[Previous] Comments on Behavioral Genetics Lecture | Home | [Next] Human Problems and Abstract Problems

Discussion: Politicizing the Las Vegas Tragedy

From Facebook:

Evan O'Leary:

What is with people who don't like things to be "politicized"? Do you not want people you tribally dislike to say reasonable things because then you'll have to disagree with them because you were born with nothing but an amygdala for a brain?
EDIT: good point made in the comments, exploiting people's emotions to manipulate their political beliefs while they're in a less rational state is bad

Elliot Temple:
i take it you're insulting right wingers including classical liberals who believe in freedom regarding the issue of gun control. i'd suggest being more clear about what your point is in the future.

so, regarding gun control: instead of insulting people, i think it'd be better to try to investigate, in an objective, scholarly way, whether the factual claims in this book are correct or incorrect:
https://www.amazon.com/War-Guns-Yourself-Against-Control-ebook/dp/B01HH5HN8W/

Evan O'Leary:
 I'd suggest being less paranoid, you're wrong about what I'm arguing

Elliot Temple:
 then clarify

Evan O'Leary:
 There's nothing in my post that needs clarification, people on the left get mad at the NRA for "politicizing" shootings too when they say less people would have died if one of the hostages was carrying a gun

Elliot Temple:
 do you have an example of that? for example, Hillary chose to politicize the shooting rather than accuse the NRA of politicizing. By contrast, I say many right wingers complaining about Hillary politicizing it.

Evan O'Leary:
 Sure, let me find it. There was some hostage situation in recent years when people said open carry would have prevented it

Elliot Temple:
 Hold on, let's stick to the Vegas shooting and representative examples! I'm sure somewhere in history you'll find one example.

Evan O'Leary:
 Not just open carry but also when refugees commit shootings the right politicizes it with immigration

Elliot Temple:
 Are you in favor of gun control or against it?

Evan O'Leary:
 Can't find the hostage situation rn, do you disagree with the immigration point?

I'm not sure what to think about gun control

Elliot Temple:
 I agree that the right sometimes politicizes shootings, but in my understanding the dominant trend after the Vegas shooting – which is the context of your post – was the left politicizing it and the right criticizing the politicization. If I'm mistaken because I didn't see a broad enough sample of political messaging, I'd appreciate the correction. If you saw it similarly, then wasn't your post a reaction to some right winger comments?

Evan O'Leary:
 It was caused by me seeing right winger comments and seeing a problem with the "don't politicize" part of the argument, not the "gun control has downsides" part

Elliot Temple:
 views on gun control are relevant here. e.g. consider Hillary's pivot to bringing up silencers. was that relevant and reasonable, or just unreasonably trying to use the tragedy in an unrelated way? people who have knowledge about silencers and gun rights are going to have a different perspective on Hillary's comments than someone who is neutral. Part of their reaction – which you took issue with – was due to knowledge of the issues, not tribalism and amygdalae.

Elliot Temple:
 Hunters want suppressors to prevent damage to their ears and their dogs' ears, and to be better able to hear each other and prevent dangerous hunting miscommunications. That's what Hillary pivoted to the tragedy to.

https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/268035/how-hillary-clintons-tweet-showcases-cynicism-gun-daniel-greenfield

Elliot Temple:
 A reasonable response would be to call Hillary Clinton dishonest, because her comments were an attempt to shoehorn an unrelated agenda where it didn't fit and mislead the public. The discussion is ready to go straight into the mud. But do we want a bunch of mud slinging and character attacks and typical political dirty fighting to be the centerpiece of the national discussion of the Vegas tragedy? As much as I'm personally pretty willing to debate anything, I do see why people could object to this!


Elliot Temple:
 and the reason some people don't want a bunch of murder to be politicized is because of their respect for life and human dignity.

Evan O'Leary:
 What about politics inherently lacks respect for that

Elliot Temple:
 many political discussions aren't respectful of the gravity of mass murder, as i'm sure you've observed

Evan O'Leary:
 Is that because they're political?

Elliot Temple:
 Partly, yes. Some types of discussions are more known for human decency than others.

Evan O'Leary:
 The only political discussions which lack respect for life and dignity are the ones with bad political arguments

Any solution to this issue is going to be one of policy, so even if politics causes irrationality in humans, our other choice is having murder problems which don't seem less important than irrationality

Elliot Temple:
 "The only political discussions which lack respect for life and dignity are the ones with bad political arguments"

So, most of them? Do you see the problem?

Elliot Temple:
 No one is objecting to debating the issues at some point, and trying to make the discussions civil. But there are questions about the apporpriate immediate comments from public figures. Should they prioritize attempting a dirty political sound byte, or perhaps is it better to begin by saying something about their respect for human life and how sad they are about the tragedy, and then try to debate gun control issues in the normal ways afterwards?

Evan O'Leary:
 The better explanation is irrationality, not politics

Evan O'Leary:
 "Don't politicize" is a problematic criterion, and we have a better criterion, "don't be irrational"

Elliot Temple:
 People debate what is irrational or not. Being more specific is good sometimes.

Elliot Temple:
 Of course it's a problematic criterion. They aren't having extensive serious discussions with both sides engaging with each other. It's not a very intellectual forum.

Justin Mallone:
some on the left have definitely taken the tone of "fuck talking about respect for human life. now is the time for drastic political action." one example is literally not attending a moment of silence as a political protest due to insufficient gun control: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/5/jackie-speier-congressional-moment-silence-shootin/

Evan O'Leary:
 A better criterion would be "don't politicize too soon after tragedies", but even that creates problems that aren't clearly improvements, because people lose political motivation after tragedies

Elliot Temple:
 that's roughly what lots of them meant, though the issue isn't entirely a matter of time. part of the issue is what you say in the time before the political debate. and your actual attitudes, not just statements.

Elliot Temple:
 and btw they primarily meant for the anti-politicization comments to apply to public figures, and people participating in the hashtags/slogans/yelling kind of politics, not discussions on serious debating forums.

Justin Mallone:
I saw a formulation of don't politicize idea from a right-winger (FYI Elliot, it was Tracinski) that just said wait 72 hours after tragedy. very modest standard but people couldn't even come close to that

Elliot Temple:
 some major voices on the left are really eager to proclaim that they know the solution to tragedies like this. some major voices on the right disagree, and think they have better solutions, but are more willing to try to set that disagreement aside briefly to have some unity in mourning.

Elliot Temple:
 can we pray together and try to think things over for a few days before we go back to squabbling over the same bitter disagreement we've been fighting about for decades?

^ I think that's a reasonable attitude.

Elliot Temple:
 can we, in the wake of the tragedy, use it as a reminder that we're on the same side, instead of using it as leverage to be divisive?

Elliot Temple:
 unfortunately i honestly don't think Hillary Clinton is on the same side as the rest of us. but i can sympathize with people who take the above kind of attitude, and i think most of the left are reasonably decent people.

Elliot Temple:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slDjxJMWJn4


Elliot Temple on October 6, 2017

Comments

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)