Monday, October 10, 2016

Putting the comment in my last post a bit less flippantly

From Josh Marshall:

"I don't think we can discuss this debate as citizens, take stock of it as a country, without noting that this is certainly the first time one candidate has openly threatened to jail the other candidate. Trump said openly that he would instruct the Justice Department to open a new investigation of Clinton and that he'd make sure it ended with her imprisonment. That's something we expect in kleptocracies and thin democracies where electoral defeat can mean exile, imprisonment, or death.

"Such a ferocious claim, one that puts our whole constitutional order on its head, is not something that can be easily undone. That's the ranting threat of a would-be strongman and dictator. The threat itself is like a bell that can't be un-rung. Through the course of what was often an ugly debate, I was thinking a lot of the destructiveness of this entire campaign, virtually all of which stems from Trump's transgressive, norm-demolishing behavior. It's a topic ... the country is going to need to wrestle with. None of this is going to disappear after November 8th. These are slashing wounds to the country's political fabric that will at best leave tremendous scar tissue we'll still see for decades."

UPDATE: Will Wilkinson of the libertarian Niskanen Center agrees.


Benjamin said...

Heheh, I see you noticed this in the debate. It didn't surprise me very much at all coming from Trump. XD

I for one, don't really take anything for granted. At least I try not to do so all the time, that way I can remain flexible. (in theory XD)

Some of the political stuff, in my view, is just fluffery - I.E. One manufacturer could benefit by selling computers which are are smaller and more compact - but that doesn't take away the fact that they are selling a computer, regardless of size, color, etc...
(Such things as computational performance would NOT be considered fluffery, as it is a more important part of the computer's functionality. And as I said, this really is just my opinion. For some people, size and/or color really ARE important factors ... XP)

With this election, I worry that people focus too much on what is being said, while not focusing enough on what isn't being said. I'll probably come off as a bit schizophrenic here, but, as scary as it is to have a threat before your eyes, the ones hidden behind you are even worse.

I also have to disagree with Josh's comment about the "destructiveness" and "norm-demolishing behavior." Since when is following the norm the right thing to do? If you blindly follow any given ideology, you could easily lead yourself straight into a trap. It's like putting lead in gasoline to increase engine power and reliability, while totally ignoring what comes out of the exhaust pipe! Political discourse is complex and at many times, abstract.

The eye opening thing Josh states is this:
"But we've been living with this guy for a year and a half. We all have a little bit of the trauma of living in the home of an abuser now. We're accustomed to it. To a degree it starts to feel normal."
I would make the argument that this same exact premise could be applied to Hillary! Specifically, the email/classified-information scandal!
Are we going to keep someone who dodges bullets in power? Someone who has the entire FBI and DOJ on their side? That's like a recipe for a kleptocracy.
(Josh says the thing about Trump calling for Hillary's imprisonment.)

lol, feel free to school me if I'm wrong (and I probably am, I'm always wrong) ...


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