Both Sides, Both Ways: Implications and Political Argumentation

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

    My response on page one was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. That said, the media plays up the both sides rhetoric. I don't believe that we should feel obligated to align ourselves with either a repub view or democratic. Considering there are other parties to affiliate with, stands to reason, I'm not alone in that sentiment.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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  3. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

    I wanted to add onto that ^^ post but the edit time had expired.

    But, I’ll vote for a Democrat as to “not toss my vote away.” I don’t have to like it, though and that is more of my point. It would be nice to genuinely have more viable options and not feel obliged to voting for a party that you don’t align yourself with. Sure, there is common ground that we can all find but an independent seems to be more issue-focused and not party-focused like Democrats.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    That is more than simply a fair question; it's part of what I'm getting after, both on the original track and in accounting for a deviation.

    I don't think I disagree with that, except you're reassigning life and death in the difference between the suicide pact and modus vivendi. More specifically, the latter works well enough as such, but attends people.

    With free speech, as a general proposition we already know what one of the limitations is; the thing about fraud, though, is that it's not really m.v. for people to carry freely through their days without defrauding each other. The juristic notion of suicide pact describes the wreckage of the system; it is possible to destroy the system, as such, by destroying the people, but for the most part the question that has been with us since Jefferson, at least, involves the loss of the Constitution, not the people. Indeed, the most famous questions of suicide pact and government function involve dissent itself°.

    In living practice, we might also consider which parties of m.v. are partaking under some manner of duress. This reflects questions of function: What does an argument do, if realized?


    Regardless of arguments about political independence, sometimes a question put before us is dualistic. What does a third alternative do?

    There is an interesting apparent coincidence, though statistical noise in history is a difficult quantification, between dualistic political propositions and third alternatives that read like softer versions of the dualism. We keep doing it, over and over again, in American society. And the thing is, these third alternatives propose to protect and perpetuate harm.

    It is one thing to discuss abstraction. Once questions become specific, though, watch people scatter and maneuver. And of those who pretend to be somehow above, outside, or even better than, the question, observe how many of their positions would result in the perpetuation of a proposed dualism.


    Looking back to the Trump-Biden example, if we take away the names and just look at what is stake, there is a massive, smeared-up range where everything blurs and bleeds into everything else. Viewing customs and habits of the bourgeoisie, we denounce and find despicable. Considering similar customs among the proletariat and petit-bourgeoisie, it's not so clear.

    What we do know is akin to art, which might be hard to define but we know what it ain't, or some such. Maybe a small manufacturer has a great customer, a company who in turn adores the manufacturer for reliability, adaptability, and all those other things that make business work that much better. Cul-de-sac homeowners who have just enough wealth to tell their kids there's no college money because everything is tied up in assets. No, really, at this point, we're still squarely within the proverbial American Dream, and part of how people work three jobs while going to school and raising a kid because God Bless America.

    And after that kid has worked to the bone and piled up massive debt to get a college degree, if the buying company happens to give that one a job because of friendship and professional relations with the parent, go ahead and make the argument that such outcomes are improper, and relearn what Marx screwed up in '48 by expecting the petit-bourgeois would break toward the proletariat.

    To the other, getting a job on a corporate board overseas because someone views it as political access is clearly the kind of thing people just don't trust, and for good reason. And while they complain about political family finding benefit, we've never really tried to force the government to fix the problem, and part of the reason is that figuring out exactly what we need to do is really, really complicated, and some part of traditional American cynicism is that the elite will still find a way around the rules.

    This is, also, in turn, part of why people have endured and barely tolerated untoward endeavors involving family of presidents, and thus why public process hasn't juristically crucified Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. And, certes, the psychoanalytic meaning of that history, as such, is its own neurotic mess, but the Trump gambit against Biden not only stakes that entire blurred range, generally°°, but also his own daughter and son-in-law, who in turn have greater exposure than Hunter Biden.


    At some point, it's true, we must start accounting for theses of exception or exemption; the most obvious answer to endangering oneself and one's family in order to harm a political opponent this way is that one does not perceive the danger. Again, something about apparent coincidence between dualistic political propositions and third alternatives that advance the dualistic proposition.

    This ought to be easy enough to illustrate:

    Get Biden → (How?) → Kid got benefit → (Okay: [Prosecute Bidens]) → (Consistency of standards: [Prosecute Ivanka/Jared]) → No, that's not supposed to happen! → (Why not?)​

    A passing moment, some years ago, saw a heap of nasty stupidity going on in a statewide zero-tolerance firearms policy according to blatant disparate impact, and there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to cutting breaks for the white kid who tried to jack a school for a lark, but someone actually came out and said, explicitly, the rule was intended for other kids, not theirs. We know this attitude exists among the privileged.

    The only way this scheme against Hunter Biden doesn't include Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump within the boundaries of its underlying legal and ethical assertions is if they are exempted for some exceptional reason, like Trump's unitary-executive assertion of all-purpose immunity, even from investigation, and even regarding things ostensibly having nothing to do with his presidency.


    It is easy to snag up on the names and faces, but the underlying functional reality remains: Barring exceptional cause for exemption, one is subject to the harm they seek to fulfill; that is, the harmful implication of the particular political argument offered includes the proponent within its rubric: If A and B, then C. The easiest way to avoid that is to strike B.


    Vis à vis free speech:

    Proponent: What you say offends religious belief, and therefore must be censored.

    Response: Censorship is not allowed.

    Third alternative: I think both sides are being too rigid. [Solution: Some censorship should be allowed per Proponent's need.]

    Response: Well, the Proponent offends my religious beliefs, and therefore must, according to their own rules, be similarly censored.

    Proponent: That's not how it works. Stop oppressing us so unfairly.

    Third alternative: You see, both sides are to blame. [Solution: More censorship per Proponent's need.]​


    Does that sound somehow strange?

    Shall we put some labels back into it? In my lifetime, ask the musicians and authors censored for the sake of Christianist delicate sensibilities. We could ask atheists. There is, after all, a counterargument that refusing religious supremacism is itself religious supremacism. The oppression of freedoms like mandatory prayer in schools or requiring teachers to pretend Creationism is science reminds who the real victims are, here, right?

    Christian: You can't oppress my equally protected religious freedom by saying I can't force you to pray!

    Atheist: Freedom of speech? Freedom of religion?

    Third alternative: I think both sides are being too rigid. Christian needs to allow respectful dissent when requiring public demonstrations of piety. Atheist can respectfully dissent by simply remaining silent.​

    On the original track, there is the basic contradiction of one censorship as a fundamental function of free speech; the nonreciprocal expectation only highlights the dysfunction.

    Additionally, there is a seemingly predictable tendency in certain pretenses of independence to take sides despite the pretense.

    Why should it? Because somebody said so.


    ° Note aside: An episode related to the Civil War is iconic in its own way for its own reasons, and it can actually be difficult to explain the connections to something we can witness, today, because nothing so tragic should ever be so funny.

    °° Which, in turn, might seem like a difficult risk; admittedly, that the whole tax reform debacle hasn't chased away Trump's electoral base is an uncertain indicator, and thus probably unreliable. Comparatively, perhaps we might suggest that simplicity, or even questions of criminality and stupidity, can be defined according to the beholder. More directly, sometimes our assessments are wrong because the simplest, most direct, or otherwise is our own definition, while the behavior we try to assess really is that much differently founded. Nonetheless, Trump voters are seemingly willing to hurt themselves in order to achieve certain outcomes that don't necessarily make sense to the rest of us.
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    I won't debate the philosophical or constitutional issue, as it's too complicated for the venue and I would have to grapple with your syntax, and i have insufficient time to do it justice.
    OTH, this::
    How so? What kind of everything is bleeding? An individual placed in a position of immense responsibility, uses that power to blackmail the insecure leader of a weaker nation for his personal advantage. If he's allowed to get away with that by his own government, the constitution they all swore to defend will suffer damage, possibly irreparable damage.
    How does class signify in a breach of trust? Working people, poor people, rich people, religious and secular people, people with bad habits, or whatever - they're all capable of understanding what a vow means.
    Oh sure. And you're trampling all over my civil liberties by not allowing me to own people that I imported at my own expense.
    A: Both of you can say whatever you like about each other, short of slander, libel and hate-speech.
    Neither of you can force the other to do anything.

    It's really not that complicated.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Perhaps we need clarify that the onion referred to is more properly, "The Onion", a humorous website known for publishing such unbelievable takes on current events that sometimes news agencies fall for the joke. Of course that reads like the unfortunate requisite disclaimer, but life is like that, some days.

    Setting that part aside, do you get it?

    To whom is the joke unclear?

    When the critic is reminding this is not a parody, the underlying point is the implications of the political argument:


    Thus: While plenty might equivocate about "both sides" of a political dispute, what consideration are people giving the many sides of what they say, and the implications, thereof?

    That is a general question. A particular iteration is that an aristocratic interest would attempt to sacrifice itself as well as the American aristocracy by raising nepotism in private- and public-sector privilege as fever-pitch scarecrow. As misdirection goes, the question of how the children of politicians might benefit from their parents' office is a real problem, but, to be specific, the Trump iteration would also sacrifice his own children and son-in-law, and, as the asserted construction works, denounce himself.


    We might observe a political statement, that such self-infliction is hardly new among conservatives. Certes, one might attempt to establish independence from such an argumentative framework, but nothing about that independent politic changes the underlying fact of self-infliction.


    Note aside: There is a concept described as the "radical center", which attempts to establish mainstream centrism as some sort of radical outlier against mundane radical partisanship. And there are days, especially vis à vis antisociality, this feels like a tempting thesis. Yet the present stickum debacle of the Trump administration's attack against a potential opponent includes the question of who would sacrifice the aristocracy in order to strike a futile blow against one aristocratic rival. The answer reminds the horseshoe or circle or whatever the model of the radical center doesn't really exist; the common ground is antisociality, and while it remains unclear what those who would smash the aristocracy or even state might expect in terms of empowerment, their ostensible radical neighbors from the far end of the political spectrum have no intention of smashing either aristocracy or state. Thus, to be clear, the omni syndrome driving centrism to ward off radicalism does not automatically make centrism radical; if there is a radical center, it remains undiscovered.


    One need not coddle the aristocracy in order to notice that once again cutthroat privilege dares threaten itself. True, we might not weep for the hostage, but when has this particular cutthroat ever really attended such details. The question remains: Why trust such self-inflicting arguments?


    @kylecassidy. "Not the onion." Twitter. 19 October 2019. 19 October 2019.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    [#obliteration | #trumpswindle]

    While it is sometimes difficult to separate the politics from the politicking, a more local example makes the point:

    We should note this is actually an example of what happens when one tries to accommodate distractions from discussions; this is an argument from another thread, in support of an uninformed equivocation↗, "That Trump is trolling the left just like Obama trolled the right by taking so long to show his birth certificate". And self-consuming argumentation like this is even recursive; there is an underlying implication that the proverbial two wrongs make a right. The advocate effectively acknowledges he argues to advance corruption.

    Still, the self-harm runs even deeper:

    • The argument associated with the Politifact link, "'a computer-generated document that says he was born in Honolulu' is not a 'long-form birth certificate'", has nothing to do with the Politifact review except that the phrases quoted, "a computer-generated document that says he was born in Honolulu", and, "long-form birth certificate" both appear on the page.​

    Speaking of bubbles, then, we might make the point that, outside the advocate's own bubble, a "computer-generated document that says he was born in Honolulu" is, in this case and for these purposes, a legal and binding document bearing the full faith and credit of the "long-form birth certificate", or else there are thousands to millions of American students and employees who are in serious trouble for providing fraudulent documentation. The juxtaposition of the white supremacist Birther conspiracy with the fact of Donald Trump's looming impeachment is entirely manufactured, a manner of non sequitur presenting a false dichotomy or dilemma. As it was, observance of the difference 'twixt a Certification of Live Birth and a Birth Certificate represented a particular demand: What was good enough for the law was not good enough for white supremacists, who in turn probably never really thought about what would happen if their Certifications of Live Birth were suddenly rendered useless.

    Anybody thinking through the question rationally eventually circles back to CLB short-forms as the bureaucratically practicable option. But a bunch of white supremacists wanted to believe in a forty-eight year Manchurian-candidate conspiracy theory about a black man, so they discredited what had until that day been perfectly acceptable to them.

    And this destruction is what the thread considers.

    It's tempting to equivocate, or declare independence, but this is about something else.


    Set aside the superficial labels and look at what is argued:

    • If the Certification of Live Birth is no longer acceptable under law, then ...?​

    And if you're shaking your head in confusion about what that means: What, then, was ever the point of CLBs, if they had no value under law?

    How many people have defrauded which organizations by submitting a CLB instead of a "long-form birth certificate" for what purposes, and who the hell is going to get fired, these years later, for letting them?

    And if at this point you're wondering, What the fuck? yes, that's part of the point. This is what happens if we validate the underlying argument.

    Thus, if one wishes to argue, "'a computer-generated document that says he was born in Honolulu' is not a 'long-form birth certificate', and your own source (if you read it) says that wasn't released until 2011", okay, but so what? Any other day, it doesn't make a difference.


    Actually, we should probably note: While I said juxtaposition of the white supremacist Birther conspiracy with the fact of Donald Trump's looming impeachment is entirely manufactured, and still stand by that, it is worth noting a particular connection between the popular racist conspiracism and the impending impeachment, which is Donald Trump himself. Not only was he a strong advocate of Birther tinfoil, he also has delivered us evidence of his guilt.

    No wonder the advocacy in his defense requires such drastic implications.

    And, really, it's not just some uneducated twobitting on backwater discussion boards.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    [#obliteration | #trumpswindle]

    If the twitbit commentary↱ runs, "This manner of obliteration is a common right-wing device", and asserts, "Conservatives will destroy everything in order to get whatever ephemeral bauble they think they want", well, here we are.

    Consider the damage Republicans are inflicting in recent weeks complaining about process and confronting witnesses including the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower; Julian Sanchez (@normative)↱ notes, in commentary on the popular but incorrect analogy invoking the Sixth Amendment:

    If we want to continue humoring the analogy, the “right to confront” Trumpsters are demanding would be the equivalent of insisting that police provide criminal suspects with the identity of every informant police are speaking to, while the investigation is still ongoing.

    Still, I think many Americans might be willing to meet conservative critics on this point: If Donald Trump would prefer to answer a criminal prosecution, then we ought to charge him, arrest him, process him, and hold him overnight before he can post bail, as we do in other criminal prosecutions.

    Oh, what's that? We can't? Well, right. So this Congressional process is what we have. What's that, what do you want? The equivalent of law enforcement providing "criminal suspects with the identity of every informant police are speaking to, while the investigation is still ongoing"?

    Stop and think about what we must destroy in order to accommdate the implications of defending Donald Trump.


    It is easy, in times such as these, to focus on the Trump question directly, or questions of politic, party, and identity, but think about what various arguments do.

    The question remains: Why trust such arguments?


    @normative. "So, the obvious reason this is dumb is that the 6th Amendment only applies at criminal trials. But also: it's extremely common at criminal trials for the prosecution not to call witnesses whose testimony is not necessary as evidence." Twitter. 5 November 2019. 5 November 2019.

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