#twowrongs -- A Twitter Essay of Sorts

I've been seeing a lot of this kind of reasoning on Facebook the last couple of days (I removed the name of the poster):


The point of this link and others is to call liberals out as hypocrites. "Carter did it," this argument goes, so what do have to say about that?

My response is simple: so what? Carter was wrong. I have no problem saying that and many of my liberal friends feel as I do.

But the reality is this is part of a larger pattern used to deflect focus from what is on the table today.

1. Getting tired of conservatives defending indefensible by saying "but Obama," "but Clinton," "but Carter." #twowrongs

— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) December 9, 2015

2. Own yr arguments. If u think #Trump is right, tell me why & stop pointing 2 others' moral failing as excuse. #twowrongs

— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) December 9, 2015

3. Yr argument is political equivalent of "but mom, they did it too." #Trump #twowrongs

— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) December 9, 2015

4. Remember what yr mom sd: "just b/c yr friends were stupid & jumped off the roof, doesn't mean u shd b stupid too." #Trump #twowrongs

— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) December 9, 2015

5. #Trump call 4 #muslimban is contrary 2 American ideals (if sadly consistent w/our history). It is form of racism. #twowrongs

— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) December 9, 2015

6. #Trump #muslimban might even fall on #ethniccleansing continuum in that its goal is reducing size of Muslim population in US. #twowrongs

— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) December 9, 2015


Called out by a friend on this specific point on Facebook, so I offer this clarification (from my Facebook response):

Hyperbole on my part. Yes. It isn't ethnic or religious cleansing, but the specific targeting of a religious or ethnic group with the intention of separating them in some way (physically, symbolically) from the general population would seem a first step in its direction -- hence my calling it a continuum. You start by painting a group as a threat, then you use legal measures to control them in some way (which, at the very least, confers legal status on their separateness), then you expand those measures beyond control, and so on. I think Trump's rhetoric falls at the beginning of that continuum.

To elaborate further: Banning entry of an individual religious or ethnic group by force of law or executive order is creating a separate legal class for that group, which then opens the doors for other things. Does this mean that a more explicit form of agitation and separate will waltz in through that door? No. A lot of other things would need to occur before something like that might follow. But opening the door does seem a dangerous first step.

7. If u think #Trump is right, explain why. #muslimban #twowrongs

— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) December 9, 2015

This line of argument has been building up for a few days as I attempted to respond on Facebook to some of the memes and links that have been circulating, but the response to my posting of today's Daily News cover ultimately led me to put it in writing (or tweets):


The Daily News in full crusader mode.

Posted by Hank Kalet on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

So, jump into the fray. What do you think. Answer in the comments, or feel free to join in the fun on Twitter or my Facebook page.

Send me an e-mail.

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