"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Today's Must-Read: The Right's Moral Vacuum

Tom Sullivan has a good piece at Hullabaloo on the Republican's complete lack of moral foundation:

After decades of accusations from conservatives that the American left advances reprehensible moral relativism, this week we saw that the real sin was having morals of any kind. What the Trump family modeled for the world this week is what it looks like to have none. Watergate veteran John Dean warned during the Bush II administration of the rise of "Conservatives Without Conscience." The Trumps consider that lack a plus.

"What stood out most in the interview was the moral emptiness of the president’s son," Slate's William Saletan wrote after Donald Trump Jr. appeared with Sean Hannity to explain away his meeting last June with a Russian emissary offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. What looks to be a willingness to conspire with a hostile foreign power to undermine an American election, Trump Jr. dismissed as no big deal. “That’s what we do in business. If there’s information out there, you want it." He might have done things differently, but he'd done nothing wrong.

It's not just the Trumps, although more and more I think that they're an accurate reflection of their class -- the movers and shakers, the "job creators," the plutocrats who trade in congressmen and senators -- it's the right as a whole: they've demonstrated time and time again that they have no idea of what morality is about. (This is only one example.)

Sullivan digs deeper, noting this by WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin:

We have always had in our political culture narcissists, ideologues and flimflammers, but it took the 21st-century GOP to put one in the White House. It took elected leaders such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and the Republican National Committee (not to mention its donors and activists) to wave off Trump’s racists attacks on a federal judge, blatant lies about everything from 9/11 to his own involvement in birtherism, replete evidence of disloyalty to America (i.e. Trump’s “Russia first” policies), misogyny, Islamophobia, ongoing potential violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause (along with a mass of conflicts of interests), firing of an FBI director, and now, evidence that the campaign was willing to enlist a foreign power to defeat Clinton in the presidential election.

Out of its collective sense of victimhood came the GOP’s disdain for not just intellectuals but also intellectualism, science, Economics 101, history and constitutional fidelity. If the Trump children became slaves to money and to their father’s unbridled ego, then the GOP became slaves to its own demons and false narratives. A party that has to deny climate change and insist illegal immigrants are creating a crime wave — because that is what “conservatives” must believe, since liberals do not — is a party that will deny Trump’s complicity in gross misconduct. It’s a party as unfit to govern as Trump is unfit to occupy the White House. It’s not by accident that Trump chose to inhabit the party that has defined itself in opposition to reality and to any “external moral truth or ethical code.”

I'd take Rubin's final comment one step further: the Republican party and its adherents are completely lacking in any moral truth or ethical code whatsoever.

Read it and weep.

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