A few weeks ago, I asked the question of whether 2020 would wind up representing “The Summer of stupidity” and, at this juncture, it seems to be shaping up quite nicely.
The truth is that I’ve never done very well with theoretical propositions. There are several variations of a question ethics professors often ask their students: There are five strangers tied to a set of train tracks. You can pull the switch to send the train to another track, but in so doing, you’ll consign your best friend, who is tied to the second track, to death. What do you do?
Well, those ethics professors would have hated me, because I could never abide the scant information inherent to such proposals, and I’d start asking annoying qualifying questions. After all, we’ve assigned an extremely subjective value to the person on the second track, but we’re provided with no information whatsoever on the first five unfortunates.
Now, I realize that the absence of the data to which I refer is sort of the point of the exercise, but in my mind, that information is critical to the discussion and has great bearing on what action I might take. Who’s tied to the first set of tracks? Are they terminally ill people? Are they honor students? Nobel laureates? Am I the one who tied them to the tracks in the first place? Admittedly, the latter sounds horrible, but rescuing people I’d gone to such trouble to place in peril would represent a monumental waste of effort.
For most of my adult life, I also thought I was the kind of person who would race into a burning building to rescue a stranger. Now I’m not so sure. These days, those annoying qualifiers would begin to intrude right away.
What if my would-be rescuee winds up being an Antifa member? What if it’s some “woke” idiot who subscribes to all of this “systemic racism” nonsense? A snowflake whose activism will ultimately serve to compromise my liberties, perhaps? One of their college professors? What if it’s someone whose vote will put the next Islamist congressional candidate over the top at the ballot box?
Like the subjective values we assign to some people, in the real world, the stakes at hand also factor into the equation when considering questions such as the above.
There are at least a few ethical questions that have cropped up attendant to the furor that’s followed the death of black Minnesota resident George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer on May 25. One concerns the widespread and protracted protests that have taken place across the country.
As I discussed last week in this space, the reasons for these demonstrations have been completely obscured by violent communist agitators; thus, it has become unclear what the protests are ultimately intended to accomplish. Are they marching to call attention to police brutality against blacks? Are they demonstrating against the police in general? Are they demonstrating against racism? Are they simply tired of social distancing? Do they just need some new electronics?
By extension, this also raises the question of what those who are showing solidarity with the demonstrators are really supporting – and here’s where stupidity once again rears its ugly head.
One of the more absurd remedies the left has come up with is that of defunding and/or dismantling police departments. The knee-jerk, abject stupidity of this proposal is clear, but, as many have noticed, it’s getting a fair amount of serious consideration, at least from elected officials on the left.
In truth, defunding police departments sounds like something a small child or mental defective might come up with. As I write this, I can almost hear an iconic cartoon gangster offering: “Duhh, yah, boss – let’s get rid o’ da police, darr…!”
Is America’s criminal justice system screwed-up? Yes, it most certainly is – but the problems therein neither start nor end with bad police officers. Are there cops out there who never should have become cops? Definitely – but defunding police departments still makes about as much sense as tearing down hospitals due to cases of malpractice, or abolishing the military because soldiers occasionally die in friendly fire incidents.
Yet, here we are. It’s likely that the reader will have been every bit as disgusted as I by the responses of those who are chiming in with leftists on this matter, either because they’re craven and gutless, or because they’re confused as to just who they’re throwing in with, despite the left’s calls for violence and tearing the entire system down.
I literally do not have enough space here to enumerate the examples of this sort of thing, but I would like to cite a key indicator that should provide clarity.
It’s the prominent Republicans who are showing solidarity with the demonstrators that really should give pause when considering the dynamics in play here, because they are emblematic of what all of this is really about.
There are a few commentators who’ve recognized and articulated this, such as radio talk-show host Tammy Bruce did recently. Behind all of the talk of police brutality and systemic racism, the opportunism of anti-Trump factions across America can be seen quite clearly, and this includes quite a few Beltway Republicans.
In the spirit of not letting a crisis go to waste, we’ve seen how far left Democrats – who’d just attempted a coup against our president – used the coronavirus pandemic to usurp power and stultify civil liberties. Now, we’re seeing the same opportunism with regard to the George Floyd phenomenon. Generating chaos serves their cause, and if they can prolong the chaos into the fall, the better the chance they perceive they’ll have in unseating Trump.
In the final analysis, the civil unrest we’re seeing is far more about Donald Trump than it is about George Floyd. As we witness what’s unfolding, we must never forget the threat that Trump’s 2016 promise to “drain the Swamp” represented to all of the players in the Washington establishment.
Article posted with permission from Erik Rush
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