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VekTor 🔨 @VekTorBK
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This notion of collective guilt and collective punishment for that collective guilt is, perhaps, the single most toxic fruit of the downward spiral we have seen recently into weaponized identity politics.

It rejects The Age of Enlightenment's gifts to us: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_En…
It is not a stretch to say that EVERY meaningful aspect of Western civilization today arose out of the profound philosophical insights and shifts that arose in that period.

The United States of America was founded based on the enshrining of those core philosophical principles
One of the very most important of those principles is the notion that each and every one of us, as an individual, is responsible for our own choices and actions, and that Justice cannot be served by transferring guilt onto someone else.

All modern jurisprudence recognizes this.
Our system of government was formed based on an understanding that humans can be (and too often are) vile, wicked creatures, and that they can and will lie in order to gain advantage over others.

Our Constitution is written specifically to help protect the individual from this.
We use and adversarial system, wherein one of the fundamental principles is that of "innocent until proven guilty".

This is not simply a nice-to-have feature. It is the very essence of what protects an individual from the expediency of "mob rule" dispensing "justice" upon them.
This adversarial system, and its inherent principles, does not always lead to "optimal outcomes" for all involved. Sometimes, guilty people go unpunished, many times through their advocates exploiting the very features that protect the rest of us.

That creates outrage at times.
It's understandable why someone who has been the victim of a crime will rail at the fundamental injustice of their perpetrator going unpunished for a crime that they actually did commit. We should have sympathy for those who have been wronged and received no justice regarding it.
But what we cannot accept, if we expect to remain a meaningful civilization, is the notion that a victim's outrage is sufficient to justify transferring guilt (and the associated punishment for that guilt) onto someone else, simply because doing so makes them feel vindicated.
If such a transfer takes place simply because of some unrelated surface characteristic that the innocent person might share with the guilty party, this indulges two of the very worst instincts of humanity: prejudice and bigotry.

These ignore people's fundamental individuality.
I don't believe it's possible to overstate how very vital it is to treat humans as individuals, and given the drastic outcomes that can be imposed upon them this is especially the case in legal matters.

It is fundamentally unjust to allow outrage to falsely condemn the innocent.
People are falsely accused of things they didn't do all the time. Some of these are radically more serious than others.

We have an adversarial system to help us test those accusations, rather than just accept them at face value in order to appease the outrage of the accuser.
There are any number of different reasons why someone might offer an accusation against an individual that is not true.

The accuser might be doing it maliciously. They might mis-remember events, or just sincerely believe something that is not true.

That happens to all of us.
Sometimes, false accusations might be leveled simply because the user has indulged one or more logical fallacies in their reasoning, or allowed emotion to distort their reasoning ability.

That's why we test accusations, and look for corroborating evidence to distinguish things.
One of the nastiest types of this sort of fallacious reasoning, which we see being weaponized today by those who are deeply invested in "identity politics", is the condemnation of members of a particular identity group, based on the behavior of some OTHER members of that group.
This deploys two logical fallacies to work its wicked magic: the Fallacy of Composition, and then the Fallacy of Division.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_o…
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_o…

This first takes the actions of one or more individuals and attributes them instead to the "group identity".
This weaponizes the notion of prejudice: that knowing something about the actions of an individual somehow gives you information about the "identity groups" to which that individual belongs.

This fundamentally denies the individuality of people, and even their humanity itself.
It reduces individuals down to a kind of "shorthand" that people can use to categorize others... and fallaciously leads people to believe that tells them something about others they've never met, but who appear like they "should belong" in that category.

And evil begins therein.
Basically every racial, ethnic, religious, and gender stereotype gets its roots from this behavior. Someone has a bad experience with an individual (or more than one) that has a particular characteristic, and those experiences get filed away into an internal "box of prejudice".
Then that person later encounters a different person with that same characteristic, and they associate the bad behaviors previously experienced with someone else, and they assume that the new encounter is more likely to match the old, different one.

And sometimes it really will.
Now, over time, Confirmation Bias will selectively reinforce this fallacious presumption, where encounters that match will be more likely to be remembered, and ones that don't match will tend to be dismissed or forgotten.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmat…

It gets worse, and metastasizes.
Before you know it, it flowers into outright bigotry against the group, where they'll start to "warn" others about the "dangers" of the group in question, and start letting these prejudices govern their behaviors.

We try to teach our children not to do this... that it is wrong.
But, given how wicked humans tend to be, some will see this tendency as an... opportunity.

They will recognize that playing upon these prejudices can be used as a weapon in order to further their own political agendas. They can stoke fears and resentments, and create strife.
They will exploit the natural human tendency to want to receive justice when they have been wronged, and will use these prejudices to demonize the members of some particular group.

They will often expand the scope of wrongdoing attributed to that group.
And then spring the trap.
Once the hatred and resentment attributed to that identity group gets strong enough, they will deploy the second leg of the fallacies: the Fallacy of Division.

Since people now "know" that the group in question is "evil", and "the enemy"... clearly, the group's MEMBERS are, too.
Now, the stage is set for injustice writ large... but advertised as "social justice" for those who have been "wronged" by the designated group.

Someone. has. to. pay.

The "group" committed harm, and so the "group" must rightfully be punished.

The group is just... its members.
And we see people, who we would otherwise expect to be reasonable, talking about how they "don't care whether someone is innocent or guilty", without batting an eye at how horrific of an observation that is.

This is the mentality of the mob, activated.

And the mob wants blood.
This manifests at its worse when deployed against essentially immutable traits of a person, like their race, or their gender, or the intersection of the two.

Members of that group have done wrong, and therefore any given action against ANY member of it is somehow... justified.
Those keen on stoking friction between different identity groups will tend to pick one that they say "has power", and rile up members of groups that they say do not have power... and talk about how unfair that imbalance of power really is.

And how that imbalance NEEDS to change.
They are systemically creating scapegoats, weaponizing mobs, and then aiming them at their choice of "enemies"... and throwing away every norm of our society in the process.

They are taking innocent people, making them guilty BY ATTRIBUTE, and then punishing them. That's unjust.
We would rightly recoil in horror if it was proposed that, since someone was murdered by a person of a particular race and gender, that it would be OK to imprison an entirely DIFFERENT person with those same attributes for that crime...

After all, SOMEONE has to *pay* for it.
No, "someone" doesn't have to "pay" for the fact that a crime was committed.

The only standard that is sustainable, is that the ONLY person who should EVER "pay" for a crime... is the individual who actually committed that crime.

People. Are. Not. Fungible. Units.

Not ever.
Not someone who sorta looks like the person who committed the crime... not someone who reminds you of someone else who did you wrong... not someone who shares a religion, or a political party, or a sexual orientation with the person who committed the crime.

"Close enough?"

NO!
Guilt.
Is.
Not.
Transferable.

If you believe it's OK to do so, to collectively transfer guilt to a group, and thereby transfer it again to a DIFFERENT individual... you have lost your way, friend, and you need to sit down and re-evaluate your life. That idea is simply monstrous.
The simple, dirty little secret to recognizing the flaw that is exploited by those who would pit identity groups against one another is this:

No group commits any act of any kind.

EVER.

Only individuals act.

A group cannot commit a crime.

Only its individual members can.
Even if every single individual that is a member of a group all conspire together to commit a particular crime, together... the GROUP did not commit that crime.

Each individual committed it.

A grouping of humans is an *idea*... and ideas cannot act. Only people can act.
A grouping does not have some kind of magical "existence" outside of the minds of those who choose to identify the grouping.

It is not some kind of bucket into which you can pour the guilt of some members of it, and then pour it out again over all the other members of the group.
Sincerely believing such a toxic notion should, in a reasonable society, be considered a de facto reason to ensure that the believer has no business having their hands on any levers of power, affecting other's lives.

The Social Contract needs its participants to use reason.
This idea would abandon everything we've learned since before the Age of Enlightenment, and sacrifice it all on the altar of political expediency... to transfer power to those who claim grievances... at the expense of anyone they aim their grievances at.

Our society will end.
If you want to live in a country like that, where evidence doesn't matter, only accusations do, and where accusers must always* be believed instead of challenged, where innocent individuals can be sacrificed to appease the gods of the rage du jour... you need to look elsewhere.
This country was founded on principles, and protected by a Constitution from those who would seek to "fundamentally transform" it simply because they'd like it to work that way.

"I saw Goody Proctor with the Devil!" is not an animating principle here.
You need to look elsewhere.
This country has continued to exist largely because, as a culture, we've embraced the notion of pluralism: that it's OK if someone has beliefs or practices different than your own... you can still interact with them in a reasonably civil fashion.
You leave them alone, vice versa.
Almost two years ago, a large segment of this country seems to have lost their collective minds with the election of Donald Trump, frustrating their political agenda and threatening their view of how this country should change.

Others saw it as a "course correction", a response.
I've watched this country get slowly worse and worse from the standpoint of civility between different political factions.

It was bad enough in 1994 to lead to the "Republican revolution", which was a response to Clinton attempting & failing to ram socialized medicine through.
The impeachment of Clinton over lying under oath regarding the Monica Lewinksy affair amped things up a notch, certainly. But the first really big shift in behavior that I saw take place was when Al Gore failed to concede the election in 2000, leading to Bush v. Gore.
IMO, things changed radically then. People who I had previously considered reasonable began talking seriously about "selected, not elected", and how the Presidency was somehow fundamentally illegitimate.

And they could not be reasoned with. They became irrational.
The dot-com bubble burst, 9/11 hit, and for a few brief days we all came together as Americans. The prelude to the Iraq War saw all of that goodwill evaporate, and then some.

People started talking about how GWB "lied us into war", with Michael Moore throwing gas on the fire.
And I held my tongue. Through some of the most vicious mischaracterizations I had seen deployed, I tried to give people the benefit of the doubt, and be tolerant.

Through "Chimpy BusHitler" being hurled at a fundamentally good man, who had different ideas about how to lead us.
Through Hurricane Katrina, and watching Kanye West make an ass out of himself saying "George Bush doesn't care about black people" on live TV... I held my tongue.

Through the mainstream media character assassination of Sarah Palin in the run-up to 2008, & the financial collapse.
I kept holding my tongue because I knew that our society only worked if we were able to tolerate those who were polar opposites to us ideologically and dispositionally, and that antagonizing people who had shown no compunction about vandalizing political opponents was suboptimal.
And so we elected a "community organizer" to the Presidency, because he apparently gave good speeches, and the Left seemed to want their pound of flesh after have GWB in office for eight years.

Now they had an Alinsky disciple in office ready and willing to make the Right pay.
I watched his inauguration, live, in the workplace conference room with 20 others. I said at the time, and believed, that if he actually governed in accordance with the principles he espoused in that speech, he could very well turn out to be one of our greatest Presidents.
I gave him the benefit of the doubt... and then watched one of the most hyper-partisan displays of political chicanery I ever recalled seeing, with the ramming-through of the ACA ("Obamacare").

And the political rhetoric continued to heat up, through all 8 years of Obama.
The run-up to 2016 showed the political wheels looking like they were about to come off the wagon, with the Left sure that they had locked down political power for all of the foreseeable future, and they were more than happy to mock the Right over that notion.
As with most cases of rhetorical overreach, there was a backlash, and what had likely started as a joke with the MSM and Hillary saying they WANTED Trump to be the candidate for the GOP turned into a near-certain inauguration being cancelled.

And the Left fully lost their minds.
I cannot think of any other way to describe it. The behavior of the Left and the MSM since the election of Donald Trump has been unlike anything I have ever seen, anywhere.

They cannot let it go, and their rage has spiraled out of control.

Then the Kavanaugh circus happened.
At this point, in my opinion, the Left has spiraled so far away from reasonable behavior that... they cannot even see reasonable behavior from where they are now.

This puts us on the edge of a shooting civil war.

They seem immune to reason.

We have one chance to fix it, IMO.
I do not consider the surrender of our country to the insanity of the Left to be a viable solution. If we allow them to hold political power after this behavior, there will be no limits to what they will do. Our country as we know it will cease to be, "Fundamentally transformed".
They have made it abundantly clear that their goal is simple. Raw power, "by any means necessary".

Those of us who still believe in the principles of America can act to stop that, peacefully, the way we have for generations.

At the ballot box.
We tell them all it's intolerable.
If we fail to do that, if we fail to rouse ourselves and our neighbors to show up at the ballot box and rebuke this craziness in the strongest possible terms, I fear we will lose our nation entirely, and possibly before the 2020 election even arrives.

This cannot wait, at all.
Most people rarely, if ever, vote in midterm elections. The Left has convinced those who adhere to their mix of ideas that they can somehow un-do the loss that they suffered in 2016, through means fair or foul, so long as they are given the political power to do so, & THEY WILL.
What is perhaps the most frightening of all is how rapidly the Left is escalating things now, and how utterly unconstrained they are by the bounds of decency or reason in trying to accomplish their goals.

They have been consumed by rage for almost two years now.

THEY WILL ACT.
I believe that the last best hope of pulling this country back from the brink of an outright civil war is to meet that "enthusiasm" with our own, while preserving the ideals that made this country what it is: By peacefully, but with the maximum possible intensity, rejecting them.
We must deliver a message to them so loud that they cannot possibly doubt the sincerity of it:

So long as they behave like this, they cannot be permitted, under any circumstances, to have their hands on the levers of power. We can pray that they recognize this as a wake-up call.
It is up to each and every one of us who wants to see this country continue, to do everything within our power to ensure that outcome happens.

We cannot rely on anyone else. Every single one of us must get everyone they care about to the polls.

I beg you.

Save this country.
Let the 2018 election go down in history as the time when the American people stood up, together, and said to those who would dismantle this nation:

WE

HAVE

HAD

ENOUGH

OF

THIS!

Turn them out, every last one. And pray that they see the light, before it's too late.

/end
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