The Great Debate

A very busy week to cover on this week’s show (even though one of our hosts is already vacation mode — and we apologize in advance for his sometimes spotty audio). We’ve got Jonathan V. Last (his Democratic Power Rankings are a must read) to parse both of the Dem debates, and the NY Post’s Sohrab Ahmari on the crisis on the border and yes, his criticism of David French and a branch of Conservatism in general. Also, the SCOTUS rulings, and Peter Robinson buys a car.

We’re off next week for the holiday. Have a safe and happy one, all!

Music from this week’s show: The House I Live In by Sam Cooke

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There are 73 comments.

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  1. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Arahant (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    He gets interviewed on cable occasionally. His column gets quoted in talk radio sometimes. His criticism of Kamela Harris has pretty interesting. I suppose realistically, they are both two sicko political psychopaths.

    But do you know the former adulterous lovers part?

    Yes.

    • #61
  2. ericB Lincoln
    ericB
    @ericB

    Joseph Stocks (View Comment):

    For example, what is the civil response to liberals seeking the eradication of Christian adoption agencies because they won’t place children with same sex couples?

    There isn’t any way to be civil with them. You need the blunt force of law stating that liberals cannot discriminate against Christian adoption agencies. This is what I believe the French faction seems to forget. Sohrab correctly points out that they want to remove us from the public square, this isn’t conspiracy thinking, it is actually happening and when conservatives then use the law to protect their liberty they get branded as Catholic sharia or being uncivil.

    David French himself is a lawyer who has probably done more actual work in court to protect liberty than all of his recent detractors combined.

    The mistake of his detractors such as Sohrab is to conflate civility with acquiescence, which is confused, not insightful.  Not long ago during a vigorous discussion of this topic on the NR The Editors podcast, Charles Cooke pointed out that it is defenders of classical liberalism (like French) who are working against the assaults of illiberalism.

    Nothing at all is gained by incivility.  Much is gained by doing what French has been doing, which is the defense of classical liberalism against illiberalism.  The example of “the eradication of Christian adoption agencies because they won’t place children with same sex couples” is illiberalism.

    What is better than the classical liberalism French advocates and defends?

    • #62
  3. ericB Lincoln
    ericB
    @ericB

    ericB (View Comment):
    David French himself is a lawyer who has probably done more actual work in court to protect liberty than all of his recent detractors combined.

    p.s. Regarding why “David French is an absurd target” (of Sohrab Ahmari et al),  @jonahgoldberg  addressed this in his recent “Unstuck in Time” episode #111 of The Remnant podcast.

    It’s a question and answer episode.  To listen to just that part, jump to about the 40 minute mark and listen for about 4 minutes.  Forewarning: he acknowledges that his rant inhibitors were not fully successful.  If you want the larger context, the question he is answering (about the illiberal traditionalist wing) begins a bit after the 34 minute mark.

    • #63
  4. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    French likes Russia theories. 

    • #64
  5. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    ericB (View Comment):
    Nothing at all is gained by incivility.

    That’s a blind spot.  I’ve seen plenty of rude people get away with lots.  Like him or not, part of Trump’s success has included incivility.

    Bad people can get away with a lot, and that includes the uncivil.

    Really, it’s all around us.

    I’d entertain an argument that being bad will get you in the end, but to say that nothing at all is gained by being bad is clearly wrong.

    • #65
  6. ericB Lincoln
    ericB
    @ericB

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    I’d entertain an argument that being bad will get you in the end, but to say that nothing at all is gained by being bad is clearly wrong.

    I’ll accept that my statement was a overstatement, perhaps similar to the statement “Crime doesn’t pay”.  Perhaps it would be overstated to say simply, “Nothing is gained by stealing.”  As a simple statement, one could find exceptions, but the proverb’s intended idea is along the lines of the more wordy “One should not expect any worthwhile net gain from choosing the path of stealing.”  That would be more akin to your “being bad will get you in the end”.

    I would be severely skeptical of the claim that the path of incivility is a necessary part of producing a lasting net good.  Even where Trump succeeds, that doesn’t imply that determined action with a civil tongue would not succeed.

    For Christians, we have already received mandatory instructions on how to conduct ourselves in a society where there is no “moral consensus” with our position (e.g. see 1 Peter).  I would really like to hear Sohrab Ahmari reconsider his position in light of such mandates.

    For non-Christians who are tempted by incivility, I’ll suggest there is wisdom in considering what a stable state end result is supposed to look like.  I’ve not heard any incivility plan that doesn’t seem doomed to crash and burn in the end.

    • #66
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    @blueyeti  pssst…  you’ve got two #453s.

    Wow did nobody notice that before?

     

    • #67
  8. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    kedavis (View Comment):

    @blueyeti pssst… you’ve got two #453s.

    Wow did nobody notice that before?

     

    Fixed!

    • #68
  9. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    ericB (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    I’d entertain an argument that being bad will get you in the end, but to say that nothing at all is gained by being bad is clearly wrong.

    I’ll accept that my statement was a overstatement, perhaps similar to the statement “Crime doesn’t pay”. Perhaps it would be overstated to say simply, “Nothing is gained by stealing.” As a simple statement, one could find exceptions, but the proverb’s intended idea is along the lines of the more wordy “One should not expect any worthwhile net gain from choosing the path of stealing.” That would be more akin to your “being bad will get you in the end”.

    I would be severely skeptical of the claim that the path of incivility is a necessary part of producing a lasting net good. Even where Trump succeeds, that doesn’t imply that determined action with a civil tongue would not succeed.

    For Christians, we have already received mandatory instructions on how to conduct ourselves in a society where there is no “moral consensus” with our position (e.g. see 1 Peter). I would really like to hear Sohrab Ahmari reconsider his position in light of such mandates.

    For non-Christians who are tempted by incivility, I’ll suggest there is wisdom in considering what a stable state end result is supposed to look like. I’ve not heard any incivility plan that doesn’t seem doomed to crash and burn in the end.

    I just read this comment – just prior I listened to Tommy Robinson’s last video since his conviction and sentencing. Can’t share as he’s been banned from every platform. 

    And it got me thinking about civility vs incivility. Tommy R is not civil: he’s an ex football hooligan. But as I heard him once say, it was never going to be a university educated school teacher who could come forth and shed a light on the crimes of the grooming gangs of the UK and would be able to fight the corruption and coverup.

    Civility is necessary in polite and civilized society. But when the crimes are so heinous give me a hooligan any day of the week. 

    • #69
  10. ericB Lincoln
    ericB
    @ericB

    Annefy (View Comment):

    And it got me thinking about civility vs incivility. Tommy R is not civil: he’s an ex football hooligan. But as I heard him once say, it was never going to be a university educated school teacher who could come forth and shed a light on the crimes of the grooming gangs of the UK and would be able to fight the corruption and coverup.

    Civility is necessary in polite and civilized society. But when the crimes are so heinous give me a hooligan any day of the week.

    I don’t understand the idea that a civil person cannot vigorously oppose heinous crimes.  Is it the assumption that “civil” = “don’t rock the boat”?

    While I don’t know much about UK politics, I do know that the long British struggle to end the slave trade and then to end slavery was lead by Christian William Wilberforce, who was a hero to Lincoln (cf. Amazing Grace).  No one showed more resolve and determination to end those heinous practices.  Yet he never needed to be a hooligan to do it.

    In fact, it was his Judeo-Christian understanding of the innate dignity of all humans that propelled him.  Likewise Christians are called to love even enemies.  But that never means politely ignoring evil or allowing it to persist.  There is no contradiction between opposing the practice of evil and recognizing that, despite the corruption of evil, every human bears the image of God.

    • #70
  11. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    ericB (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    And it got me thinking about civility vs incivility. Tommy R is not civil: he’s an ex football hooligan. But as I heard him once say, it was never going to be a university educated school teacher who could come forth and shed a light on the crimes of the grooming gangs of the UK and would be able to fight the corruption and coverup.

    Civility is necessary in polite and civilized society. But when the crimes are so heinous give me a hooligan any day of the week.

    I don’t understand the idea that a civil person cannot vigorously oppose heinous crimes. Is it the assumption that “civil” = “don’t rock the boat”?

    While I don’t know much about UK politics, I do know that the long British struggle to end the slave trade and then to end slavery was lead by Christian William Wilberforce, who was a hero to Lincoln (cf. Amazing Grace). No one showed more resolve and determination to end those heinous practices. Yet he never needed to be a hooligan to do it.

    In fact, it was his Judeo-Christian understanding of the innate dignity of all humans that propelled him. Likewise Christians are called to love even enemies. But that never means politely ignoring evil or allowing it to persist. There is no contradiction between opposing the practice of evil and recognizing that, despite the corruption of evil, every human bears the image of God.

    All granted. 

    If a civil person could shed the light on the pedo crime gangs in the UK and fight for the victims – why hasn’t it happened? My oh so very civil relatives over there spend all their time sniffing in disdain about TR and his past. As does the media, the cops, etc.

     

    • #71
  12. ericB Lincoln
    ericB
    @ericB

    Annefy (View Comment):
    If a civil person could shed the light on the pedo crime gangs in the UK and fight for the victims – why hasn’t it happened?

    That’s an excellent question.  Whereas William Wilberforce was a Christian with deep convictions (e.g. about how every human bore the image of God) that moved him to determined action, the Britain of today is largely secular.  That means that Christian convictions of the type that moved Wilberforce are largely absent today.

    If you or anyone else were to say, “Civility is not enough”, in the sense that civility itself won’t motivate difficult action, I also would agree completely.  But by the same token, being a hooligan of itself doesn’t motivate commendable but difficult moral action either.

    The question at hand was whether one needed to be a hooligan or uncivil in order to take action.  Wilberforce and others show that is not so.  If Robinson had an equally determined but civil twin, such a man could also take action, just as Wilberforce did.

    • #72
  13. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    ericB (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    If a civil person could shed the light on the pedo crime gangs in the UK and fight for the victims – why hasn’t it happened?

    That’s an excellent question. Whereas William Wilberforce was a Christian with deep convictions (e.g. about how every human bore the image of God) that moved him to determined action, the Britain of today is largely secular. That means that Christian convictions of the type that moved Wilberforce are largely absent today.

    If you or anyone else were to say, “Civility is not enough”, in the sense that civility itself won’t motivate difficult action, I also would agree completely. But by the same token, being a hooligan of itself doesn’t motivate commendable but difficult moral action either.

    The question at hand was whether one needed to be a hooligan or uncivil in order to take action. Wilberforce and others show that is not so. If Robinson had an equally determined but civil twin, such a man could also take action, just as Wilberforce did.

    To be fair, Tommy Robinson is an ex-hooligan. I feel about Tommy much like I do Trump, and (as I’ve often mentioned) Schindler. The skills gained from being on the wrong side can be used for good.

    I’ve lost patience with much of the GOP (and it’s one of the reasons I put off registering as an R for so long). The inability to fight back scurrilous charges, and when they try, doing it poorly.

    I’ve been called a racist and a homophobe to my face; I can assure you my response was uncivil. Someone who lodges such a claim has already proved that they are not civil themselves and as far as I’m concerned civility will be ineffective.

    • #73
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