bookmark_borderI want a president who values people as people

The other day, for reasons that I won’t go into in detail, I visited the White House twitter page. This is something that I generally avoid doing, because the Biden administration’s way of looking at the world is so different than mine, that I inevitably become angry and frustrated when reading their public statements on any issue.

The White House’s recent tweets are no exception.

The first thing that stood out to me was the Biden administration’s wrong and illogical way of looking at taxation and spending. Tweet after tweet mentioned the “cost” of tax cuts and how former president Trump allegedly increased the national debt and how “tax giveaways” would “add $3.5 trillion to the debt.” These tweets ignore the fact that tax cuts do not cost anything, because a tax cut does not consist of spending any money but rather consists of collecting less revenue. These tweets also ignore the fact that tax cuts are not “giveaways,” because they do not entail giving anything away to anyone, but rather reducing the amount of money that is being taken. This is so obvious that it shouldn’t even need to be stated, but stealing less of a person’s money is not the same thing as giving that person money.

The other thing that stood out to me is that the Biden administration, to put it bluntly, doesn’t look at people as individuals. It looks at people as members of groups based on gender, race, age, relationship status, and other demographic categories.

On the issue of “gun violence,” why does the Biden administration only care about children? Silly me, but I thought that it is sad whenever an innocent person is lost to violence, no matter how old the person is. But apparently, to the Biden administration, adults’ lives are not important.

In this tweet, in addition to ageism, the Biden administration also displays a lack of understanding of basic moral principles. Guns are not a killer of anyone. People using guns might be the number one killer of children in America, but to equate people who use guns with the guns themselves completely ignores the role of the individual people who choose to commit mass shootings.

Celebrating mothers is perfectly fine, but people who don’t have children also deserve to be celebrated.

Isn’t it also possible for junk fees to add up to hundreds of dollars a year for hardworking people? Apparently, to the White House, it’s perfectly fine for single people without children to pay unfair charges to hotels, airlines, and cable companies, as long as families don’t have to pay those charges. Protecting individual people from junk fees apparently is not important to the Biden administration.

Obviously, anti-Semitism is a bad thing. But instead of singling out Jewish people for special protections, why not simply treat everyone equally? Why not condemn, and take action against, all prejudice and discrimination? Second Gentleman Emhoff claims that the administration is taking “bold action” to confront bigotry and hate in all their forms, but the administration’s public statements and policy positions demonstrate otherwise. The administration regularly goes out of its way to condemn bigotry and hate against certain groups, while remaining completely indifferent to much more egregious and widespread bigotry and hate against other people and groups who happen not to be politically favored.

Here, the Biden administration again singles out a group of people for special recognition based on their demographic characteristics. People of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander descent are praised for shaping and strengthening the fabric of our nation, while everyone else is ignored.

Putting money back in the pockets of hardworking people seems not to matter to the Biden administration. Capping the price of insulin saves money for seniors who are single, just as it does for those who are part of families. But apparently, the financial well-being of single people is not considered important.

In conclusion, I want a president who values people as people, not a president who values people only due to their role as part of a family, or their membership in a particular demographic group. I want a president who treats everyone equally and includes everyone, not a president who singles out favored groups for special praise, recognition, and attention while treating everyone else like chopped liver. Every person is an individual, and every person matters by virtue of being an individual person. I want a president who recognizes that basic moral fact.

bookmark_borderElon Musk is why *not* to abolish billionaires

I recently came across this tweet, which represents one of the stupidest takes I’ve seen on Elon Musk’s potential bid to buy Twitter:

(via Turning Point USA)

This tweet exemplifies the warped way in which people on the left-hand side of the political spectrum view the world. 

For the past two years, the ideology that is often described as leftist, liberal, or progressive (but which is, in reality, brutal authoritarianism) has completely dominated all aspects of our society. People who dare express disagreement with any of this ideology’s tenets have been silenced, shunned, de-platformed, fired from their jobs, attacked, insulted, ridiculed, harassed, condemned, boycotted, or elsewise harshly punished, all for voicing dissenting views. Twitter is one of the most egregious examples of this trend, with supporters of authoritarian ideology free to spew their reprehensible bile without restraint, while those with the courage to fight back have had their tweets deleted and accounts suspended.

The prospect of Musk taking over Twitter brings with it the possibility of fairness and equal treatment, for a change. 

But, bizarrely, political commentator Anand Giridharadas sees the potential Musk takeover as an example of someone being “allowed” to acquire “concentrated influence.” He sees it as Musk “manspreading.” He sees it as Musk appropriating a disproportionate amount of power for himself. *

Nothing could be further from the truth. It is those who share Giridharadas’s ideology who have been allowed to acquire concentrated influence. It is they who have held nearly limitless power this entire time. 

Apparently, Giridharadas believes that he is entitled to a world in which the only people who are allowed to exist are those who think the way that he does. For now that there is a possibility of others actually being allowed to express their views, Giridharadas is aghast and indignant, acting as if he is somehow being disadvantaged and wronged. It is messed up and twisted that someone would imply that the possibility of fair and equal treatment for those with dissenting views somehow constitutes excessive power. It is reprehensible that someone would use words like “concentrated influence” and “manspreading” to characterize the possibility of others having the same freedoms that he does. Essentially, Giridharadas considers the solution to a wrong and unjust situation to be the problem, as opposed to the wrong and unjust situation itself.

In my opinion, Elon Musk demonstrates exactly why not to abolish billionaires. I am glad that Musk, a person who actually believes in freedom of speech and tolerance for diverse viewpoints, has enough money, power, and influence to make a positive difference in the world. I am glad that Elon Musk has the willingness and the ability to push back against bullies like Anand Giridharadas.  

* Not to mention the fact that characterizing high taxes for rich people as “asking them to chip in their fair share” presumes that that high taxes for rich people are fair, which is not necessarily true. As well as the fact that the term “manspreading” is blatantly sexist