This is a tale of two assaults: One real and one fake. When Kaitlin Bennett said that Bernie Sanders’ staff put their hands all over her, I took some heat when I said that her comment was “a bit of a stretch.” (For context, watch the video on Twitter.) After this, I was called a “dipshit” and a “liberal douchebag,” and someone said I must be a liberal because I am from Bloomington.
I don’t need to defend my conservative credentials on my own blog. I have been in the public square advocating for conservative principles since before Kaitlin Bennett was born, often in a hostile environment. But this shows a deep rot in conservatism, where any disagreement results in an assumption that you are not a conservative at all. This is not a principled ideology. It is a cult mentality looking for heretics.
Since Donald Trump is unfortunately pushing a ban on flag burning, it is appropriate to revisit this editorial:
Ironic picture undermines flag desecration amendment.
It is a bad idea to amend the Constitution to restrict the right to dissent against the government, even with an offensive message.
I said this about Barack Obama in 2009:
It is a mistake to complain about Limbaugh and encourage Republicans not to listen to him. For the leader of the free world to whine about a radio talk show host shows weakness and an inability to take criticism.
This also applies to Donald Trump. Fiercely attacking everyone who criticizes him makes him look weak and thin-skinned. There is a time where is is necessary to defend yourself, of course, but Trump has absolutely no sense of proportion as to when that is needed or when he should let it go.
Despite being falsely accused of being a big supporter of “foreign wars,” I am actually a non-interventionist. This is not the same as being an isolationist – I am in favor of free trade and diplomacy. But I am generally hesitant to support military intervention. I have even been to an anti-war protest. So what are the principles we should follow in deciding whether we should engage in armed conflict?
First, let’s get this out of the way, in anticipation of the inevitable charges of hypocrisy and dishonesty: Yes, I supported “Operation Iraqi Freedom” in 2003, in the months leading up to it and for five years afterward. After thinking about it a lot, I changed my position on the war in March of 2008. I have have held for 11 years that the war was a mistake, but I do believe many people who supported it did so in good faith.
The problem with the Trumpian Right’s criticism of “establishment” conservatives is that the criticism is almost never about actual policy or arguments, but bitterly complaining about people personally. Included is usually a hefty dose of bitterness over 2016 and conservatives who did not support Trump. My response is this: Get over it, snowflakes. Trump is President. You won. Move on. Stop crying about a battle from three years ago and start fighting the battles of today.
Yes, there is a debate to be had about the future of conservatism. Does a libertarian mentality lead to defeat? We are seeing a broad collapse of the social order: Conservative speech online is being censored by Big Tech, ad revenue is being taken away, and a “cancel” subculture seeks to destroy the careers of those who are not sufficiently “woke.” This is why we are seeing some conservatives call for regulation of Big Tech. The election of Donald Trump has in large part been a reaction to the Left’s aggressiveness in the culture.
The first Zelda game on the Nintendo 64 was a masterpiece. The game made the transition from a top-down view to 3-D perfectly, and provided a huge amount of playing time in addition to the main story. I personally do not like the follow-up game, Majora’s Mask.
Now, this is not a bad game. It is highly regarded for a reason, and there are many good things about it. (More on that in a bit.) But in a series that had always been built on exploration, there was one really annoying element to the game: A time limit. The days of taking as much time as you want to explore every little nook and cranny of a dungeon were gone. If you did not use the code that slowed time to half speed, the game was unplayable. Many people love it, and they are not wrong, but personally it is not for me.
I have long railed against anonymity on the Internet, because it is so often a license for depravity. But there is also something called “proportional response.” It is appropriate to show that a video of Nancy Pelosi had been slowed down to make it appear as if she was drunk, since some people were taking it seriously. Was it necessary to expose the identity of the man who posted the video? No, it was not.
(Such things are not new, of course. Craig Ferguson showed a video of George W. Bush that had been slowed down, and it looked like he was drunk. But this was not “fake news.” It was satire.)
Fun work story: Back in high school, one of my responsibilities at the supermarket where I worked was to bring in carts from the parking lot. There were many times when I was slurring my speech when I got back inside, because in deep Northern Indiana winters the freezing cold air would make my face numb.
So no, I am not drunk. My face is frozen. Give me a couple minutes to un-freeze my face and I will be talking normally.
I liked bringing in carts, by the way.
A quick response to a really bad policy idea:
The justification for regulating broadcast is that “the public” owns the airwaves, and has to license certain frequencies. Even if you agree with that argument, no such justification exists for Internet platforms, and there is no worry of two stations on the same frequency.
Source: My Twitter profile.