Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for December 19, 2017 it’s edition number 154 and we call it the Did Trump Dump Blacks? edition of the show with your hosts Hartford radio guy Todd Feinburg and nanophysicist Mike Stopa.

This week, we will discuss a pair of interesting articles about the African American community and the Trump Administration (the first is called Black America and Donald Trump and the second, from Vox, is The past year of research has made it very clear: Trump won because of racial resentment). The eternal question is naturally why do Blacks support the Democrats so overwhelmingly when the Democrats are working so hard to keep them down and marginalized? Also, was Trump in a position to break that mold only to surrender to racial dog whistles so as to appeal to his racist voter base? What is going on in the heads of the left if they think this is really what’s going on?

Next, we descend once again into the swamps of sexual harassment – this time talking about Tavis Smiley’s counter-attack against the misconduct accusations that have gotten him into deep poo poo. Do women as a whole suffer if the current climate treats them overwhelmingly as victims? Isn’t that a little condescending?

Our shower thoughts involve definitions and liberal friends. As for our hidden gem, we wanted to post a composite of 67 hip hop songs from 1989 until 2016 that alluded – often favorably – to Donald Trump. Alas we could not download it – so we link to it here. In the meantime, out hidden gem is *one* of the 67 aforementioned pieces by Nas entitled New World. Enjoy!

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There is 1 comment.

  1. Member

    While I agree with Mr. Stopa that language and definitions are often abused in politics, his discussion is riddled with misunderstandings. Mr. Stopa quotes Wittgenstein and pines for a more philosophical approach. He says, “From a logical point of view, definitions are irrelevant.”

    First, be advised that much of contemporary philosophy is focused on exactly this: obsessing over definitions of words. Second, and more significantly, the example used is the opposite of what is claimed. Instead of being about definitions, it’s all about logic.

    Mr. Stopa summarizes the pro-life argument, supposedly the template for vacuousness, as follows:

    • This fetus has a hearbeat
    • A heartbeat is an indicator of life
    • Therefore the fetus is alive.

    He claims, “That doesn’t get you anywhere from a philosophical point of view.” As it turns out, this is a classic Aristotelian syllogism. I think we can agree that Aristotle was a philosopher and that logical syllogisms are a foundation of philosophy.

    Without getting into the merits of the particular premises of this syllogism, they do clarify the points of disagreement. If you agree with the first two statements, the third follows. The discussion can focus on the merits of those two statements. Likewise, one could make a syllogism for the pro-choice side.

    The merit of being precise in language is that it makes it possible to use logic in discussions of contentious issues. Without precision, the discussion veers off into moving anecdotes and appeals to emotion. As Wittgenstein noted in the Tractatus (prop. 7), “Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.” [See, I can also quote Wittgenstein.]

    • #1
    • December 19, 2017 at 3:02 pm
    • 1 like