Even before he quit The Intercept, the investigative news organization that he helped found, in protest of its refusal to report the Hunter Biden laptop story so it wouldn’t hurt Joe Biden’s prospects in the 2020 election, journalist Glenn Greenwald was calling out the mainstream media for flagrant dishonesty and partisan reporting during the Trump administration. Greenwald, who is a non-partisan critic and a libertarian muckraker, is now being accused of being a “traitor” by progressives because he’s doing what reporters used to regard as their duty. How dare a journalist deliberately undermine a false narrative being advanced by the news media for “the greater good”?
His recent exposé shows why Greenwald is an ethics hero as well as a possible savior of his profession, which looks like it is going down for the proverbial third time.
Since it is “Pride Month”—yes, we have a special month celebrating how people have sex and who they have sex with—politicians decided to use the approaching five year anniversary of the PULSE massacre in Orlando to grandstand about LGBTQ hate crimes, and, by extension, those evil conservatives who clearly hate gays and transsexuals. Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people on July 22, 2016 at an Orlando gay nightclub, so the narrative has become that Mateen, was motivated by anti-LGBT hate. This is simply untrue; it isn’t even a matter of controversy. Mateen was an Islamic terrorist, and his motive was to punish innocent Americans for President Obama’s bombing campaigns in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. He made that undeniable in what he wrote and said. He probably didn’t even know PULSE had a gay clientele. All evidence shows that he chose PULSE at random.
(That’s Chris, about 12 rows up, third from the left…)
Chris Vance once was the chair of the Washington state Republican Party. He unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate last year, and now is stuck in a bright blue state where conservatives are as popular as bedbugs. Trying another approach, he has come out with an op-ed announcing that he has joined the protesters in his state, which are challenging the President’s efforts to more tightly control immigration, refugees, and the threat posed by Islamic terrorists.
My crack (and indispensable) issue scout Fred found Vance’s article and passed it along, asking, “Does belonging to a party ethically require loyalty to its agenda? Or to its principles? Is belonging to a party inherently unethical? The Founding Fathers might have said yes.”
The answers to these are: 1) Belonging to a party, like any group, allows principled dissent and advocacy for more just and reasonable policies. When an individual cannot support any of a party’s agenda, then he or she has an obligation to go elsewhere. Can one element of the agenda, such as support or opposition to abortion, be a deal-breaker? Of course. 2) If a party member cannot support a party’s principles, than pretending to be a member of the party is inherently dishonest, a breach of integrity and unethical. 3) Democracy requires political parties to function, as all democracies have learned. The Founders would have disagreed, but we have had the benefit a couple hundred years of experience that they lacked.. The Founders also would have disagreed with allowing women to vote, blacks running for President, and children having Constitutional rights.
I doubt any of the questions apply to Chris Vance, however. What appears to be going on is that an unsuccessful politician has assessed the likelihood of conservative Republican going very far in California Northwest, and decided to re-invent himself as not just anti-Trump (that didn’t work, because he was anti-Trump during the campaign and still lost) but anti-President and pro-Left Wing Freakout. His real problem, judging from the column, is that Vance just isn’t very bright, or perhaps isn’t very skilled at hiding the fact that his core beliefs are adjustable. Continue reading