As to how bad the current Left is, it is far better than the Left of the 60s
I also understood Binswanger to have the position that it was OK not to vote for Reagan, because the left wasn't so bad then. And it's also OK not to vote for Trump, because the left isn't so bad now.
To better compare the left today with the recent past, I read an article from 1980 which talked about the current and past situation. Emphasis in quotes is added by me.
In terms of philosophical fundamentals, the direction is still downwards.
And it blames Kant.
At the end of the 60's, the leftists acted as if they owned the world. But in fact, their power never extended much beyond the inbred world of today's intellectuals; the leftists never owned, or even grasped the nature of, America.
Today, the leftists have real power. They've had the presidency for 8 years and they nearly had another 4. They own California, New York, Washington DC, and a lot more.
America took the other steps the "doves" demanded: we gutted the FBI and CIA, cut defense spending, abandoned the anti-missile system, recognized Red china, increased trade and exchanges with Soviet Russia, withdrew our support from anti-communist regimes, and gave away the panama canal. The movement has failed, however, in its ideological aim. With each falling domino, from South Vietnam right through to Afghanistan, the spectacular failure of appeasement and the insatiable aggressiveness of Russia have become so clear that even president Carter has felt constrained to declare that he has changed his mind about the Russians.
Obama and Hillary have not changed their mind about the Iranians.
The American public's furious indignation over Iran's seizure of hostages and Russia's invasion of Afghanistan is a dramatic confirmation of the fact that the "peace" movement has not succeeded in extinguishing this country's self-esteem.
This year, Obama paid a fortune in ransom money for the return of Iranian hostages. The American public is not particularly furious that Iran took hostages nor that Obama paid ransom for them.
The anti-technology movement – "ecology," "environmentalism," "conservationism" – is fading rapidly. Remember "Spaceship Earth," "the limits to growth," and "man's rape of the earth"?
That movement is alive and well today. It has massive influence in both government policy and the culture. It has created international agreements. It has killed our soldiers by convincing our military to use worse equipment to be more "green." It has become disrespectable to doubt global warming.
Observe what the left has been unable to achieve. The drive for socialized medicine is stalled. The move to break up the oil companies has been abandoned.
Socialized medicine and the destruction of the oil companies are real dangers today. Those are Obama policies and he achieved a lot. Thankfully Trump favors fossil fuels and has promised to repeal Obamacare.
The best sign of the times is, perhaps, the disappearance of avowedly liberal political leaders. The very term "liberal" has become a stigma, politically.
That's sure gotten worse.
For the first time since the beginning of the New Deal, there are some areas in which the government's power is being rolled back. The gains made by the left have been due to inertia; the left is on the defensive – and they have plenty to feel defensive about.
The left hasn't been on the defensive lately. The main sign of hope here is Trump's victory. But Trump will not be rolling back the government's power much, if at all. Nor will the Republican congress which contains many leftist sympathizers, RINOs, moderates, and career politicians.
In America, there was never any chance that the statists would take over.
Obama and Hillary are statists. Today there is at least a clear chance of statists taking over.
Trump has promised to freeze most federal government hiring and require two regulations be repealed for each new one added. But on the whole he isn't a very good advocate of limited government.
Do the American people, today, really want limited Government? I don't think the majority do.
The economic and political state to which the intellectuals have brought this country is so horrendously counter to the American spirit
The American spirit is in danger. Far too many Americans now identify with its enemies like Obama and Hillary. Far too many Americans have been educated in "progressive" schools. Far too many "Americans" are foreigners, here legally or illegally, who have not adopted American values and do not possess the American spirit.
After every anti-American statement and action by Obama, his policies nearly got a third term. Our culture is in grave danger. Anti-Americanism is everywhere. Western Europe is even further gone down a similar road and provides some dire warnings.
The American pro-reason, pro-freedom, pro-achievement "sense of life" has swung away angrily from the consequences of even semi-statism.
Something like that won us this election, but only barely, and despite the opposition of many Objectivists.
the moral code of altruism will carry us to statism, regardless of short-term backpedalling. Our only hope is finally, fully to reject the premise that sacrifice is moral, and proudly assert man's right to exist for his own sake.
Altruism hasn't gone anywhere. That "only hope" hasn't happened.
At the dawn of the 80's, the left has collapsed, and the right is waiting to be born.
Any collapse of the left was only temporary. The left is strong today. It dominates the media, the government agencies, the public schools, the universities, the non-profits, the technology companies, and the "intellectual" culture.
The left riots in the streets, releases criminals from prison, and says the statement "all lives matter" is racist. The left gets away with ridiculous farces like saying voter ID requirements are racist. The left has given billions of dollars to the leading state sponsor of terrorism and is working to help arm them with nuclear weapons capable of hitting the USA. The left uses the IRS to attack political enemies and uses the FBI and justice department to help cover up their crimes. The left has betrayed our country repeatedly (e.g. leaving Iraq and letting ISIS become a major power) and has the power and influence to get away with all this. (Or they nearly did. We'll have to see what Trump does about this.)
The article the quotes are from is The Swing To The Right by Harry Binswanger. In 1980 he said the 60's left never had much power in America. Today he says the left in the 60s was worse than today. Does he think that Obama had no real power, or that Obama isn't so bad!?
Thus, for example, where I would have chosen the headline: "Illegal Alien Convicted of Incest, Child Rape," The Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press went with the less catchy: "Man guilty in case of human smuggling.”
And where I would have used the headline, "Illegal Alien Repeatedly Raped 14-year-old Girl at Job Site," The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Mississippi, went with the more subtle, "Columbus resident charged with molestation.”
Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today’s horrifying terror attack in Berlin. Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday. ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad. These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.
I wrote a CNN-style version of Trump's statement:
Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today’s horrifying truck crash in Berlin. Innocent pedestrians died in the streets adjacent to the crash as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Drunk and other bad drivers continually slaughter motorists and pedestrians in their communities and this needs to change. These unsafe drivers and their memes must be educated to drive safely, a mission we will carry out with all safety-loving partners.
He said "indeed" to a tweet insulting children. Most people would do that, but in the past DD wouldn't have. He was good about ageism.
He said "indeed" to a tweet no one considers literally true.
He said "indeed" to an exaggerated, ageist, unserious, unintellectual claim that Trump is clueless and incompetent. (Also file that under unoriginal!)
He likes Obama more than Trump. (Previously we found out he likes Hillary more than Trump.)
He says "yes" that Putin is "the worst dictator" which is false.
DD says "yes" that Trump is "befriending" Putin. That's false. Trump is – as he should – having a working relationship with a person his job requires him to work with. Work relationships are different than friendships. Suggesting that Trump is personal friends with Putin is a lazy smear.
From Obama's worst policies, DD excludes: Obamacare, supporting Iran, supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, supporting Cuba, open borders, appointing activist leftist judges, and losing the Iraq war. That's just a small start on what Obama did wrong.
DD not only claims that Trump will pursue all Obama's worst policies, but that Trump is even worse at all of them than Obama. This is unfair to Trump by ignoring many terrible Obama policies where Trump is way better. And it's false because Trump is better on every listed policy than Obama. Trump is going to be more financially irresponsible than Obama? Really? I read Trump's tax plan, among other things, and I don't see it. I await DD's considered argument for this claim and the others. But DD doesn't explain serious arguments anymore, he tweets.
DD has become an apologist for Obama and the left. DD speaks imprecisely and participates in superficial commentary. DD no longer cares much about ageism.
I follow DD's tweets and this quality is typical. He used to be a much better thinker.
Update: Here's a second example of low quality DD tweets. From someone else it'd just be expected that they are confused about AI, persons, animals, etc, all of that. But DD used to be good at these things. And he used to be my peer. But these tweets aren't in my league or up to DD's former standards of thinking.
My quick thoughts on Trump's missile attack on the Syrian airbase which Assad launched a despicable chemical weapons attack from:
Trump's attack was a pretty moderate, normal, mainstream thing to do.
It was OK, not great.
It's not what Trump said he'd do. E.g. in 2013 Trump wrote a bunch of tweets about staying out of Syria.
I'd prefer if Trump focused on his campaign promises more – destroy ISIS, get out of the Iran deal, build the wall, repeal Obamacare, and move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. None of those issues are going very well so far.
There's a selective attention issue. Why is this the right conflict to intervene in instead of a different one?
Trump and others haven't explained the self-interest of the attack in a clear, convincing way. What are the big-picture goals we're hoping to achieve by intervening? Spending $75,000,000 to help a few foreigners in the short term is bad policy which is contrary to the purpose of the US government and the purpose of our taxes.
Most people believe military actions should be proportional. That's wrong. They should involve whatever force is necessary for effective defense and resolving the problem.
It's bad to get drawn into back-and-forth tit-for-tat conflicts with only minor escalations. Ongoing fighting is awful. Instead, take little or no action until you're ready to go all-out and win. Trump's strike isn't anything like a last warning or second-to-last warning. It was just a response and Trump has threatened to do more small responses if Assad behaves badly again. That's a bad approach. (But note also that it's a moderate, mainstream approach. I'm the one who is out of the mainstream in my views here.)
If you're going to get involved in military conflict at all, there should be a plan to win in a fast, brutal, one-sided, non-proportional manner which is either pursued immediately or else threatened and ready. If you're just bluffing and have no plan for winning, stay out of it.
When you see violent thugs rioting in the streets, you may assume they're strong, scary zealots. They claim to care deeply about strongly-held political views. They present themselves as being so inspired and motivated that they're willing to fight for their ideals.
I want you to reconsider. Most of them are ignorant victims. They are abused and controlled by a few leaders (aka "community organizers"). Just like how cults control, indoctrinate and abuse people. Most of the violent thugs are actually weak, pathetic wretches with no money, no control over their lives, and no idea what's going on. They're sad victims to be pitied, not strong zealots to be feared.
Violence is a serious matter and the police need to provide protection and arrest rioters. Don't walk up to these people for a chat; they're dangerous. But do change your perspective on them.
Yvette Felarca & BAMN
Yvette Felarca is a leader in a left-wing, American, political cult called By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). They use violence for political purposes. They indoctrinate and abuse children. They're Marxists. They've been in the news recently for violently shutting down speeches by conservatives.
BAMN was created in 1995 by Attorney Shanta Driver, in Berkeley, California, in order to oppose Proposition 209. Proposition 209 ultimately ended affirmative action in the state's university system. Affirmative action is racist – it's literally about treating people differently according to their race – so BAMN is a racist group. More about BAMN.
Riots and Violence
BAMN participated in violent riots that shut down Milo Yiannopoulos's talk at Berkeley earlier this year, and Felarca defended the riots on TV! She said rioting was necessary to shut down Milo, who she victim-blamed as a fascist. She defined fascist as "someone who’s organizing a mass movement that’s attacking women, immigrants, black people, other minority groups in a movement of genocide." Milo hasn't called for killing anybody. Felarca is a liar who wanted violence first (to suppress ideas she hates) and made up an excuse second. BAMN's violence also led to suppressing the free speech of Ann Coulter and David Horowitz, and the students who invited them, at Berkeley.
Felarca has a history of personally participating in violence. She attacked a man and incited others to attack him at a gathering of white nationalists called the Traditionalist Workers Party in Sacramento in June 2016. That violence left seven people stabbed and nine hospitalized. A California Highway Patrol officer said Felarca's group started the violence, “If I had to say who started it and who didn’t, I’d say the permitted group didn’t start it." A statement from the California Highway Patrol agreed, saying that the Traditionalist Workers Party had obtained a permit and that "non-permitted groups confronted the permitted group, leading to violence."
And this violence is all part of a conscious strategy of, in Felarca's own words, building a "mass militant" movement.
A Danger to Children
This would all be bad enough if Felarca was a full time communist activist working for George Soros. But she's actually a teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. She uses her position of authority over children to recruit for BAMN during school. She pushes her political agenda when she's supposed to be teaching.
And BAMN isn't just a group of violent communists (that'd be bad enough!). It's worse. It's a cult which abuses children. BAMN lures children to join (including directly from public school) and uses intimidation, threats and force against its own members to prevent them from leaving. It has dozens of dirty tactics including lying to get people psychiatrically institutionalized when they try to leave BAMN and placing guards on people to prevent them from leaving.
There are numerous testimonials regarding BAMN's cult-like operation and recruiting methods. Secret Survivors of BAMN is a blog where people who escaped discuss their trauma and how the cult operates. They made it private after BAMN's recent rioting drew attention, but a copy remains publicly available.
I'll present three testimonials so you can judge for yourself what BAMN is really like and whether the police should shut them down:
Jevon (PDF mirror) is a UC Berkeley Alumni. He was recruited into BAMN at age 14 and then pressured to leave his family (in Detroit) and live with BAMN members in Oakland. BAMN said he could get legally emancipated soon after and rejoin his family if he wanted to. But after he arrived in Oakland to live with Yvette Felarca, Jevon was instructed to change his name and cut off all contact with friends, family, and even other BAMN members in Detroit. (Isolating people and cutting them off from their old life helps cults control them.)
Jevon wound up being told he could go home after some time had passed, but the time to return home never came, a charade that continued for almost a year. Eventually he reconciled with his family and his mother bought him a plane ticket back to Detroit. But cults don't let members just walk out the door:
When they realized they could not talk me out of leaving, they got physical. Yvette Felarca came into my room one night and instructed me to read out loud a statement that Shanta Driver had written and convinced me to sign about how my family was abusive. Tired of debating my decision with them, I refused. That night, Yvette and other BAMN members took turns sleeping by my bed to “make sure he doesn’t go anywhere.” They confiscated my house keys to restrict my movement.
While trying to make his flight, BAMN members tried to take away his suitcase. Then three cultists assaulted him to grab his phone to prevent him from arranging to leave. Jevon fought off the assault enough for his mom to hear what was going on over the phone, and she called the police. BAMN lied to the police who were then hostile to Jevon. He eventually managed to talk the police into letting him leave after BAMN stole all his money and ID cards.
With the help of a neighbor Jevon made it to the airport and escaped. BAMN still did what it could to punish him for leaving the cult:
When I tried to inform other BAMN members about what had happened to me, particularly other youth many of whom I had recruited and therefore felt responsible for putting at risk, I learned that BAMN had denounced me to everyone. They told people that I had went crazy and turned against the organization and went to the police and that everyone should call off all contact with me. They were also instructed to report my whereabouts to Shanta because they were looking for me to put me in a mental institution.
From talking with people afterwards, Jevon learned that BAMN had treated other people in a similar way to his own nightmare experience.
Alex From Detroit's Testimonial
Alex from Detroit gives an account (PDF mirror) of her experiences with BAMN. She was manipulated by her girlfriend who threatened to dump her if she wasn't in BAMN's inner circle. And she tells us about BAMN's recruiting methods:
So they start out luring kids with field trips and the chance to skip classes for meetings. When I was at [Cass Technical High School] they had a very strong presence because Steve Conn was one of the math teachers and most of their student leadership came directly from Cass. The kids who are just in it for ditching school are [used] mostly as bodies and extra mass during the rallies and protests. They could care less what happens to these kids but the more numbers they have on their side the better the protests look to the media.
School teachers exploit their captive audience to recruit for BAMN. Children come to meetings to get out of school. What kind of system is that? Teachers shouldn't be encouraging kids to cut class and attend Marxist cult meetings instead. And then they use bored, powerless students as extra bodies at political rallies and protests which they sometimes turn violent!
Alex explains how involvement escalates as children are pressured to do more and more BAMN activities:
If you are not just in it for ditching school and had actual political leanings, they invited us to after school meetings where we would discuss current group events or if there was a particular rally, protest or election coming up we would do things to contribute to that, such as making signs and calling people who had signed petitions with their contact information. Here again, is where I specifically was pressured into doing things that made me uncomfortable. I do not like talking on the phone. I can talk to family members and I have, after years of doing it, been able to be comfortable talking at work. I used to have extreme anxiety about it. I expressed this very clearly to my ex and to the leaders of BAMN but was given the impression that there would be consequences if I didn’t ie: Being ejected from BAMN’s inner circle which would lead to being dumped.
It's cruel to make Alex work the phones when she could have easily done a different task instead. But uncomfortable, stressed, anxious people are easier to control. BAMN wanted to keep Alex off-balance.
Alex also describes being pressured to attend events even when she didn't know what she was protesting or why. In one city council meeting, Alex read a new Harry Potter book and only looked up or chanted when another BAMN member elbowed her.
At a political debate, Alex didn't know what she was protesting. Her mom asked her but she couldn't answer. She was "instructed to come along to the protest, hold a sign, chant something and walk in a circle within a specific radius outside of [the protest location]. There was no other information given."
Interestingly, BAMN seems to recognize the ignorance of its members. BAMN's own pledge says:
To those who criticize the legitimacy of our walkouts or other youth-led mass actions by saying “most of the students/youth cannot even say what they are fighting for”, I say rest assured we are always fighting for our dignity, equality, respect and justice.
So the kids don't learn anything at school from their BAMN teachers who tell them to cut class for BAMN, and then they don't learn anything at BAMN either!
Jason reports members being publicly condemned for their private romantic problems, and then engaging in "Maoist self-criticism" where they talk about the struggles of revolutionary consciousness under capitalism and profusely apologize to the group for their private behavior.
What happens if you privately question any RWL decisions, such as kicking someone out because he didn't want to financially support a jobless RWL member? Shanta Driver "began shrieking" that Jason was a racist (the person kicked out was white, the person to be financially supported was black).
Being denounced as a racist by a cult leader had consequences:
The experience had a somewhat scarring effect on me in that it showed a number of comrades, already [possessing] a certain appetite for Stalinist style [bureaucratism], that I was fair game for criticism in the leaderships eyes. As such my political life was for several months very difficult in Albany. Sarah W. and Yvette F. were continually denouncing me for one thing or another and I was held at [candidate] membership for an extended period of time.
RWL did not care about Jason's health or well being. People are easier to control while in extreme poverty and dependent on the cult for shelter and food:
While formally enrolled in college I neither attended classes nor worked. The RWL did not have many paid staffers, nonetheless I was subsidized (in an extremely minimal manner) by the organization in order so that I could work for the org. full time. I was constantly broke, without money for books or an adequate diet, couch surfing at various comrades apartments.
Later, RWL lied to have Jason involuntarily held at a psychiatric facility in order to prevent him from dissenting at an upcoming meeting. Jason explains:
I was horrified, I never felt so trapped against my will.
the RWL, in ordering comrades to undergo treatment, is utilizing a form of [bourgeois] medical process to marginalize inactive or oppositional cadre and isolate them from the party. This is horrible.
Cults don't allow dissent.
When Jason and his girlfriend decided to leave the cult, he was in a such a powerless situation that they had difficulty with basic matters like bus fare and packing luggage.
The RWL must have sensed [something] was amiss [...] From that moment on we were never left alone together.
They actually risked packing luggage to leave while being watched by a spy who, thankfully, didn't rat them out.
Felarca Indoctrinates Students
The Berkeley Unified School District has catalogued allegations against Felarca going back to 2009 which it detailed to Felarca in a 30-page letter. These included "immoral conduct, evident unfitness for service, persistent violation of or refusal to obey school laws, dishonesty, unprofessional conduct and unsatisfactory performance." Berkeley Unified School District's complaints include:
In 2009, Felarca "repeatedly solicited students to participate in protests" against a proposed charter school during the work day, in defiance of a formal reprimand.
In 2011, she asked for permission to take an after-school club on an all-day field trip to protest against Proposition 209, and was told she couldn't because it would be a chance for her to "indoctrinate" students and violate what she'd been told in 2009 regarding non-permitted activities.
In 2013, Felarca repeatedly used leave to attend immigrant rights marches in Washington, D.C., which is not a permissible purpose for leave. They docked her pay and told her to stop, but she kept doing it. When they tried to have a private meeting with her, “employees in the District office were confronted with a loud group of over ten young people … chanting and carrying signs” protesting “teacher harassment.” Felarca refused to answer how the students knew about the meeting.
Felarca wrote a celebratory Facebook post that the District was backing down on discipline and "encouraged supporters to sign a petition that called Felarca a hero and role model, and said she should be allowed to use personal leave at her discretion."
The District said “it was evident that you and your [By Any Means Necessary] representatives were actively trying to brainwash and manipulate these young people to serve your own selfish interests in not being held accountable to the same rules that apply to everyone else. As a teacher, your conduct was particularly reprehensible.” [Emphasis added.]
In 2014, Felarca allegedly misused her leave again, protesting UC regents and participating in Black Lives Matter demonstrations. She then lied and claimed she had no recollection of these events, despite the fact that:
[Felarca] had taken two full days off work to attend, had spoken during public comment [as documented on YouTube], had a large bullhorn in [her] hand outside and spoke to a large group of students, and passionately and loudly advocated for [her] cause; and despite the fact that [she] clearly wanted the attention and media coverage. [Felarca's] continued and repeated claims, frequently accompanied by long pauses and a smirk on [her] face, that [she] could not recall being there, were patently dishonest.
In 2015, Felarca requested permission to take students to immigration court for the hearing of a woman seeking asylum, and didn't disclose BAMN's involvement in the case. Felarca's request was denied, but she went anyways and was interviewed on TV during the event.
The District also claims that a parent contacted them and said Felarca had “marginalized Caucasian students” in her classroom and presented controversial issues in a biased manner.
After all this and her Sacramento violence, Felarca finally was put on leave in September of 2016.
What was Felarca's reaction to being put on leave? She followed her previous pattern of weaponizing her students and other supporters against the administration in a high-pressure campaign.
At an October 5, 2016 meeting of the Berkeley School Board, various Felarca supporters spoke out, with some making references to Felarca teaching them their "rights" as immigrants as they were cheered on by the crowd. One particularly troubling scene makes clear how much this was an organized political action and not a spontaneous outpouring of support from students. A young boy appears to be directed to read a statement by a woman wearing a BAMN t-shirt. In the course of the statement, he says "That's not fair, that the District don't let Yvette bring kids to protest." A young girl speaks immediately after (with the BAMN minder still present), repeating the same theme and saying "It's not fair what you guys are doing, because Ms. Felarca deserves to take kids out to protest on her free time" and concluded her statement by bashing President Trump. Observe that this defense of Felarca is the very behavior the District had been asking her to stop since 2009 (that is, taking students to political protests).
The October 5 meeting ultimately descended into chaos when protestors started shouting & chanting when the Board attempted to move to the next agenda item.
Felarca also filed a lawsuit against the District in October, claiming that "BUSD had interrogated her students, removed her from a staff meeting, and threatened to withhold funding, for longstanding programs, from colleagues who expressed support for her." And Shanta Driver filed a lawsuit on behalf of 8 students against the District in November "alleging [the students] were racially targeted and intimidated by district officials."
Felarca was ultimately reinstated on November 2, 2016. One might reasonably think this a result of Felarca's high pressure tactics and the use of her students as weapons against the BUSD. But it may be more because Felarca has friends in high places: the Mayor of Berkeley, Jesse Arreguin, is a member of BAMN's Facebook group and Facebook friends with Felarca.
It's disturbing that Felarca still has a job as a school teacher after all this violence, indoctrination of children, and refusal to do what her employer asks.
A Sad Story of Victims
Members of BAMN and other "anti-fascist" organizations present themselves as zealots so committed to their political cause that they're willing to use violence.
But the reality is different. We've seen that many members are children abused by the BAMN cult. People join to skip school classes or get lured away from their family and aren't allowed to leave. Children are tricked by authority figures like their teachers. Many are victims, not zealots.
And then BAMN uses criminal tactics to prevent members from leaving: violence, guards, lying to members, lying to the police, and lying to psychiatrists. As well as pressure, psychological manipulation, denunciations, etc...
This is a monstrous evil. The cult leaders should go to jail. But the victims actually could use rescuing.
BAMN's leaders are violent criminals who are a lot better at exploiting children than understanding politics and economics. They should be prosecuted and shut down.
The bulk of BAMN's membership are abuse victims who would benefit from learning American values and the American way of life. They're not protesting because they disagree with society – they never learned how to be part of society in the first place.
Next time you see an anti-free-speech riot, remember it's just a facade. Behind the mask of strong, violent zealots are weak, pathetic sheep. They may be able to throw a few rocks and start fires but, as usual, evil is impotent.
Correction: The article mistakenly said Alex is male. Alex contacted me with a correction and I changed the gender pronouns on 2018-10-26.
What is with people who don't like things to be "politicized"? Do you not want people you tribally dislike to say reasonable things because then you'll have to disagree with them because you were born with nothing but an amygdala for a brain?
EDIT: good point made in the comments, exploiting people's emotions to manipulate their political beliefs while they're in a less rational state is bad
i take it you're insulting right wingers including classical liberals who believe in freedom regarding the issue of gun control. i'd suggest being more clear about what your point is in the future.
I'd suggest being less paranoid, you're wrong about what I'm arguing
There's nothing in my post that needs clarification, people on the left get mad at the NRA for "politicizing" shootings too when they say less people would have died if one of the hostages was carrying a gun
do you have an example of that? for example, Hillary chose to politicize the shooting rather than accuse the NRA of politicizing. By contrast, I say many right wingers complaining about Hillary politicizing it.
Sure, let me find it. There was some hostage situation in recent years when people said open carry would have prevented it
Hold on, let's stick to the Vegas shooting and representative examples! I'm sure somewhere in history you'll find one example.
Not just open carry but also when refugees commit shootings the right politicizes it with immigration
Are you in favor of gun control or against it?
Can't find the hostage situation rn, do you disagree with the immigration point?
I'm not sure what to think about gun control
I agree that the right sometimes politicizes shootings, but in my understanding the dominant trend after the Vegas shooting – which is the context of your post – was the left politicizing it and the right criticizing the politicization. If I'm mistaken because I didn't see a broad enough sample of political messaging, I'd appreciate the correction. If you saw it similarly, then wasn't your post a reaction to some right winger comments?
It was caused by me seeing right winger comments and seeing a problem with the "don't politicize" part of the argument, not the "gun control has downsides" part
views on gun control are relevant here. e.g. consider Hillary's pivot to bringing up silencers. was that relevant and reasonable, or just unreasonably trying to use the tragedy in an unrelated way? people who have knowledge about silencers and gun rights are going to have a different perspective on Hillary's comments than someone who is neutral. Part of their reaction – which you took issue with – was due to knowledge of the issues, not tribalism and amygdalae.
Hunters want suppressors to prevent damage to their ears and their dogs' ears, and to be better able to hear each other and prevent dangerous hunting miscommunications. That's what Hillary pivoted to the tragedy to.
A reasonable response would be to call Hillary Clinton dishonest, because her comments were an attempt to shoehorn an unrelated agenda where it didn't fit and mislead the public. The discussion is ready to go straight into the mud. But do we want a bunch of mud slinging and character attacks and typical political dirty fighting to be the centerpiece of the national discussion of the Vegas tragedy? As much as I'm personally pretty willing to debate anything, I do see why people could object to this!
and the reason some people don't want a bunch of murder to be politicized is because of their respect for life and human dignity.
What about politics inherently lacks respect for that
many political discussions aren't respectful of the gravity of mass murder, as i'm sure you've observed
Is that because they're political?
Partly, yes. Some types of discussions are more known for human decency than others.
The only political discussions which lack respect for life and dignity are the ones with bad political arguments
Any solution to this issue is going to be one of policy, so even if politics causes irrationality in humans, our other choice is having murder problems which don't seem less important than irrationality
"The only political discussions which lack respect for life and dignity are the ones with bad political arguments"
So, most of them? Do you see the problem?
No one is objecting to debating the issues at some point, and trying to make the discussions civil. But there are questions about the apporpriate immediate comments from public figures. Should they prioritize attempting a dirty political sound byte, or perhaps is it better to begin by saying something about their respect for human life and how sad they are about the tragedy, and then try to debate gun control issues in the normal ways afterwards?
The better explanation is irrationality, not politics
"Don't politicize" is a problematic criterion, and we have a better criterion, "don't be irrational"
People debate what is irrational or not. Being more specific is good sometimes.
Of course it's a problematic criterion. They aren't having extensive serious discussions with both sides engaging with each other. It's not a very intellectual forum.
A better criterion would be "don't politicize too soon after tragedies", but even that creates problems that aren't clearly improvements, because people lose political motivation after tragedies
that's roughly what lots of them meant, though the issue isn't entirely a matter of time. part of the issue is what you say in the time before the political debate. and your actual attitudes, not just statements.
and btw they primarily meant for the anti-politicization comments to apply to public figures, and people participating in the hashtags/slogans/yelling kind of politics, not discussions on serious debating forums.
I saw a formulation of don't politicize idea from a right-winger (FYI Elliot, it was Tracinski) that just said wait 72 hours after tragedy. very modest standard but people couldn't even come close to that
some major voices on the left are really eager to proclaim that they know the solution to tragedies like this. some major voices on the right disagree, and think they have better solutions, but are more willing to try to set that disagreement aside briefly to have some unity in mourning.
can we pray together and try to think things over for a few days before we go back to squabbling over the same bitter disagreement we've been fighting about for decades?
^ I think that's a reasonable attitude.
can we, in the wake of the tragedy, use it as a reminder that we're on the same side, instead of using it as leverage to be divisive?
unfortunately i honestly don't think Hillary Clinton is on the same side as the rest of us. but i can sympathize with people who take the above kind of attitude, and i think most of the left are reasonably decent people.
If I were president I'd cancel most of the meetings, travel, etc, etc, and make some forums which are publicly readable.
There'd be a forum where all the countries have an account with write access. And one where all US politicians have write access. And one with a lot of media and intellectuals.
I think forum discussions are actually the best thing the US president could do.
Imagine if all the politicians, media personalities, etc., with bad ideas had to actually write about them on the record on a daily basis? Imagine if you just kept following up on discussions. What would they do? What most people do currently with me is just stop responding to things, which they can get away with socially because I have low prestige. But just refusing to answer forever wouldn't be a viable answer to the president's forum, and arguments/questions from the president and his staff. That'd look really bad to the world: Nancy Pelosi has been asked the same question for 5 days in a row and just won't answer at all.
But if they did answer they'd get pinned down.
They'd have to do evasive tactics: missing the point, playing dumb, trying to create confusion, saying unclear things, trying to make the discussion go in circles, etc. All that stuff can be called out, pointed out, and basically made to look as foolish as it is. People get away with that stuff in verbal formats with little followup, and behind closed doors, but not against the best debaters over a period of weeks with every word of it in the record. None of the bad guys have any method of dealing with that level of intellectual scrutiny.
They can lie, but the lies can be documented and the canonical links documenting lies can be repetitively posted every single time a lie is repeated. Staff can be hired to do that. That would cost a hell of a lot less than a wide variety of current, unimportant government departments. It's very easy by government standards.
And how do you deal with media questions? Press briefings are so incomplete that it's hard for people to see who's right and why. What if all the bullshit the press kept bugging Trump about was on a forum where some staff members replied with canonical links over and over so everything was getting answered? How would the media continue to ignore the main points, which they currently ignore, if it was being linked in reply to them every time they talked?