Sunday, January 14, 2018


I don't want to get involved in this ridiculousness.
   Objectively speaking, there are plenty of shithole countries.
   If you want to criticize Trump on this, the point to make is that the president shouldn't be saying things like "shithole" during official meetings. And he shouldn't be calling countries shitholes no matter how true it might be. It's not what we used to call "presidential." That was a quaint old concept we used to have back in the day before Gallagher became president. No wait...not Gallagher. The other one. What's-his-name. Howard Stern? know the guy I'm talking about.
   Many on the left, of course--deploying its standard mishmash of nihilism, relativism, subjectivism, and skepticism--are basically denying that there are any shithole countries. Which is idiotic. In fact, isn't the left usually arguing that it's inhumane to send illegals back to their countries precisely because they're shitholes?

   I mean...I think that, if Smith is from a shithole country, that's a reason in favor of letting him into the U.S.--though, of course, we can't take in everybody from such countries. So I suppose I agree with the left on that one. Or with what the left's position was before this particular opportunity to bash president, anyway.
   As for Trump being a racist...well, the left thinks that everyone is a racist pretty much regardless of what they say or do. Trump's said a lot of things that make the Trump is a racist hypothesis a live one. And that's very bad. But since the You're a racist refrain on the left is nonstop, it's lost all credibility. Most of the left's accusations against Trump are bullshit. But that doesn't mean that there aren't significant reasons to worry. And we should never have to worry about a president in that respect. This is not something we want to not be sure about.
   However, several of the world's objectively shitholish countries are in Africa. Acknowledging that has nothing to do with racism--or need not, anyway. (In fact, there's a plausible story to be told about racism being the motive for denying it, as well, if you insist on going down that road. Which I think you shouldn't.) If you want to understand Trump on this score, here's something you need to take into account: Trump is an idiot with a big mouth; he says derogatory things about pretty much everybody and everything. The Trump is a racist hypothesis simply isn't needed to explain anything he's done or said.* Which doesn't mean it isn't true--but it certainly isn't a hypothesis that forces itself on us. Still...I'd much prefer that the hypothesis not even suggest itself.
   Has anyone confirmed that he even said the thing? I figure there's only about even odds that reports like this in the news are true. Making up and intentionally misconstruing shit about Trump is basically their prime directive now. And I've been diligently not following this crap. Something I plan to continue to do.
   As for which countries are the biggest shitholes, it seems to be a matter of some controversy. But here are some lists:
The Independent
Business Insider
Some other place

*Whelp, there's an alleged dialog in this that says I'm wrong. Most of the evidence in the piece is, as usual, not good evidence at all for the Trump is racist hypothesis. But it's pretty damn hard to get around the alleged comments in the dialog.


Anonymous Critical Spirits said...

There is an interesting philosophical point buried in here. You say: "Trump's said a lot of things that make the Trump is a racist hypothesis a live one." The implicit claim that is being made is of a conditional nature "if S is a racist, then she would say things like x." The consequent obtains, so we infer that the antecedent is a live possibility; that is, it is not immediately ruled out.

It seems to me that the error consists in the fact that the left, for instance, has an unwarranted degree of confidence that the antecedent obtains because the consequent obtains, i.e. affiriming the consequent. If we interpret the hypothesis to say "S *would* say x, if he were racist, then we aren't committing an invalid inference, or so it seems.

The right also mistakenly (but perhaps not in all cases) thinks that anyone who suggests that Trump might be a racist because he says things that are plausibly racist, then you must be stating with certainty that he is a racist.

It seems to me that an appropriate rational attitude depends on how confident we are that the hypothesis in question is true (or could be true), given our current epistemic situation. The left seems to want to say that the consequent only obtains if the antecedent were to obtain, which is patently false.

Abduction FTW.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Critical Spirits said...

Dunno why I took the time to write all that out. I just felt that it needed to be said..or something.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, FWIW, I think exactly the same thing. And it's why I'm more willing to conclude that prominent leftists are racist than prominent rightists. Accusations against the right are mostly abductive and weakly inductive: he said p, and the first explanation that comes to mind is: he's a racist...etc. ('s the first explanation that comes to *your* mind...)

The left just comes right out and says *white = evil.*

I'm fine with the abduction...but it's shaky, but the very nature of such things. The left makes such abductions unnecessary.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

*by* the very nature of such things

2:06 PM  

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