lawn chair over President Trump. In this there is epic hypocrisy.

Feminists who once proclaimed that sexual harassment and sexual assault, determined on the basis of unsubstantiated accusations, were sufficient to disqualify a man for high public office are supporting Biden, who has been photographed numerous times engaging in sexual harassment as Vice-President, and has been accused “credibly” (as they said about Brett Kavanaugh’s less than credible accuser) of sexual assault. Heck, one such feminist is his running mate. Soft coup proponents who have argued that President Trump is sufficiently cognitively handicapped that the 25th Amendment should be employed to remove him are supporting Biden, who is obviously more mentally impaired now than Trump has ever been even in the fever dreams of progressives.

Then there is the lying. Continue reading

One More Time: Yes, President Trump Is Qualified To Be President, And The Electorate Decides Who Is FIT To Be President

“OH NO! TAKE IT AWAY! IT’S EVIL!!! EVIL!!!

Ann Althouse does a nice fisking job with a New York Times column by Gail Collins called “Let’s Fret the Night Together/The Biden campaign and the world it’s playing out in are making us all nervous wrecks.”

I saw it in my print Times, and wasn’t going to waste time with it: it’s another smug media bubble scream about how horrible the President is (just like they decided before he was sworn in) and how essential it is to elect a sexual harassing dementia case to replace him and restore honor to the office. Isn’t it amazing how so many people keep saying this as if it isn’t completely hypocritical and actually makes sense? That’s what hate and bias does to you.

A genuine friend on Facebook recently went on a rant about how “unfit”President Trump is. I’m also amazed that people keep saying this as if the fact that the people who didn’t vote for him think he’s unfit should matter at all. So vote against him in November then! The victory of a candidate you thought was “unfit” means you lost the argument, and you don’t get a chance to deal with that supposed lack of fitness until the next election. Democrats never accepted that, despite the fact that it is the way our system has always worked. They, like my friend, convinced themselves that they have a unique right, indeed a mission, to remove an elected President before an election, or, failing that, to make it impossible to govern, because their assessment of what constitutes fitness is the unquestionable right one.

Assholes. This is the beating, rotten heart of the totalitarian impulse that has divided the nation and now threatens our strength as a nation and liberty as a people.I am sick of hearing, reading about and watching it, but it is important to realize what it is. My friend is too marinated in a biased and emotional peer group to see the phenomenon for what it is. Continue reading

On Hypocrisy: An Argument From UnHerd That I Didn’t Need To Hear

I frequently check into a British website called “UnHerd” to get a different perspective on things, and it is often an enjoyable and stimulating experience. From its “About” page:

UnHerd aims to do two things: to push back against the herd mentality with new and bold thinking, and to provide a platform for otherwise unheard ideas, people and places. We think this approach is more needed than ever. Societies across the West are divided and stuck, and the established media is struggling to make sense of what’s happening. The governing ideologies of the past generation are too often either unquestioningly defended or rejected wholesale.

It’s easy and safe to be in one or other of these two camps – defensive liberal or angry reactionary – but UnHerd is trying to do something different, and harder. We want to be bold enough to identify those things that have been lost, as well as gained, by the liberal world order of the past thirty years; but we strive to be always thoughtful rather than divisive. We are not aligned with any political party, and the writers and ideas we are interested in come from both left and right traditions. But we instinctively believe that the way forward will be found through a shift of emphasis: towards community not just individualism, towards responsibilities as well as Rights, and towards meaning and virtue over shallow materialism.

They are going to have to do better, however, than the kind of shallow commentary represented by the recent essay on hypocrisy, which stepped on two ethics landmines before it even started, with this heading:

Hypocrisy is not the worst thing on earth: No one cares if progressives don’t practise what they preach — so long as what they’re preaching is good.

Those familiar with the Ethics Alarms Rationalizations list will immediately flag the flagrant use of #22. The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things.”

I think it’s fair to say that I hate that rationalization, and that I immediately, and perhaps unalterably distrust anyone who resorts to it. The second ethics breach is the incompetent use of “good.” What does that mean, in this context? Right? Practical? Effective? Not bad?

This raised a tangential ethical problem for me: I increasingly am tempted to stop reading when an author appears t be dishonest, lazy, sneaky or dumb in the first few sentences. Usually I don’t, and occasionally I am glad I didn’t, but most of the time I find that my initial instincts were correct.

In this case, the author, conservative pundit Ben Sixsmith, does an acceptable job explaining the misuse of hypocrisy accusations, a topic often explored here. For example, he writes, Continue reading

“White Lives Matter” Is Racist, Black Lives Matter Is Benign” You Say? Prove It.

I know this is “It’s okay to be white” all over again, but its still amazing that anyone can argue that “Black Lives Matter” is a benign motto, but that clever line, “All Lives Matter” or now, “White Lives Matter” is a racist expression and look at themselves in the mirror afterwards and not blush.

Someone painted “White Lives Matter” on Kent State University’s “front-campus rock,” where students traditionally paint graffiti. It was immediately condemned as a “direct threat” to black students. Kent State President Todd Diacon issued a statement claiming  the incident (together with some recent police-involved deaths of blacks, most of which have not been credibly attributed to racism)  “serve as glaring evidence that this university and our country need to do better when addressing racism and violence against Black Americans.” He also said the university would establish an Anti-Racism Task Force which will “explore all facets of racism at Kent State.” Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Food Lion

I suppose the silver lining in our various corporations and businesses groveling to anti-American groups and movements is that their owners and leaders lack any convictions, values, principles or integrity, so they will abandon stupid decisions as  thoughtlessly as they made them. Remember how quickly Cracker Barrel  did a mid-air double backflip when it first condemned “Duck Dynasty’s” Phil Robertson, then changed its corporate mind the second it realized its original position would forfeit more profit that the reverse? That’s Food Lion. That’s most of these spineless, weasel-wired organizations.

Yecchh. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Wednesday Ethics, 9/2/2020: Faking Here, Faking There, Faking, Faking Everywhere!” (Item #3, Pelosi’s Hair Appt.)

Here is zoebrain’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Wednesday Ethics, 9/2/2020: Faking Here, Faking There, Faking, Faking Everywhere!,” regarding #3, which discussed the Nancy Pelosi hair salon debacle:

Pelosi demonstrates arrogant dishonesty. Again.

I wish she *had* been set up. The more politicians are compelled to be on their best behaviour 100% of the time lest their true colours be shown in public, the better.

Right now, the bar has been set so low the DNC can get away with anything, and still look and be “better” than their opponents. That is unutterably wrong, and the greatest damage caused by this Presidency. The normalising of the unacceptable.

But that’s Trump. This is Pelosi, and she shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it if we are to remedy the damage. When they go low, we have to go high. That is obviously not happening. It’s gotta stop.

***

I jumped zoebrain’s comment over two idling COTD, for several reasons. Yes, it’s short, but zoe is usually admirably concise. I was preparing a longer post about the Pelosi incident, and this comment provides a perfect opening. It also harkens back to my 2015 post, “A Nation of Assholes.” What I did not foresee was that the Trump “lowering of the bar” for the culture’s civility, integrity and ethics generally would be exploited so thoroughly by adults: I assumed that it would be the rising generations that would be corrupted. But no, unfortunately. As the follow-up posts to that one quickly acknowledged,  it was every other part of the culture, in particular Democrats and the “resistance.” Continue reading

Continued Still…From The Ethics Alarms Mailbag: “What’s Your Reaction To Various Ethics Controversies, Including The Use Of The White House, During The Republican National Convention?” Part 3: The White House

The question that spawned this long post [ Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here] was, “What’s your opinion of Trump using the White House as a political prop?”

D. The White House

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Trump will further “destroy” American precedents if given a second term in office. “This is what we can expect in a second Trump administration,” Schumer said. “All the rules, norms, values that have made this country great, Donald Trump will destroy them. He doesn’t care. He only cares about himself. The rules are you shouldn’t sit in the White House and give a speech at a convention. Donald Trump says, ‘I want to do it.’ So they do it.”

There’s no such rule. The President isn’t covered by the Hatch Act, and given all the political uses of The White House by previous Presidents, I’d love to hear the argument that a speech being delivered to a virtual convention during a pandemic using the White House as a backdrop is unconscionable, or even unethical.

Professor Julian Zelizer, whose field is history and public affairs at Princeton University, said that  using the White House as a “prop” at a party convention is “unprecedented” in recent times. “There still is a boundary between politics and governing, and the Oval Office and White House are a public site meant for the country that isn’t meant to be a political backdrop,” Zelizer told ABC News. “To just use it as the major site for a convention speech seems like a lot with President Trump — you just take all the guardrails down.”

Cite, please. That something is “unprecedented” doesn’t make it unethical. The White House has been used as a political prop many times, just not at a convention. Nothing has been quite as grubby as Bill Clinton selling nights in the Lincoln bedroom for big money donations, but way back in the Kennedy Administration, the nation gushed over lovely Jackie Kennedy  hosting a televised tour of her “home,” bolstering the developing legend of how graceful and refined the young First Couple were. (Jack was probably banging a starlet while Jackie was being filmed.) Go ahead, tell me that “special” wasn’t “unprecedented” or political. Continue reading