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So, is Trump a racist?

You're a statesman? Speak with wisdom, then, or STFU.

If anything distinguishes a full-time philosopher from an ordinary civilian, it's the degree of imagination and skepticism a philosopher applies to putative truth-claims.

Let's say, for instance, I test the strongest, most thoughtful representative of the Trump-bashing Democrat/left/"progressive" opposition with the following "offer" of exchange:

I concede that Trump is a racist, and you concede that the Trump-bashing Democrat/left/"progressive" opposition is intellectually bankrupt.

Fair exchange?

I'm not sure, because I'd be "exchanging" a certainty with overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence in its support for a mere probability or likelihood with a contentious body of evidence.

What's more, I don't expect to get such a concession of intellectual bankruptcy from even the "best," most responsive-to-evidence advocate of the Democrat/left/"progressive" segment of the electorate.  If they haven't figured it out by now, with all the evidence available, what will get them to concede what I take to be a certainty given all the evidence available to anyone who does his homework?

The very same Dem/left/"progressive" crowd, even its "best" representatives, are dismissive toward Ayn Rand, a towering neo-Aristotelian genius, and their attitude isn't just dismissive: it is grounded in an ideological hubris, arrogance, smugness, conceit, complacency, and a demonstrable ignorance of what Rand said and meant.  So when they savagely attack such an unknown ideal hidden under a strawman, do I expect much of anything better when they're going after lower-hanging fruit like Trump?

I regard it as a certainty that the left/Dems/"progs" are the boy who cried racism, and in doing so squandered their credibility and displayed their intellectual bankruptcy.

I'll now imaginatively reframe this topic, by ordering putative truth-claims in degrees of likelihood, plausibility, reasonableness, and so forth.  The basic idea being something that I may have gleaned from reading the Oxford Handbook of David Hume more than anything else I gleaned from it: beliefs or probability assessments should be proportional to the evidence.  (I take it that classical realism, a philosophical expression of common sense about the laws of nature independent of our experience of them, is not, for Hume, supported in principle by any of that experiential evidence.  His common sense is, as I understand it, pragmatic rather than involving "metaphysical" commitments about real mind-independent laws, entities. etc.  Different can of worms for another time...)

Now, not everyone has the same evidence-set.  Not everyone has done all the same body of homework.  But any careful observer of this blog knows that when I make a bold or controversial-sounding claim, I document it thoroughly with links or a process of independent reasoning.  So this is my personal assessment based on the homework I've done, which you the reader may not possess.  I don't expect you to accept that Rand is a towering neo-Aristotelian genius without having done the inductive homework necessary to recognize that fact.  (This is one way of stating Rand's distinction between the objective and the intrinsic.  That something is true doesn't automatically and immediately oblige someone who hasn't done the necessary cognitive processing to accept it as true.  Truth doesn't passively imprint on the human mind, as is the position of the authoritarian 'intrinsicist.'  But if an exhaustive and overwhelming inductive process supports an affirmation of it, then it is objectively true.)

First, the statements in the order they occur to me:

The American Left is intellectually bankrupt
Capitalism is far superior to socialism, morally and economically
Trump is a racist
Trump has a casual relation to the truth
Trump is less worse than the American Left
Ayn Rand is a towering genius
Aristotle is a better philosopher overall than Rand
Chris Cuomo is CNN's most thoughtful host
The current American political conversation is a shitshow
Philosophical education would solve a huge number of American and human problems
Trump is an equal-opportunity offender
Trump says a lot of racially insensitive and inflammatory things
Trump hasn't shown in action that he is, as he claims, the least racist person you'd meet
Trump inspires confidence in his policymaking abilities
Religion or politics without philosophy is a recipe for disaster
The sun will rise tomorrow
Mind is to body as form is to matter, rendering substance dualism defunct
We have free will, i.e., some broad range of behavior is ultimately up to us as agents (we have moral responsibility)
Moral responsibility and free will mean exactly the same thing
There is structural racism in America
The American Left cries racism so much that its credibility is shot
The American Left has a heightened sensitivity to racial and other injustice
Roughly half of Trump supporters are deplorable and/or irredeemable
CBP agents told detainees to drink from toilets
AOC's intellectual and moral compass is superior to Trump's
AOC's intellectual and moral compass is superior to Ayn Rand's
Noam Chomsky's intellectual and moral compass is superior to Ayn Rand's
Climate change is a serious problem requiring drastic action and soon
Artificial Intelligence will direct us to climate-change solutions

Now, the statements ordered approximately according to plausibility-to-this-here-homework-doer using basic copy-and-move tools:

The sun will rise tomorrow
Philosophical education would solve a huge number of American and human problems
Capitalism is far superior to socialism, morally and economically
We have free will, i.e., some broad range of behavior is ultimately up to us as agents (we have moral responsibility)
Religion or politics without philosophy is a recipe for disaster
Aristotle is a better philosopher overall than Rand
The American Left is intellectually bankrupt
The American Left cries racism so much that its credibility is shot
Ayn Rand is a towering genius
Trump has a casual relation to the truth
The current American political conversation is a shitshow
There is structural racism in America
Trump is less worse than the American Left
Chris Cuomo is CNN's most thoughtful host
Trump is an equal-opportunity offender
Mind is to body as form is to matter, rendering substance dualism defunct
Climate change is a serious problem requiring drastic action and soon
Artificial Intelligence will direct us to climate-change solutions
Trump inspires confidence in his policymaking abilities
Trump says a lot of racially insensitive and inflammatory things
Trump hasn't shown in action that he is, as he claims, the least racist person you'd ever meet
The American Left has a heightened sensitivity to racial and other injustice
Trump is a racist
CBP agents told detainees to drink from toilets
Moral responsibility and free will mean exactly the same thing
AOC's intellectual and moral compass is superior to Trump's
Roughly half of Trump supporters are deplorable and/or irredeemable
Noam Chomsky's intellectual and moral compass is superior to Ayn Rand's
AOC's intellectual and moral compass is superior to Ayn Rand's

So, yeah, I could affirm Trump is a racist but only if I were to affirm everything else on the list that appears before that.  And if I've done my homework, then I'm basically right about the Dems/left which means they're the ones who haven't done their homework before spouting or implying any number of truth-claims (including the patently ridiculous one about AOC being morally and intellectually superior to Rand - but that's what their intellectually bankruptcy has them committed to by implication if not explicit affirmation).

So where does it go from here?  The way I see it, either I have the Dems/left/"progs" dead to rights on their near-astronomical levels of hubris, or I just haven't done my homework thoroughly enough.  So, we're basically either an an impasse, or the Dems/left/"progs" need to clean up their act, big time, and they can start with taking in and digesting the second item on the second, plausibility-ordered list above (which I can state with a very high degree of confidence they have not undertaken, not yet anyway).  Implied in any number of high-plausibility things said above is that the American Right also needs to clean up its act (starting with item #2, again), although their hubris levels aren't nearly as triggering.

The way I see it, everything about this, based on everything produced to date in this blog, only stands to reason.  I need to get around (when?) to the Oxford Handbook of Free Will to be more confident that I've done requisite homework in that area, hence the "ambivalence" above about free-will-related statements.  (I'm more confident there is free will than that I know what exactly free will involves.  Am I a free-will libertarian or some kind of compatiblist, or is that a false dichotomy?  Still too busy working my way through the Oxford Handbook of Capitalism to focus my attention on all that right now.  And do I get to the Free Will handbook before getting to the Spinoza and newly-published Karl Marx ones?  I still haven't figured out the perfect research program yet, but I'm trying to via some kind of inductive process of elimination. Meanwhile, what are lefty Trump/Rand-bashers focusing their intellectual energies on?)

[Addendum: This country cannot have a rational conversation about racism or who is a racist when there is not common agreement on what is racism.  The "side" that has cried racism umpteen times does not agree with the other "side" about this, nor do I think (based on countless observations at this point) that the "side" that has cried racism umpteen times is prepared and willing to have a good faith dialogue with the other "side."  The former is too filled with hubris and is too insulated in its own epistemic and values bubble.  "He calls Mexicans rapists" or "His proposed border wall is racist" or "He calls black athletes sons of bitches" or "He said white supremacists are very fine people" is shitty so-called evidence revealing more about the thought processes of the "evidence"-mongers than anything; it doesn't matter if they come up with stronger examples, because they degrade standards of evidence when including the far-weaker ones (and treat them as obviously good evidence, no less).  Observe what they considered good evidence when they recklessly and unaccountably smeared Kavanaugh.  Etc. (etc. etc....)  There is (I believe) structural racism in the country, that it is more extensive than the Right is willing to acknowledge but much less extensive and pervasive than the Left keeps crying, and the Left is guilty of ignoring the perspective of black conservatives like Sowell et al.  The Left squanders credibility by bitching and whining all the time about how unfair things are, and with its reverse-racism of identity politics and race-based university admissions discrimination.  And how they go out of their way to avoid good faith dialogue with the opposition destroys their credibility the most.  Their narratives are ludicrous.  Just get them to address the arguments and positions of Ayn Rand with a strong Rand-defender present and watch them turn into basket cases, which I absolutely guarantee they do and will.]

[Addendum #2: This video makes a good point!  Would that the MAGA-bashers also get the message therein?  Or: how about if everyone wises up, ffs already?  [Addendum to addendum: this was the next video in my feed.  It seems like it's on the right track but at the end Prager says that good people overcome their feelings with the right values.  An Aristotelian phronimos (virtuous/wise person) doesn't experience a conflict between feelings and values.  What Prager is speaking of isn't virtue proper but continence.]]

[Addendum #3: What if the American Left considers it a worthwhile "exchange" to blow all its credibility by crying racism so much if they get a polity more sensitive to racial injustice in return?  But it's a rather unfortunate and unnecessary "exchange," innit?  Once all that credibility gets blown on this topic, what about the next important/urgent topic that arises?  And what if they've already blown their credibility on these other topics as well (which they have)?]

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