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The Conversation We Should Be Having


#1

The Conversation We Should Be Having

Neal Gabler

It has been another rough patch in the pothole-pocked presidency of Donald Trump, beginning with his tone-deaf remarks on the Charlottesville tragedy, in which he demonstrated, yet again, that he lacks even the barest shred of human decency; then continuing with his rant in Phoenix, in which he demonstrated, yet again, that he may very well be, in the favorite word of the day, “unhinged;” and ending with the pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose crime was nothing less than the violation of basic constitutional rights.


#2

He is a danger because he is amoral and has no regard for basic human values — and because he legitimizes amorality. ( same as: Johnson Nixon Bush Bush Clinton Reagan etc.)Fight him on political grounds, where power is the only thing that matters, . Fight him on moral grounds and you cannot lose, – moral grounds plus $3.49 will get you a cup of Starbucks - I suppose.

Please spare us the drivel …


#3

Trump has even more problems. We already saw that one state, New York, may have jurisdiction over Trump employees’ criminality in the Russia investigation, but now there’s more:

That Mueller is one hot investigator/attorney!


#4

Why not a morally driven politics — a politics that looks to tolerance, kindness, charity, compassion and community in nondogmatic and expansive ways…

This will never happen as long as the morality of the majority of the people is based around theism. This is particularly true of the Christians whose God was/is jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving, control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

The ONLY way that we as a people can EVER adopt a politics that looks to tolerance, kindness, charity, compassion and community in nondogmatic ways is to dispel the childish fairy tales of theism and grasp a hold of the principles of humanism. After all, it is mankind to mankind that tolerance, kindness, charity, compassion and community will be demonstrated … not a sky-fairy god to mankind.

Humanism is a democratic and ethical lifestance which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.
– The International Humanist and Ethical Union


#5

We don’t need a discussion on morality in general, because I think that would need nowhere, but white supremacy should be discussed in moral terms. I don’t know of any religion that does not find it morally reprehensible. And it certainly has no scientific basis. It was a widespread belief when there were colonies here and during the early part of the nineteenth century but by now it should be just part of US history and no longer a belief held by white Americans.


#6

Good article, Mr. Gabler! I am in full agreement.


#7

Nice essay. Politics/economics without ethics is blind.


#8

It is time we stop identifying ourselves politically as “Conservative” or " “Liberal.”

Those terms are all Bullshit. They do nothing at all but divide us.

Realistically, we need to more accurately label Conservatives by the way they think about and represent their constituents, so, for Conservatives, I believe they must be addressed as “Negatives.” Negatives describes how little they honestly care about and how little they legislate in favor of the masses they represent.

On the other hand, Liberals, for the most part I believe must be labeled as “Positives.” Progressives too, must be labeled as “Positives” as they are consistently on the front lines fighting the “Negatives” to keep them from legislating always in favor of the Big-Money interests.

Now, we all know that the Democratic Party Establishment do their best to hide behind the label of Liberal, but most of us know better. Look at Hillary Clinton for example, your perfect case of Establishment Democrat. She went to great lengths to convince “Liberals” and “Progressives” that she was one of them. However, her actions showed her allegiance to the Banks and Corporations, and only occasionally allowed some crumbs to fall through her legislative fingers to the working class.

This type of politician isn’t a “Positive” at all, and in actuality must be lumped in with the “Negatives” for quite obvious reasons.

I doubt this will ever be widely adopted as an alternative to the classic definition of political science but it is definitely worthy of consideration.

Ask yourself the question: " Am I a Positive or a Negative? "

Yes, these terms too will divide us but perhaps they will make us look more closely at who we are and how we relate to our fellow Americans.

Then, in your own mind, once you’ve looked at how you have voted over the years, and looked at the politicians you have supported and whether or not those politicians went on to promote power to the people over more for the few in the upper class and corporations, decide then on whether you are lying to yourself just to justify your mistakes.


#9

The Poor White Trash, Trump’s base is amoral as well. I see no chance of dumping Trump as long as his base, the PWT or Republican Party, is in control. In other words, we are screwed…


#10

Oh he is far worse than Johnson, Nixon, Bush, Bush, Clinton, Regat etc. if only for the fact that he throws it in your face. Unfortunately somewhere around 30% of the population loves a face full of this creep.


#11

They are only in control because so many didn’t vote. There are not more now than there were, it’s just that they now have recognition, approval and a voice. Simply turn the lights back on and send these cockroaches scurrying back to the darkness under the toilet where they belong.


#12

When Martin Luther King Jr. called for a “revolution of values” in the USA, he EXPLICITLY tied his call for morality to the horrific amorality of the political economy. King called for an end to US imperialism, and for economic justice that ended all forms of economic apartheid and gave EVERYONE a livable job with dignity.

This is the only call to “morality” that has a deep enough resonance to challenge the heart of the US military-industrial-financial-congressional complex, the TRUE SOURCE of the “moral rot” and “decadence” that undermine US society.

Gabler’s call for a “conversation about morality” does not go anywhere near far enough.


#13

A secular humanist also. My second attempt to respond to your post.

The humanist philosophy states that we - all of humanity - are the authors of all that happens in our world, all of the good, as well as all of the bad. The name for all that we don’t know, our ignorance - God - we can continue to contemplate, as long as we are able to continue at all. It is no small matter, but it is in our hands.

So we must acknowledge that greed and the consolidation of wealth is immoral because it causes great injustice, suffering, and eventually war. It is destructive to the well-being of our species. Regulations that check the destructive aspects of our human nature are not infringements upon freedom. What were the Commandments but common sense societal rules for a functioning clan? Thou shall not kill, lie, steal, or screw your neighbor’s lawful spouse. Followed faithfully those dictums control much of the aggressive, predatory stuff that we are so capable of doing. The collective will thrive where those destructive behaviors do not. It doesn’t take any divine inspiration or revelation to understand the truth there.


#14

Telling the devil he is immoral only makes him more immoral. The best thing to do to Trump is tell him to fuck off. Never try to tell an idiot that he is an idiot because he is so stupid that he will take it as a compliment. Remember Trump and his friends would like nothing better than to reopen the gas chambers, concentration camps and bring back slave labor. So good luck with your plan. Remember his followers that carry Nazi flags, think Hitler was a good guy, think slavery was a blessing, love war and think the confederacy should have won. Did I mention the group that wants to kill the jews, kill the liberals, bust the unions. Underfunded government programs that help people, passed voter suppression laws and think this is a Christian nation. Hope you get the picture because if you don’t you are one dumb person.


#15

Yaweh was the only guy I ever heard of that had a son that he made just so he could commit suicide.


#16

I recently read the Three Common Laws of the Ubuntu Liberation Movement and the economic system they have named Contributionism.

  • Do not kill or harm others.
  • Do not steal or take what is not yours.
  • Conduct yourself honorably in all that you do and say.

These three (only three) life-guiding principles will allow us to live in harmony with each other … globally. It really is this simple, I think. Why have so many laws that it is impossible to know and enforce them all. To what purpose does it serve?


#17

Organized religion is a fraud perpetrated by the organized 1% on the 99% to intimidate the 99% into submitting to the wishes of the 1%. The word “organization” is conspicuous here. What can we do to reduce the inherent danger lurking in every organization, the possibility of perverting the power of the organization to abuse the weak and favor the strong?

Thus I have mixed emotions about the existence of the International Humanist And Ethical Union, because it too is an organization!


#18

"…The only way to change American politics, really change them, is to incorporate truly moral values into them and hold those who don’t accountable…"
Agreed.
But then who or what decides what is “truly moral,” not to mention who or what shall create mechanisms of "accountability?"
Example (not the best one): When Bush II was selected, one of his first acts was to remove the U.S. from participation in the International Criminal Court.
Which person or country will be the first to propose the establishment of an International Morality Court?


#19

Thanks, School Ma’rm, for the lesson.


#20

Right On, George!!!