bookmark_border“Election deniers” and presuming what you are trying to prove

 

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I came across this post from “Defiant Ls,” which shows not only the blatant hypocrisy of Rep. Anna Eskamani and so many others who share her political views, but also their disturbing practice of presuming the truth of what they are trying to prove.

In particular, the use of the term “election denier” demonstrates the intolerance and authoritarianism of the left.

When you call someone a “denier,” you are presuming that the thing in question is true and therefore that the person is wrong to deny it.

The use of the term “election denier” presumes that the election was legitimate.

The use of the term “Holocaust denier” presumes that the Holocaust happened.

The use of the term “climate denier” presumes that climate change is occurring.

The use of the term “science denier” presumes that the scientific findings in question are correct.

I could continue giving more examples, but I think you get the point.

The problem is not the act of claiming that an election was legitimate, or that the Holocaust happened, or that climate change is actually occurring. In fact, I would probably agree with these claims. The problem is presuming these things. A person should never presume the thing that they are trying to prove, no matter how obvious they believe that thing is.

If you believe something, you need to state it, as opposed to presuming it.

If you believe that a person is wrong, you need to state that, as opposed to presuming it by calling that person a “denier.”

Presuming the truth of what you are trying to prove implies that there are no possible views that a person could have, other than your own. It doesn’t even allow for the possibility of alternative views existing. And that is the ultimate in intolerance and authoritarianism.

bookmark_borderThe authoritarianism of removing Trump from the ballot

As almost everyone knows, the state of Colorado decided last month to disqualify Donald Trump from appearing on the ballot for the Republican primary.

In making this decision, the Colorado Supreme Court cited section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which bars from federal office anyone who has engaged in “insurrection or rebellion.”

This provision was passed in the aftermath of the Civil War, and its use against Trump reflects the same authoritarianism that the 1860s United States used against the Confederacy.

Contrary to the assumptions of almost everyone, insurrection and rebellion are not bad things, but good things.

Insurrection and rebellion are acts of resisting authority. They are acts of courage. They are the manifestation of thinking for oneself, as opposed to mindlessly complying with authority and conforming to social norms.

Therefore, insurrection and rebellion are morally good things. They should be praised and encouraged, not condemned and punished.

Just as it was wrong for the Union to wage war on the Confederacy for attempting to leave the country and form a new one, it is equally wrong for courts to disqualify Trump from the ballot for standing up to an oppressive, unjust, and wrong system.

Both Donald Trump and those who fought for the Confederacy engaged in insurrection and rebellion.

In other words, both Trump and the Confederates demonstrated courage and moral goodness by standing up for what is right, even when it was difficult and unpopular to do so.

Both Trump and Confederate historical figures deserve to be honored, not punished, by our society.

bookmark_borderGavin Newsom’s repugnant statement

“Defying common sense, this ruling outrageously calls California’s data-backed gun safety efforts ‘repugnant.’ What is repugnant is this ruling, which green lights the proliferation of guns in our hospitals, libraries, and children’s playgrounds – spaces which should be safe for all. California will keep fighting to defend our laws and to enshrine a Right to Safety in the Constitution. The lives of our kids depend on it.”

So said California governor Gavin Newsom in response to a court ruling protecting people’s fundamental right to bear arms (source here).

Literally everything about this statement is wrong. 

First of all, “common sense” has nothing to do with which laws should exist. Morality is the only factor that determines which laws should exist, and moral right and wrong are determined by logic, not by common sense. 

Similarly, it makes no sense to characterize laws as “data-backed,” as Newsom does with regards to California’s rights-violating laws, because data has nothing to do with which laws should exist. Morality is the only factor that determines which laws should exist, and moral right and wrong are determined by logic, not by data. No amount of data can justify laws that violate people’s rights. 

As for the fact that the ruling “green lights the proliferation of guns” in various places… so? Possessing guns is a fundamental right; therefore people should be able to do so in any place that they choose. I’m not sure why Newsom considers it to be bad for people to be able to exercise their fundamental rights.

I’m also not sure why Newsom specifically mentions hospitals, libraries, and “children’s playgrounds” as places in which the possession of guns would allegedly be particularly bad. I don’t see anything about these places that makes possession of guns any more problematic than it would be in any other place. 

Additionally, I take issue with Newsom’s claim that the aforementioned spaces should be “safe for all.” As I mentioned above, I’m not sure why he singles out these particular types of spaces as ones in which safety is particularly important. But more fundamentally, it is wrong to claim that any spaces ought to be “safe for all.” It is, in fact, impossible to determine what even constitutes a space being “safe” in the first place. In all spaces, in all situations, and at all times, there is always a risk of something bad happening. Risks vary, of course, based on various factors and based on the specific type of bad thing one is trying to avoid. But it is impossible to have a zero percent chance of something bad happening. Safety exists along a continuum, with some spaces and situations being safer than others. Safety does not exist as a binary concept, with a clear dividing line between “safe” and “unsafe.” Any attempt to draw such a line would be arbitrary and therefore not based in logic. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to speak of anything as being “safe” or “unsafe;” it only makes sense to speak of some things as being safer than others. 

Which brings me to my next point: there is no such thing as a right to safety, the thing that Newsom wishes to enshrine in the Constitution. In order for such a right to exist, one would first need to determine the dividing line between what is considered “safe” and what is considered “unsafe.” But as I explained above, there is no logical place to draw such a line, and therefore no logical way to determine what constitutes being “safe,” because safety is not a binary concept, but rather a concept that exists along a continuum. In order for a “right to safety” to exist, there would need to be a certain level of safety that all people have a right to. There would need to be a threshold above which the level of risk cannot go without constituting a violation of people’s rights. But such a level, such a threshold, would necessarily be arbitrary and not based in logic. Therefore, a right to safety does not exist.

Another reason why a right to safety does not exist is that enforcing such a right, as Newsom wishes to do, necessarily requires violating the rights of others. The perfect example of this is Newsom’s policies regarding guns, which were the subject of the allegedly “repugnant” court ruling. Newsom believes that the right of people to own and possess guns should be violated in order to increase safety, something that he characterizes as protecting the supposed right to safety. However, owning and possessing guns is a fundamental right, because people have a fundamental right to purchase any products that they wish with their money, as well as a fundamental right to carry any items that they wish on their person. The existence of a “right to safety” would mean that these fundamental rights would need to be trampled on, further proving that no such thing as a right to safety exists. 

By alleging that a right exists which actually doesn’t (safety), Newsom is denying that a right exists which actually does (owning and possessing whichever objects one wishes). Newsom is therefore violating people’s rights with his policies and statements regarding guns. This makes it interesting indeed that Newsom characterizes his actions as “fighting to defend our laws.” In reality, Newsom is not defending anything; he is aggressing against innocent people by violating their rights. This – and not the court ruling – is what is truly repugnant.

Finally, it is ageist of Newsom to conclude his statement with the sentence, “The lives of our kids depend on it.” Newsom seems to be implying that the lives of kids matter more than the lives of adults, because he mentions the former but not the latter. Why do the lives of adults not matter to Newsom?

In conclusion… No, Governor Newsom. The court was right. To call the violation of people’s rights repugnant is not “outrageous;” it is correct.

It is your rights-violating laws that are repugnant, and not the ruling striking them down.

It is your statement, in which you call a ruling protecting people’s rights “repugnant,” that is itself repugnant.

To respect people’s rights is a basic moral obligation. There is no universe in which fulfilling a basic moral obligation could accurately be characterized as “repugnant,” and Newsom should be ashamed of himself for characterizing the court’s ruling this way.

Newsom is literally saying here that it is repugnant not to violate people’s rights.

And it is appalling and horrifying that any person, let alone the governor of a state, would say or think this. 

Violating people’s rights is repugnant, not protecting them.

bookmark_borderThe United States is a totalitarian dictatorship

I haven’t yet posted about the horrendous state of affairs involving Donald Trump being arrested and charged with crimes for expressing unpopular views and challenging the results of an election.

Please do not mistake my lack of posts on this topic as apathy about the topic, or worse, tacit approval of the events that have happened.

Rather, I have been so upset, angered, and physically sick to my stomach about what has happened that I have been unable to put my thoughts into coherent words and sentences.

In this blog post, I will attempt to do just that, because it is important to make it clear that I am not even remotely okay with what has happened, and continues to happen, in this country.

To put it bluntly, but in my opinion 100% correctly, the United States is a totalitarian dictatorship.

Over the past three and a half years, I have witnessed:

  • The election of a president of the United States who believes that he has the right to require people to undergo medical procedures
  • A nationwide campaign of obliteration of all public art that represents minority cultural and ideological groups and that allows members of such groups to feel accepted and included
  • Mass arrests of dozens of people for the “crime” of holding a protest that advocated for an unpopular cause
  • The arrest of a former president for the “crimes” of expressing unpopular views and challenging the results of an election

I state unequivocally that the things that are happening in the United States today, and that have been happening in the United States over the past three and a half years, are completely unacceptable, and I condemn them fully and completely.

What is happening in the United States is nothing less than a war on dissent. A war on unpopular minorities. A war on human diversity. A war on individualism, on individual rights, on liberty, on freedom. A war on the entire concept of being different, of being a rebel, of resisting authority, of thinking for oneself.

And the worst thing about this war is that the people who are most fiercely waging it are portraying themselves as fighting for diversity and inclusion, and their opponents as intolerant, discriminatory, and racist. Those who have most ardently advocated against respect for fundamental rights are portraying themselves as fighting for liberty, freedom, and bodily autonomy, and their opponents as authoritarians, Nazis, and fascists.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The people who advocate for the removal of Confederate statues and the replacement of Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day are the people who are truly intolerant, who are truly genocidal, who are truly discriminatory, who are truly racist.

The people who demand the violation of the fundamental right to decline medical intervention, who demand that all people’s bodies be forcibly penetrated against their will – and make no mistake, that is exactly what proponents of vaccine mandates have been demanding – are the people who are truly authoritarians, who are truly fascists.

The United States today is run, dominated, controlled by people with no moral compass and no logical consistency, people who practice a form of hypocrisy so blatant, so appalling, and so profound that it is shocking to witness.

The very same people who demanded that everyone’s bodily autonomy be taken away, and condemned those who dared to stand up to them as morons, idiots, racists, white supremacists, and fascists, did an about face to immediately commence pontificating about the importance of bodily autonomy, and accusing their opponents of taking away liberties and freedoms, when the Supreme Court made a decision that jeopardized unfettered access to abortion.

The very same people who praised and fetishized “resistance” when it came in the form of destroying public art that represented minority cultural and ideological groups (making these acts of destruction the exact opposite of resistance), viciously insulted as “insurrectionists” and “rioters” those who engaged in actual resistance to authority.

And when it comes to historical figures who engaged in actual resistance to authority centuries ago, the very same people described above condemn those historical figures as “insurrectionists” and “traitors,” and therefore unworthy of honoring or celebrating.

The hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty are appalling. The people who run, dominate, and control the United States are using words to mean the exact opposite of what the words actually mean, and acting as if this is perfectly normal and the people who dare to question them are the problem.

People are ridiculed for using the word “tyranny” to characterize the things that have been happening in the United States… but it is 100% correct to characterize these events as tyranny.

I would argue that it is ridiculous for someone to claim that the things happening in the United States do not constitute tyranny.

The condition of the United States since 2020 has been one of authoritarianism, of tyranny, of totalitarianism, of complete intolerance for both human freedom and human diversity.

In the United States today, we live in a society that values conformity and compliance above all else, a society that is not only indifferent towards, but actively hostile towards, liberty and individual rights. Society demands that everyone be the same, that everyone follow the same norms, that everyone undergo the same medical procedures, that everyone live in the same way and think in the same way. It is treated as self-evident that everyone must undergo the procedures recommended by the medical establishment, everyone must follow the advice given by experts, and everyone must live under the policies that scientists decide will make people safest. What matters is that people follow norms, trust experts, and obey authority. What matters is that people silence their own feelings and perspectives and instead grovel at the feet of those deemed less “privileged” than themselves. No one is allowed to dissent, to rebel, to defy, to resist, to question authority, to think for oneself, to live in a way that deviates from the norm, or to be different from the majority in any way. These actions and attributes, which in my opinion are synonymous with being honorable and good, are instead equated with moral badness by a society that values nothing but conformity and compliance.

That is what I see happening in the United States today.

It is not acceptable. It is not even remotely close to being acceptable, and never will be. And I don’t want anyone to interpret a lack of writing on this topic, or the presence of writings on other topics, as acceptance. Because acceptance is the antithesis of how I feel about what is happening in the United States today.

bookmark_borderRights are not the same as “convenience”

Inconvenience. This word is used to describe many things, including:

  • Requiring people to remove their shoes and even clothes while going through airport security, or to pass through full-body scanners that reveal their nude bodies.
  • Requiring people to undergo covid testing or receive covid vaccines.
  • Telling people that they must stay home and banning them from existing in public places such as beaches and parks.
  • Requiring people to provide medical and/or psychological records in order to be allowed to own a gun.

Contrary to the opinions of authoritarian-leaning people, the above things are not inconveniences. They are violations of rights.

People have a right to privacy. People have a right to bodily autonomy. People have a right to move about freely. People have a right to bear arms.

Privacy, bodily autonomy, freedom of movement, and gun ownership are not “conveniences.” They are basic rights.

An inconvenience is having to wait in a long line at the post office, or having to pay for something in cash, or encountering more traffic than usual, or finding out that your train is running late, or experiencing weather that is different than you thought it would be so that the clothing you chose ends up being too warm or too cold.

Taking basic rights away from people is not an inconvenience. It is immoral, it is unacceptable, and it should never happen. It is the epitome of moral wrong.

To refer to violations of rights as “inconveniences” is to warp language so that aggressors avoid accountability for their actions, while the burden of scrutiny and criticism is unfairly placed on their victims. Rights are pooh-poohed as something silly and stupid, their loss dismissed as “no big deal” and something we should just get used to. This enables aggressors to be perceived as holding the moral high ground, while those who correctly object to their rights being violated are portrayed as the problem. We are described as entitled, spoiled, immature, petty, selfish, unreasonable, and lacking in grit and resilience, and criticized for valuing our “convenience” over other people’s safety, security, and health. 

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

And nothing could be more despicable than to frame debates in such a way.

Rights are not a luxury. Rights are not a mere convenience, like an Uber ride or a contactless credit card or a smoothly-running subway system or a mobile app that allows you to avoid waiting in line. Having one’s rights respected is a necessity, without which life is not worth living at all.

Whether people’s rights are respected or violated is a matter of moral right and wrong, not a matter of convenience or inconvenience.

bookmark_borderMaren Morris is a scumbag human (continued)

The mean, nasty, and bullying behavior of country singer Maren Morris continues to reach new lows. As I wrote about earlier, Morris decided to call Brittany Aldean, country singer Jason Aldean’s wife, a “scumbag human” and told her to “sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie” in response to Brittany’s opinion that parents shouldn’t allow their kids to have sex change surgeries.

Morris’s husband, Ryan Hurd, joined in the nasty and bullying behavior by tweeting: “Scoring quick points by picking on trans kids isn’t something that is brave at all. And I’m proud of Maren for sticking up for them. Badge of honor to have CO engage in completely normal discourse, too. Shut up and sing only applies to those who you disagree with.”

These comments are wrong for several reasons. First of all, Brittany’s comments actually were brave, because they went against the prevailing attitudes of our society. Additionally, Brittany was neither “scoring quick points” nor “picking on” anyone, and Maren was not “sticking up for” anyone. In fact, by using the term “insurrection” as an insult, Maren was picking on not only Brittany, but every person in the world who believes in thinking for oneself and standing up to authority. And finally, “shut up and sing”? Really? I’m not sure what Hurd is talking about here, because the only person telling others to shut up is his wife. It is Maren who literally wrote “sell your clip-ins and zip it” in response to a person voicing an opinion that she disagreed with. Telling someone to “zip it” is synonymous with telling someone to “shut up.” Therefore, if Hurd has a problem with people telling others to shut up, his wife is the person that he should be criticizing, because she is the person who is doing this.

Making this situation even more ridiculous is the fact that Morris recently complained that she does not feel comfortable attending the CMA Awards because Brittany and Jason Aldean are going to be there. This is bizarre and makes no sense whatsoever. Maren is the one who created the situation that she is complaining makes her uncomfortable. She chose to viciously criticize both Brittany and every person in the world who believes in thinking for oneself and standing up to authority. No one forced her to write the disgusting things that she wrote; she went out of her way to write them. And now she, the one who created the entire situation, is complaining that she is uncomfortable. In other words, a bully is complaining about having to be at the same event as her victims.

Maren Morris needs to look in the mirror and think about her role in this situation. She is the aggressor, she is the one who did something wrong, and she is the one who went out of her way to insult and harm other people. By using the concept of resistance to authority as an insult, Maren Morris has acted reprehensibly. She does not hold the moral high ground. In fact, Morris shouldn’t be allowed to attend the CMA Awards at all, given that she decided to attack and bully other members of the country music community. Morgan Wallen was suspended by his record label, ruled ineligible for major awards, and had all major radio stations stop playing his music, all for far less objectionable behavior than Morris’s. Morris deserves to be treated the way that Wallen was, because she has truly acted in a bigoted and intolerant manner.

bookmark_borderMaren Morris is a scumbag human

Recently, country singer Maren Morris decided to viciously insult Brittany Aldean, the wife of country singer Jason Aldean. Brittany Aldean had made comments on social media criticizing the idea of performing sex change surgeries on children, and in response, Morris wrote the following:

“It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie.”

These comments are truly appalling, and the moral bankruptcy that Morris has demonstrated is breathtaking. It is, indeed, easy to not be a scumbag human. In order to do so, one needs merely to refrain from insulting innocent people who have done nothing wrong. Yet it is Morris, not Aldean, who has utterly failed to accomplish this. For some reason, Morris, completely without provocation, decided to viciously insult not only Brittany Aldean, but every person in the world who thinks independently and holds beliefs that differ from the establishment view.

According to Dictionary.com, the word “insurrection” is defined as “an act or instance of rising in revolt, rebellion, or resistance against civil authority or an established government.” As you can see from this definition, there is nothing inherently bad about an insurrection. Insurrection means to revolt, rebel, or resist. It means being opposed to authority and the establishment. There is nothing inherently bad about revolting against, rebelling against, or resisting authority or the establishment. In fact, when the established government violates people’s fundamental rights and takes away everything that makes live worth living, as the current administration is doing, then insurrection is very much a good thing, which should be praised and encouraged. Yet Morris chose to use the very idea of resistance to authority as an insult. Apparently, to her, obedience and conformity are synonymous with goodness, while rebellion and nonconformity are synonymous with badness. By using the term “Insurrection Barbie” as an insult, Morris demonstrates not only egregious cruelty and nastiness, but also mindless conformity and authoritarianism. 

Morris’s demand that Aldean “sell your clip-ins and zip it” is similarly appalling. With these words, Morris expresses complete and utter contempt for anyone who thinks differently than her. She orders all people with non-establishment views to just shut up, as if our feelings, thoughts, and perspectives don’t matter. As if it is an obvious fact that her own views are the only ones allowed to be expressed, and that any dissenting opinions must automatically be dismissed as illegitimate. It is impossible to overstate the sheer bigotry and intolerance demonstrated by these comments.

As if the above comments somehow weren’t bad enough, Morris continued to badmouth Aldean in a back and forth exchange with fellow country singer Cassadee Pope on Instagram:

“You know, I’m glad she didn’t become a boy either because we really don’t need another a–hole dude in the world. Sucks when Karens try to hide their homophobia/transphobia behind their ‘protectiveness of the children.’ Weren’t they putting their kids in ‘Biden-is-a-pedo’ shirts on social media? Sounds like a real safe way to protect them from millions of eyes! F— all the way off to Insurrection Barbie and the fellow IB’s trolling this comment section with their hypocritical, hateful a–es.”

So not only has Morris demonstrated an appalling level of nastiness, authoritarianism, and intolerance, but now she has decided to add sexism to the mix as well. It is Morris, not Aldean or any of the “fellow IB’s,” who is truly hypocritical and hateful. It is Morris’s actions that truly suck. And it is Morris who truly needs to f*** all the way off.

In conclusion, Maren Morris has proven herself to be a bully and a bigot with no sense of kindness, tolerance, or decency and no ability to engage in critical thinking. To use some of her own words, she is a scumbag human who needs to zip it and actually respect people who are different than her instead of viciously attacking them. It is beyond classless and beyond unprofessional for a public figure to ridicule, insult, and then gossip back and forth about another public figure, as Morris has done. You simply cannot call someone an “Insurrection Barbie.” It is unacceptable. Not only is this behavior incredibly mean and nasty towards Brittany Aldean, it is also incredibly mean and nasty towards all people who identify as rebels and all people who believe in resisting authority or standing up to the establishment. Morris is a talented singer and songwriter, but unfortunately an absolutely terrible person. I have really enjoyed her music over the years, but I will never be able to listen to it again without thinking of these disgusting comments.

It’s also worth mentioning that the biased media coverage of this situation is almost as despicable as Morris’s comments themselves.

For example, an article from Billboard characterized Aldean’s words as a “transphobic joke” and “transphobic comments.” The article also included a detailed explanation, including quotes by experts, of transgenderism and how it presents for children. Plus, the publication even went so far as to ask Mattel for their comments on the font that Aldean used in an Instagram post, which resembles the font that is used in the logo for Barbie dolls. The article places all this scrutiny on Aldean’s comments and the subject matter thereof, while placing no scrutiny whatsoever on Morris’s comments, other than merely quoting them. The article calls Aldean’s comments “transphobic” as if this is an established fact, without mentioning even the possibility that anything about Morris’s comments might be considered offensive of problematic in any way.

Additionally, an article from The Hill mentions that Fox News host Tucker Carlson “insulted” Morris by calling her a “lunatic country music person.” Similarly to the article described above, this article characterizes Carlson’s comments as an “insult” as if this is an established fact, without even mentioning the possibility that Morris’s comments might be insulting. And in a sad commentary on our society, the article also mentions that Morris decided to create and sell t-shirts with Carlson’s quote in order to raise money for transgender organizations. News flash: “Insurrection Barbie” is a far worse insult than “lunatic.” In fact, Carlson’s words were relatively kind. Morris is far worse than a lunatic; she is a bigot and a bully.

The bottom line is that regardless of what one thinks about transgender rights or the appropriateness of children being able to make their own gender decisions, Morris’s comments are far more offensive, problematic, insulting, harmful, and just plain mean than either Aldean’s or Carlson’s. It is beyond disturbing that the media, along with much of society as a whole, fails to see this obvious truth. For having the audacity to state her opinion that children should not be able to change their gender, Aldean has been insulted, condemned, and mercilessly scrutinized. Plus, her husband Jason Aldean has been dropped by his PR agency. Meanwhile, Morris, who flippantly attacked the very idea of resistance to authority by using the word “insurrection” as an insult, faces no negative consequences whatsoever. She gets to spew vicious and bigoted insults and then continue on her merry way, gloating about how much money she raised and basking in her mindless and hypocritical self-righteousness. This situation, in which people who did nothing wrong are shamed and punished while cruel bullies are rewarded and praised, is emblematic of our society’s warped sense of values.

bookmark_borderSkepticism of institutions is not the problem; the institutions are the problem

When I first saw this tweet, my immediate reaction was, “You consider this to be a bad thing… why?”

There is nothing inherently bad about wanting to abolish government agencies or wanting to impeach and/or imprison government officials. Whether wanting such things is good or bad depends entirely on whether the agencies or officials have done anything wrong to deserve abolition, impeachment, and/or imprisonment. Yet the author of this tweet is ridiculing Republicans for their wishes with regards to government agencies and officials. And while doing this, he is not even bothering to argue that these government agencies and officials are good, and therefore not deserving of abolition, impeachment, and/or imprisonment. He is simply presuming that wanting to abolish, impeach, and/or imprison government agencies and officials is intrinsically bad. This viewpoint is disturbingly authoritarian. According to Filipkowski, trusting and respecting the government is inherently good, and disliking or criticizing the government is inherently bad. According to Filipkowski, the government is apparently worthy of trust and respect merely by virtue of being the government.

If the FBI, CIA, IRS, and Department of Education are acting wrongly, then they deserve to be abolished. If the President, Vice President, DHS Secretary, and Attorney General are acting wrongly, then they deserve to be impeached. And if the NIH Director is acting wrongly, then he deserves to be put in prison. In my opinion, all of these agencies and officials are, indeed, acting wrongly, and therefore Republicans are correct in wanting their abolishment, impeachment, and imprisonment. Instead of criticizing Republicans in this situation, one must ask what, if anything, government agencies and officials have done to cause people to hold such negative attitudes towards them. One must at least consider the possibility that the government agencies and officials in question are actually to blame for people’s negative evaluations of them, and therefore that the negative evaluations are correct. In my opinion, this is exactly what is the case in this situation.

Below is another example of the illogical and authoritarian attitude that societal institutions are inherently good and inherently worthy of trust and respect:

As you can see, Alex Young has taken it upon himself to ridicule the completely valid and reasonable criticisms that the Firearms Policy Coalition makes of the institutions of the ballot box, jury box, and soapbox. He demonstrates the same type of disturbing authoritarianism as Filipkowski does. By ridiculing the FPC for expressing disillusionment with societal institutions, Young is presuming that societal institutions automatically ought to be treated with reverence, merely by virtue of being institutions. To Young, if someone voices criticism of societal institutions, that reflects badly on said person, and makes them deserving of dismissal and ridicule. Like Filipkowski, he fails to even consider the possibility that it is actually the institutions that are flawed, and that the person making the criticisms is therefore correct in doing so.

In this case, the FPC is indeed correct in pointing out that the ballot box, jury box, and soapbox do not serve as effective “boxes of liberty.” What Young states so flippantly and dismissively is actually true. Indeed, it is a bummer that people’s fundamental rights are subject to majority rule, that the jury box is illusory, and that large corporations have the power to decide what speech is acceptable. These things are actual problems that need to be taken seriously, and it is both despicable and bizarre that someone would react to a problematic situation not by criticizing it, but by criticizing (particularly in such a flippant and dismissive tone) the organization that is pointing out the problem. Young needs to acknowledge that what is going on in our society actually is a bummer, to put it lightly. Instead of flippantly dismissing the FPC’s observations and ridiculing the organization for making them, Young should be praising the FPC for drawing attention to real and important problems with our government and society.

bookmark_borderBigot of the day: “Anti-Free Stater”

A little while ago, I came across this disgusting and reprehensible tweet:

The Free State Project is a movement that encourages people to move to New Hampshire to form a community based on respect for individual rights and liberty. The Free State Project is a good thing, because individual rights and liberty are good. 

Criticizing the Free State Project would be bad and wrong in itself. Yet this person (and I use that term loosely) not only chose to dedicate his entire Twitter account to opposing the Free State movement, but also chose to insult this movement in cruel and profane terms and to wish death upon its members because they hold different political beliefs than he does. For obvious reasons, this is unacceptable and horrifying.

Additionally, it makes no sense that this person criticizes the Free State Project for being reactionary. According to Dictionary.com, “reactionary” means “of, pertaining to, marked by, or favoring reaction, especially extreme conservatism or rightism in politics; opposing political or social change.” To be reactionary is a neutral, not negative, attribute. There is nothing about liberalism that makes it superior to conservatism, there is nothing about leftism that makes it superior to rightism, and there is nothing about supporting political or social change that makes this superior to opposing political or social change (change is inherently neither positive nor negative; whether it is good or bad depends on what is being changed and how).

What makes even less sense is this person’s claim that “libertarianism is a Trojan horse for fascism.” Libertarianism is a political ideology that favors individual rights and liberty, while fascism is a political ideology that favors the maximum amount of state control. These two political ideologies are polar opposites, so it is ludicrous to claim that one could be a Trojan horse for the other.

Furthermore, by claiming that “every non-troglodyte hates you,” this person is calling every person who does not hate the Free State Project a troglodyte. This is both false and highly insulting.

Finally, this person calls members of the Free State movement “trashy rich people,” which is highly insulting, and writes that members of the movement “come here to defund the public sector,” as if that is somehow inherently a bad thing, which it is not.

In conclusion, the fact that someone would choose to write a post such as this is appalling. Words and attitudes like these are unacceptable and must be condemned at every opportunity.