A few articles you may want to read:
What Donald Trump said about women is just plain wrong. There is no way around it. It's disgusting and just plain wrong.
What Donald Trump may have done to women is not only wrong, but also immoral. Contact with another that is unwanted and not consensual is called battery. Battery is illegal and a violation of the non-aggression principle.
It really is that simple.
But what frustrates me the most about this situation is the increasing outrage and anger at Donald Trump. And most of it isn't even geared towards the actual non-consensual parts of the story but more towards the disrespectful comments he said both to individuals (aka "locker room talk") or to the media when discussing the weight of pageant contestants.
Again, this kind of talk is wrong. Indeed, that is why Donald Trump can easily be called an "asshole." Just as someone who doesn't think women should be in the workplace or thinks black people are lazy.
But, let me remind you, Hillary Clinton - Donald Trump's adversary - actually took part in not just wrong acts, but highly immoral acts. Indeed, she participated in some of the worst acts in modern history.
Let's put aside the email scandal, her vote for the Patriot Act, her dutiful support towards her husband who was an "asshole" almost as much as Trump, and any issues with the Clinton Foundation for now.
In 2002, Hillary Clinton voted for the authorization of the use of force in Iraq (you can watch her speech on the Senate floor if you think she thought President Bush wouldn't invade Iraq). As a result, over 20,000 American military members have died (many more injured), over 4 million people have been displaced, and, depending on the sources, anywhere from 100,000 to over a million people have been violently killed in the region.
Her vote, while maybe well-intentioned, directly led to these negative consequences. These consequences are not merely wrong, but immoral. Especially the deaths of numerous human lives.
One could argue that these consequences - and her vote - was merely self-defense. But self-defense is a reasonable and proportionate response to violence. Iraq took no part in violence towards Americans (at least not in 9/11). And even if somehow Iraq did, the invasion and violence that followed was not reasonable or proportionate in any way.
In addition, Hillary Clinton's actions as Secretary of State were not simply wrong but immoral. She supported the use of violence in Syria including calling for the ousting of Syrian President Al-Assad. She continues to support the fight against ISIS(even though our "self-defense" created this entity, which evolved from another entity we created). Indeed, part of Clinton's presidential platform is for not only "defeating" ISIS, but also supports the continued use of military force (through bombing and military aid) in the Middle East region (specifically, Syria).
As a reminder, while Donald Trump is an "asshole" and likely took part in non-consensual contact with women (though this should be determined through in-depth investigations and, if found, should be punished in some fashion), Hillary Clinton's actions actually led to the death of human lives (with no punishment - not even the possibility of it).
And yet, the American people (at least those polled) tend to think Trump's actions are worse than Clinton's. In the past two weeks, support for Clinton has jumped 6% as a result of Trump's recent scandal (there are more than one). While I definitely don't support Trump - and would never vote for him - I find this current situation entirely depressing.
The non-aggression principle is pretty easy to understand: violence against another is immoral. Violence is the use or threat of physical violence against another. The non-aggression principle should be valued. Lives should be valued. Especially when the end result is death.
Yet, the American people don't see it this way. Will they ever?
It's not a secret, we are at war in Syria and Iraq. The politicians support it, as do "we the people."
In the U.S. House of Representatives, the vote was 273-156 in support of arming and training Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS (after all, we do have a pretty good track record training rebels). Only 1/3 voted no - 71 Republicans and 85 Democrats (now there's bipartisanship!). The U.S. Senate also voted in support of intervention. 44 Democrats and 33 Republicans voted yes; while only 22 voted no.
Public support remains high for intervention, with 71% advocating for the use of airstrikes in Iraq and 65% for launching airstrikes in Syria (about a year ago, 45% of Americans favored military intervention in Syria).
And people may soon be demanding more intervention. In a recent poll, about 55% of Americans believe that the United States either intervenes too little in the world or just the right amount. Only 39% believe it does too much (about a year ago, 51% of Americans believed the U.S. does too much).
It's pretty scary. All it takes is the beheading of two American journalists to increase public support by almost 26% (In June, 45% supported airstrikes in Iraq; this jumped to 54% three weeks ago and is currently at 71%).
It's hard to believe we are living in the "libertarian moment." On the "intervention spectrum," foreign military intervention is quite possibly the worst kind of intervention (as war is mass murder). Yet, the public supports military intervention in both Iraq and Syria. Are people really advocating the libertarian philosophy?
Maybe I am too cynical, after all, "only" 48% of Americans currently support assisting Syrian rebels; while 40% oppose arming them. In other words, 60% of American support arming Syrian rebels. Have we not learned anything from history? We don't even have to go that far back - just last year we provided arms to Syrian rebels; shortly thereafter, we even trained rebels who would later join ISIS. Yet, we want to intervene even more?
And, what happens when we intervene? When we intervened in Pakistan a few years ago, we killed about 50 civilians for every militant killed - a success rate of 2%. Would we accept such failure from the private market? Let's say you buy $100 worth of groceries, but when you leave the store only $2 worth of it remains in your shopping cart (and it's SPAM btw). You would be okay with this? Of course not, you would walk back in the store and demand the other $98 worth of food! And we are just dealing with food, not a human life! We call ourselves "civilized," yet we would likely get more angry about getting screwed at Publix then we would hearing that a recent U.S. air strike killed two ISIS leaders and 100 Syrians.
It's depressing how little we learn from history (especially when it is so recent). It's also terrifying how easy it is for Americans to support the mass murder of innocent people overseas. And, just wait until a few terrorist plots are unfolded here in the U.S. - support for intervention will increase even more! Indeed, it's already beginning to happen (a man in New York was recently indicted for supporting ISIS and planning to kill Americans in the U.S.).
The propaganda and fear tactics will work as they always do. And, like always, we will forget our role in creating this mess to begin with. Instead, we will demand even more intervention - maybe this time, a strong charismatic Republican leader. He will demand even more military intervention overseas. Public support will reach through the roof. And, as always, U.S. airstrikes will kill innocent civilian; a few militants will die, but hundreds more will join in its ranks. The leader of ISIS may die, but another Al-Baghdadi will take charge. ISIS may dissolve, but a new group will take its place.
In all of this mess, thousands of human beings will die. But, there is a bright side: American corporations will profit (during the Iraq war, contractors made over $138 billion) . And that money will be spent in the U.S., which will create jobs. Our economy will grow again! The lives lost are just collateral damage - a means to an end. It's all for the greater good, right?
Hello. My name is James. And I am a critical thinker. [Hello James]. Well, at least I think I am. Let me think about it some more.