LongHairedWeirdo ([personal profile] longhairedweirdo) wrote2017-02-05 11:38 am

Word for the day (/week/month/year/decade/millennium so far...)

The word for today is "cowardice", and, as I say in the subject, it's one that fits the word of the millennium-so-far for the US.

What is cowardice? It's that character flaw that causes a person to do something wrong, or to fail to fulfill their duty, because they are afraid. The GOP has embraced cowardice as part of their party platform for a long time now.

They favor "stand your ground" laws, which, contrary to their name, are not about "standing one's ground" but about "killing people who scare you." Without such laws, "self-defense" is an affirmative defense - you admit you used force, and now must present evidence that your use of force was justified. If you succeed, you walk; if you don't, you go to jail. This, of course, is why scared folks want laws that prevent this risk, but let's make one thing perfectly clear.

If you're not willing to risk going to jail when defending yourself, then you are not really all that afraid of the situation. Face it: if you're afraid that you may be murdered, you are perfectly willing to risk going to jail. It won't be pleasant or fun, but when courage was a virtue, the old saying used to be "it's better to be judged by 12 (i.e., jurors) than carried by 6 (i.e., pallbearers)". If you're truly afraid of dying, you recognize that you might face a trial, and imprisonment, if you kill an attacker. But that's okay, because you'll be alive to face that trial, and get through that imprisonment.

"Stand your ground" laws remove the threat of imprisonment, and let's remember that they don't actually require that you be afraid of death, or serious physical injury, merely that you can reasonably claim to be, and that the prosecutor can't prove you weren't, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Such laws are awful, but they're nothing compared to the fear of terrorism, Muslims, and foreigners. Yes, terrorism killed 3000 folks on September 11th, 2001. And yes, people were reasonably afraid. But to start torturing people, to start vanishing people to black sites, to start wars with bottled-up enemies so you can waste hundreds of billions of dollars bringing about enough chaos that Daesh can arise, because of that fear? That's what turns "reasonable fear" into "cowardice."

The GOP would like to insist otherwise, of course. "We're just being as nasty, as tough, as strong, as we need to be!" they might say. "It's not cowardice to do terrible things out of fear of what might happen if we don't!" Alas, that is, in fact, the precise definition of cowardice.

And now, we have another incompetent President - remember, Trump is following George W. Bush as the last Republican President! - who's saying we have to cancel the visas of tens of thousands - maybe 100,000 - people who we've already said can enter. We can't accept refugees who've gone through an exasperatingly thorough vetting process. Why? We need "stronger vetting." This is like how Republicans say we need "lower taxes" - lower than what? Just "lower," always "lower".

There's nothing wrong with the vetting of refugees. I'd say "...and the Republicans know this" but I don't reckon Trump could be bothered to check. I reckon he assumes that vetting has to be poor because... well, because. Because otherwise, he'd be an incompetent blowhard on the issue. If that's the case, I have some bad news for you, Donnie....

America is a strong nation, and it can afford some courage. Alas, it won't display any, not while Republicans are in power, and not while fear sells so well.
onyxlynx: The words "Onyx" and "Lynx" with x superimposed (Default)

[personal profile] onyxlynx 2017-02-06 12:44 am (UTC)(link)
Er, September 11, 2001, unless we missed something...

Rest is spot on.