The human mind’s infinite ability to devise rationalizations to justify unethical or irresponsible conduct apparently has no bounds. One way that I have discovered many of the nearly 60 excuses, fallacies, deceits, and ethical distortions that make up the Rationalizations List is to argue with intelligent people who are determined to justify conduct that is simply unjustifiable using such legitimate tools as logic, analysis, common sense and traditional ethics. Lacking good arguments and being unwilling to do that hardest thing—give up and admit they are wrong—they pin their position on a rationalization…sometimes one I had never heard before.
The public debate over the various proposals to “do something!” about mass shootings is as depressing as any discussion I have ever participated in. The willingness of gun opponents, Democrats, journalists, pundits and otherwise intelligent people to not only defy the Bill of Rights guarantee of due process but to literally ignore its existence shows how close the stinking breath of totalitarianism is to the neck on our nation, and that it is much hotter than I realized. This isn’t an exception or an anomaly. This is a result of carefully bred contempt for American values.
The intense ignorance crossed with malice toward our Constitution reached a climax of sorts today on social media, as people who should know better (and people who do know better, like erstwhile Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren) applauded the cynical and hypocritical “sit-in” by House Democrats, who said they would hold their breath until they turned blue unless the Congress of the United States voted to allow the government to take away the rights of citizens based on “suspicion.” Only rationalizations can defend this position, primarily among them “The Saint’s Excuse,” or “It’s for a good cause,” “It” is this case meaning..
- Accepting the ethically and morally bankrupt principle that “the ends justify the means”
- Setting a precedent for allowing the government to abridge any rights it chooses once by some standard it finds a law-abiding citizen “unworthy”
- Enacting a provision that the ACLU has pronounced unconstitutional
- Establishing the principle that the Congress can and will abandon the rule of law as long as enough members of the public and media let emotion overcome reality
- Lay the groundwork for a President, like say, just to pick a crazy, impossible example out of the air, President Trump, who is as ignorant of the rule of law as the position’s supporters, to really start ripping up the Bill of Rights, beginning with Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association.
To put it another way, it’s a really, really stupid and indefensible position.
[ The House sit-in just ended, by the way, after about a day. Nah, it wasn’t a publicity stunt! ] Continue reading