It’s Called Sacrificing Individual Rights For “The Greater Good.” Jefferson Would Hate It, And So Should Any Ethical American

Yet this is what progressives and Democrats increasingly argue for to solve problems.

Exhibit #1: David Brooks

It hard to believe that David Brooks was once considered to be a conservative. Spend enough time in the New York Times culture, apparently, at least if your character, principles and integrity are as weak as David’s seem to be, and you will emerge from your chrysalis as a new, collectivist, proto-totalitarian.

Here’s Brooks on PBS talking about what he’d like to see installed to address gun violence:

President Biden spoke about red flagging, that you would find somebody you think is potentially dangerous, and we would be able to — authorities would be able to go in and take guns away.

That would take a gigantic cultural shift in this country, a revamping of the way we think about privacy, a revamping of the way we think about the role government plays in protecting the common good. I think it’d be something I think would be good not only for — to head off shootings, but good to live in a society where we cared more intimately about each other.

And I would be willing to give up certain privacies for that to happen. But, for many Americans, that would just be a massive cultural shift to regard community and regard our common good more frankly, in a European style. I think it would benefit our society in a whole range of areas, but it’s hard to see that kind of culture change to a society that’s been pretty individualistic for a long, long time.

Observe what “conservative” pundit Brooks is advocating here. The government decides someone is “dangerous” and can then take away Second Amendment rights. What would stop the government from taking other rights away that it might believe are “dangerous” in the hands of someone it fears? This is pre-crime. This is open-ended government control over individual liberty based on subjective standards. And David Brooks says he’d “be willing to give up certain privacies for that to happen,” because he knows that he would probably not be a target of such government oppression. After all, he’s now on the “right’ side.

The United States, he says, is “pretty individualistic,” meaning too individualistic, by European standards. Yet the United States of America was created expressly to reject the limitations on individualism placed on its citizens by European cultures and governments.

Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/20/22: ” Seeing Bad Stuff In September” Edition

Stop making me defend Scott Pelley! The conservative news media is beating on “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley for what they are calling a “softball” interview, as if every “60 Minutes” interview of a sitting President hasn’t been just as tame, or even tamer. At least Pelley asked Biden about Hunter. The truth is that Americans still prefer to see their Presidents treated with respect and some degree of deference, unless the President is Donald Trump.

It’s funny: the same outlets that are condemning Pelley as a Democratic ally and hack are wondering why Biden’s “handlers” allowed the blithering POTUS to do an interview at all. Of course the conditions demanded for the interview included no follow up questions, and a softball session. And it didn’t matter! Biden’s performance was frightening anyway, and unlike the 2020 interview with Trump, when Leslie Stahl’s clear objective was to attack throughout, the White House couldn’t complain afterwards that the President was sabotaged by a biased journalist. Pelley asked about Joe’s mental fitness, and Biden replied, “Watch me!” And so we did, and have. He continued,

And it ma—, honest to God, that’s all I think. Watch me. If you think I don’t have the energy level or the mental acuity, then — then, you know, that’s one thing. It’s another thing, you just watch and — and, you know, keep my schedule. Do what I’m doing….“I — I think that, you know — I don’t — when I sit down with our NATO allies and keep ’em together, I don’t have ’em saying, ‘Wait a minute, w— how — how old are you? What are you — what say?’ You know, I mean, it’s a matter of, you know, that old expression: The proof of the pudding’s in the eating. I mean, I — I — I respect the fact that people would say, you know, ‘You’re old.’ And — but I think it relates to h— how much energy you have, and whether or not the job you’re doing is one consistent with what any person of any age would be able to do.”

Whether it was Pelley’s intention or not, he ended up doing what ethical journalists are supposed to do: he let the facts speak for themselves.

1. On the topic of social media viewpoint censorship, this:

It takes a lot of chutzpah for YouTube to demonetize a channel because it violates YouTube’s “values” and then sell ads on the same content.

2. Oh please, please let this happen to me! In an open thread at Althouse, a commenter tells this tale,

A friend’s brother lives in Florida. They recently got new neighbors from NY, a husband and wife. A few days after moving in the wife stops over and sits down. She says, “OK, let’s get this out of the way. I am a Democrat and my husband an Independent. What are you?” Non-plussed, he says he is Republican. For the next 15 minutes he was called every expected name- Nazi, racist, etc. IN HIS OWN F-ING HOME!

It’s my contention that the left now knows its flaws are becoming obvious and are overcompensating to hear themselves repeat their failing worldview…

Continue reading

“Ethics Dunce” Doesn’t Quite Do New York Mayor Eric Adams Justice

Help. I need a new designation. Long ago, I began using Ethics Dunce to describe individuals whose ethics alarms failed to work when they were most needed, resulting in clearly unethical and indefensible conduct. Later, EA began using the label “Fick,” after the recently departed Leroy Fick, to describe someone who was unethical and defiant about it. Since the American Left began going, as Bill Maher said recently with unusual perspicacity, “mental,” “Ethics Dunce” has seemed increasingly inadequate.

Many of the assertions and actions we have seen aren’t the result of malfunctioning ethics alarms, they arise from a deliberate attempt to redefine what is right while abusing power, position and influence to do so. “Dunce” is too mild; dunces can’t help themselves. The new breed are nascent totalitarians: should I add “Totalitarian of the Month”?

It’s a good thing I didn’t bother to reassemble my head yesterday, or this would have undone all my hard work:

Continue reading