Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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A topic that we keep talking about but rarely see in today’s society is ethics. For example, Leftists (and some NeverTrumpers for that matter) have their panties in a bunch over allegations Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it (mainly because you have more of a life than your humble commentator), the Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities. Originally, it was meant to curtail the likelihood of bribery and corruption, but as we’ve seen in the past few decades, the Hatch Act is like training wheels on a Slip N Slide.

Of course, the Trump Administration is pushing back by defending Conway’s right to free speech, which made Leftists lose their shit and start talking about ethics.

Yes, folks, my irony meter broke just typing that sentence.

While I wait for a repairman to fix my irony meter, let’s talk about ethics, shall we?

ethics

What the Left thinks it means – a set of guiding principles that everyone else should follow

What it really means – a set of guiding principles that people today make up as they go along

Cynicism, thy name is Thomas. In my defense, though, I have seen a lot of ethical lapses in my nearly 50 years of schlepping around on this water-covered rock, from Watergate to Washington State and more stops in between than I can shake a stick at. That is, if I even have a stick to shake. Politicians, athletes, celebrities, and even Joe Average have all been getting looser with their ethical standards.

Remember the 1990s, where sex scandals would pop up like the men in said sex scandals? Granted, it was the 90s, the decade that gave us Crystal Pepsi, but at least we had some standards. Nowadays, sex scandals are more resume enhancers than career enders.

And it’s not just in the sexual arena, either. In general, we are allowing more and more stuff we used to decry not even 10 years ago. Recent surveys just within the past 2-3 years have shown college students are okay with plagiarism, cheating, and lying. Even adults are starting to throw their hands up in the air and give in to unethical behavior. (See Congress for proof of this.)

Neither major political party has clean hands when it comes to ethics, unfortunately. For every Democrat calling out Republican corruption, there is a Democrat doing the same thing, and vice versa. The problem is few people are willing to call out members of their own “team” when they are in the wrong. A big part of the problem is the entire “team” concept. In every political case where ethics are looser than Bernie Sanders’ grasp of Econ 101, you will find people lining up behind someone as scummy as they come in order to defend these scumbags against “partisan attacks.” There is a bevy of great reasons the Founding Fathers didn’t like political parties, and this is as good of a reason as any.

Outside of the political arena, I think people have decided to give up trying to do the right thing because it requires them to think of other people as fellow human beings instead of inconveniences interrupting your self-worship. We’ve gotten so used to taking shortcuts that we’re not even trying to find the road anymore. Besides, doing the right thing means you actually have to do something other than  sending #somebodydosomething to your Twitter peeps. On top of that, we’re always looking for self-gratification, which defeats the purpose of ethical behavior by taking the emphasis off the ethics and puts it onto ourselves.

Yes, I realize not everyone shares the same ethical background, so calling out a lack of ethics in any situation is bound to make people mad, upset, or just downright offended. Maybe your ethical framework makes it okay to cut corners or take a few pennies here and there from the till at work. Maybe you’re trans-ethical and self-identify as an ethical person. Regardless of where you stand on the topic, there is always going to be points of conflict. What might be right for you may not be right for some, so we may try to soften our stances to allow others to feel good about their behavior.

That’s why we’re in this ethical quagmire in the first place. By trying to be understanding of other people’s differences in ethics, we soften up our own ethics to the point even the most reasonable expectation of your fellow men and women becomes milquetoast so we don’t get in trouble. In social situations, that may not be a bad move, but it’s a terrible way to live a life. Everybody has standards, but we shouldn’t surrender ours because a transgendered woman with rainbow hair and more piercings than Julius Caesar outside the Forum wants you to accept his/her demand to breast feed. If you’re not okay with that, you shouldn’t force yourself to be okay with it. Holding your tongue in a situation where your ethics are challenged is surrendering without a shot being fired.

Look. I get we’re supposed to be tolerant of other viewpoints, but that tolerance needs to be two-way. I’ve made it a point in recent years to live by a simple code: do what’s right for everyone involved including yourself. And, yes, that means calling out ethical problems regardless of who might be hurt by it. One cannot be ethical without being honest, and brutally so at times.

So, let me be one voice in a chorus of people who think Kellyanne Conway should submit to whatever legal punishment awaits her should she be charged with violating the Hatch Act. Ethical standards shouldn’t be upheld in some cases and ignored in others just because of who violated them. We should hold all of our elected officials to the same ethical standard: don’t break, bend, or skirt the law, period. If a politician can’t hack that, he or she isn’t fit for the job and should be given a pink slip at your earliest convenience.

As for the Democrats and NeverTrumpers complaining about Conway, clean up your own houses first. Ditto for the Trump supporters backing Conway. A bad person with questionable ethics isn’t going to change as long as there’s no incentive to change. That means we’re going to have to stick firm to what we believe to be right, dig in our heels a bit, and be ready to defend said beliefs. It won’t be easy or always rewarding, but ethics are worth it every time.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Last weekend was the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which some people call “Nerd Prom” and I call a waste of time. Among the usual back patting, chest puffing, and smugness, there was a… well, I guess you could call it a performance by a…well, I guess you could call her a comedian, Michelle Wolf, who delivered…well, I guess you could call it jokes, mostly directed at President Donald Trump and members of the Trump Administration. In the audience were White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, who sat there and took the lines with a straight face. (Then again, judging from the YouTube video of Wolf’s comments, most of the people in the audience took the lines with a straight face, too.)

But the Left thought Wolf’s comments were brave, hysterical, and…get this…speaking truth to power. What is that, you ask? Well, good thing I decided to write about it this week!

speaking truth to power

What the Left thinks it means – bravely telling uncomfortable truths to people in power in the hopes it will change their minds and behaviors

What it really means – Leftists being assholes

I sat through Wolf’s remarks for two reasons. First, I wanted to make sure to get the full context of what she said. Second, so you wouldn’t have to. I came up with a drinking game where I took a shot for every time I laughed during her comments. After the full 19:17, I was…stone sober. Well, except for the shot I took when I realized Wolf is what you would get if Joanie Cunningham and Rachel Dolezal had a baby.

As far as speaking truth to power, I didn’t see much truth, and the media have lost a lot of their power through their incompetence. There were occasional facts thrown in for good measure, but much of what I endured was more talking point than truth. And I will admit Wolf made a couple of good points about what the media cover and what they overlook in lieu of continuing coverage of Stormy Daniels because God knows we need more of that.

The idea of speaking truth to power is funny to me because the Left isn’t always on speaking terms with the truth. In fact, some Leftist intellectuals (an oxymoron if ever there was one) argue truth is subjective based on personal experiences. This, of course, makes as much sense as putting Bill Cosby in charge of the refreshments at a sorority party. Truth doesn’t change because your background is different than mine. I’m pretty sure gravity affects us all the same regardless of whether you’re dirt poor or filthy rich, as do death, taxes, and the inevitability of the Rolling Stones going back on tour.

What the Left means when they say someone is speaking truth to power is that person is speaking a truth the Left agrees with, and anything that doesn’t conform is dismissed as false. Take gun control, for example. The Left squeed like I did at “Avengers: Infinity War” when David Hogg and his Parkland Pals “stood up” to the NRA by pushing for stricter gun control laws. They and their ideological allies point to the number of people being killed every year by guns, usually around 30,000 (all while ignoring inconvenient details like the number of suicides and gang-related killings that make up a decent chunk of that larger number), and by itself it’s pretty persuasive.

But it’s not the truth, or at least not all of it.

Research from the FBI to the CDC show there are more defensive gun uses than there are gun deaths. The term “defensive gun uses” refers to the number of times a gun is used in the defense of one’s person or property, and by sheer volume, it’s not even close. Last time I checked, the low end of this spectrum is in the neighborhood of 800,000 defensive gun uses per year. And, regardless of how you feel about the issue, regardless of your experiences, 800,000 is a bigger number than 30,000. To put it another way, you are over 26 times more likely to use a gun to defend yourself than you are to be killed by a gun. And when you take out suicides and gang violence, that number goes even higher.

I wouldn’t call that speaking truth to power, though, because to me the truth is power. And with that power comes a level of fearlessness that steels your resolve and calms you as you wait for the slings and arrows of outrageous outrage at dismantling a poorly-reasoned talking point. When you boil it right down, the Left loves thinking they speak truth to power because they think it shuts down all arguments. It doesn’t. One person armed with the truth can take down an army of liars. All it takes is the courage to unapologetically stand with the truth in the face of criticism.

That’s what Michelle Wolf (and much of the audience at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner) failed to do. They spoke and believed their own truths and overlooked the power they wield on a daily basis. I mean, it’s not like these folks have to take on a second job to make ends meet; they willingly take on second jobs as DNC spokespeople.

In closing, let me leave you with a joke.

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Michelle Wolf
Michelle Wolf who?
Precisely

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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It started as a throwaway line by Kellyanne Conway, but it has taken on a life of its own, thanks to the Left. I’m referring to “alternative facts.” At first, I thought it was in reference to news stories appearing on MSNBC, but I’ve learned a bit since then. Unfortunately, the Left hasn’t and continues to use the term incorrectly.

Let’s see if we can’t help out our Leftist friends, shall we?

alternative facts

What the Left thinks it means – anything Trump supporters believe that have no basis in fact

What it really means – facts that counter the Leftist narrative

Mark Twain once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” If Twain were alive today, he might also include media lies. That, and the impending zombie apocalypse would be a lot more entertaining. Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President, the media have found new ways to report the news by simply ignoring facts and treating conjecture as holy gospel.

This includes the use of “alternative facts” as a pejorative for any idea Trump and his supporters believe. The irony is the media and their Leftist followers are the ones who are more likely to believe in “alternative facts.”

Take the investigation into whether Trump colluded with Russia to affect the 2016 election. Leftists have turned this into a lynch pin for a number of talking points and even into treason accusations and impeachment talk. As of this blog post, we are still waiting for any evidence of such collusion, but to hear Leftists talk about it, Trump is already getting measured for an orange jumpsuit. Well, that settles it. The opinions of people who thought Hillary Clinton was qualified to be President outweigh the whole innocent until proven guilty thing. Thank you, alternative facts!

Seriously, the only alternative thing going on here is an alternative reality where the Left’s wishes become real. While they may dream of a Democratic Disneyland, there is still the matter of the truth to consider. Contrary to popular belief, the truth doesn’t change because we have a different viewpoint. The Earth won’t become flatter than a Shia Labeouf performance in, well, anything, if enough people believe it is. Our planet will remain somewhat oblongish because that’s the way it is.

Just like Donald Trump is our President because that’s the way it is.

But let’s say there is evidence Trump colluded with Russia. What would that do? Well, the Left believes it would invalidate the 2016 election and Hillary Clinton would be installed as President.

And the Left tells us they’re the smart ones?

Even if Trump is found guilty of everything the Left accuses him of, it doesn’t change the fact Trump won the Electoral College vote, which actually determines who is President. Since Mike Pence was Trump’s running mate, he would become President under the rules of succession in the Constitution. And even if you get rid of Pence, the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, would become President. Put simply, you would have to go down a long list of people to get to Hillary being President. I think I’m in the line of succession somewhere between a moldy cheese sandwich and Kathy Griffin, and even I’m before Hillary.

But try to convince Leftists of this. I’ve had better luck reasoning with the moldy cheese sandwich to take the position ahead of me. Maybe they’re the fans of alternative facts.