Better Angels
Against Piggybacking

What do President Trump and some of his fiercest critics have in common?

Published on: February 7, 2018
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  • Fat_Man

    You leftists started this fight. You go first.

  • Gary Hemminger

    Is the author of this article in his twenty’s or something? I have seen politicians doing this piggybacking my entire 50 some odd years of existence. What I haven’t seen are entertainers, sports figures, teachers, and the media doing it until recently. This is the revelation. I expect Trump to do it, not non-politicians.

    As for the authors attempt to stigmatize it…good luck with that. The left will embrace the stigmatization as long as it is the right being stigmatized (and vica-versa).

    For way too long now, the left has thought the right is pure evil. The right just thought the left had bad policy ideas. Now the right has finally woken up to the fact that the left thinks they are pure evil. Pure evil needs to be eradicated. If the right doesn’t fight back it will be eradicated. This is why we have Trump. for all of the Trump haters out there…look in the mirror. You are why we have Trump. I hate Trump and that is the reason I hate the Resistance.

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  • Anthony

    An important takeaway is Peter Berger’s sacred canopy and David Blankenhorn’s civil religion: These sacred-civic values included honesty, civility, openness to other views, a commitment to reasonable argument in the search for truth, and the belief that all persons posses equal dignity. The above brings to mind “why be moral” – in other words, a recognition of values and ethics. Additionally, reading the piece reminds that “oughtness” consists in the power which an apparently greater good has over an apparently lesser good in compelling our choices. Piggybacking aside, that principle certainly has been relegated among competing priorities. A parting thought: a relative once had upbraided me with the instruction that “one ought to know the difference between wise and foolish self-interest.” For me, therein lies David Blankenhorn’s thrust.

  • FriendlyGoat

    I can’t imagine Trump piggybacking. With Boy Scouts, a good scout is Trustworthy (if conservative), Loyal (to conservatism), Helpful (to conservatism), Friendly (to conservatives), Courteous (to conservatives), Kind (to conservatives), Obedient (to conservative government), Cheerful (about conservatism), Thrifty (for conservatism), Brave (for conservatives), Clean (for conservatives) and Reverent (to conservatism). What could possibly be conflicted or improperly imposed by this conservative President at a scout gathering?

    • Anthony

      I sense you were marinated in the true scout’s code as a young lad.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Yes, I included it above. And, yes, I was a scout who can still roll off the 12 points of Scout Law without looking them up. (That doesn’t mean we really were all those things, of course, but we did memorize them.)

        • Anthony

          Confirmed (and the 12 were foundational [or orienting depending on point of view]).

          • FriendlyGoat

            In later years, I have contemplated that I would actually admire most any grown-up “scout” who could do the first half, Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind——right through adulthood all the way to old age. As you know, it’s hard to find those in life—–who do it for real.

          • Anthony

            We can only maintain the standard (as fallible as we are) and appreciate its adherence to as well as acknowledge such when we see it.

  • ვეფხისტყაოსანი

    What Blankenhorn is asking for is Virtue — or Virtù — and he is unlikely ever to see it again. For virtue is impossible without hypocrisy (famously, the tribute that vice pays to virtue), and hypocrisy is now regarded as the greatest and most unforgivable sin.

    Virtue also depends upon the existence of a moral code that exists outside the individual and, indeed, outside society and culture. Now that society, culture, and the individual have all been deconstructed into mere power relations, there can be no morality. So there isn’t.

    This is part of the problem with the #MeToo movement — there is no room for the slightest tinge of hypocrisy there (well, except among the women). One must, in every thought and every action, however inconsequential, perfectly embody whatever the #MeTooers demand at the given moment or else one will be thrown into the outer darkness.

    How much better is it to have a societal norm of virtuous gentlemanliness even among those who routinely violate it? Of course, gentleman can’t exist without ladies — and to say that is to demonstrate the impossibility.

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