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Entries in politics (7)


Politics, Clarified

1.) I do not have an "ideology." Political ideology doesn't make sense to me. Actually, moral/philosophical "codes" don't make sense to me, period. I organize my life around situational, practical reason - something is "good" for as long as it achieves the optimal result sought (for me, "optimal" generally includes "causes no direct unwarranted harm to others," just so we're clear), when it ceases to do so it becomes neutral, when it becomes harmful and/or counterproductive it becomes "bad." Ideology means doing counterproductive things because you've subscribed to some kind of "value system" that says this is the right thing to do even when it doesn't work; and while I understand why that sort of psychological masochism works for some minds ("my suffering will be rewarded in heaven!") it doesn't work for mine.

With some exceptions, and while not always the tone I would take (understandably, since we're different people) this is a good piece by Bob "Movie Bob" Chipman that largely explains my own political thinking as well.


“Never Forget”

I don’t like remembering this day. What I’m remembering is an entirely different thing from everyone else, several different narratives that ran wild and are still running wild, and will probably never be settled. Because 9/11 was the first major historical event to be viewed from the fractured lens of FOX News vs. Everyone Else, not the dry paper of tabloids but exciting video footage and people in nice suits debating on camera in purposely mismatched fights to tell not just a story, but a whole goddamned mini-series devoted to their point of view.


Post-Truth Politics

In real-life situations, the technically superior argument does not always carry the day. In real-life situations, the one that wins is the one with wit and timing, the one with the ability to employ mockery, flattery, flirting, storytelling, peer pressure, guile, and the whole array of other non-factual, non-logical communicative tools available to the human animal.

(via Cody Fink)


The Theological Roots of Akin's "Legitimate Rape" Comment

Akin has a Masters in Divinity from the PCA's seminary, and proudly claims he took a political rather than a pastoral path after seminary. His denomination has not only opposed abortion in all cases, including rape, but has suggested that the number of pregnancies by rape is overstated, and even questioned the veracity of rape claims. And Akin, who in a few months could be a United States Senator, wants his religion to dictate our laws.

One more reason why religion has no place in government.

(via Scott Madin)


Why Akin’s “Legitimate Rape” Comment Is Smarter Than It Seems

What Akin has rather effectively done is say something which is difficult to argue against concisely without giving way on one of these two points. One can throw around statistics about just how many pregnancies are the result of rape, or one can argue that there’s no such thing as a “non-legitimate” rape, but it’s very difficult to do both at once.

This is how Republicans change the frame of discussion.

(via Kate S)


The Rationality of Conservatism

What if…we looked at stated conservative ideology as a part of a more or less consistent strategy?

The rationales for each of these spheres is different and provides tons of fodder for sarcastic tweets, but if we view it in terms of strategy, they all make perfect sense. Taken together, they serve to blame the victims, assert that the powerful are powerful for moral reasons, and then claim that the role of government is to endorse and reinforce the morally-discovered power structure rather than futilely try to disrupt it. The arguments might clash on a superficial level, but their effects are perfectly coherent and rational once the goal is granted.

I am diametrically opposed to many stated conservative ideals, which is why I both fear and respect the effectiveness of their tactics.


On Wade Michael Page and “Lone Gunmanship”

Wade Michael Page, who on Sunday walked into a Sikh temple and started shooting, killing six people and wounding others before he was killed by a police officer, is described, like others before him who committed similar crimes, as a lone gunman.

Which is true. And not true.

Page killed alone, and he is accountable for every pull of the trigger. But his crime doesn't exist in a void. It exists in a culture that fetishes violence; in a culture that prioritizes gun ownership over gun safety; in a culture that privileges whiteness; in a culture that privileges Christianity; in a culture which Others the community that he targeted for mass murder.

He was a lone gunman with plenty of accomplices.

(via Courtney Stanton)