A recent column (Rubin Feldstein Dec. 21) draws a link between Donald Trump (The Demagogue) and the Holocaust by suggesting that demagoguery leads to human tragedy by appealing to the “emotions and prejudices of people to gain political power.” Another definition of demagoguery is to “shower benefits on people to gain their allegiance.” Could it be possible that our liberal friends are demagogues for promising such things as free college education, income equality, etc.? Calling Trump a demagogue is remindful of Hillary calling Republicans her greatest enemy during the first Democratic debate. Our conservative friends are not really the enemy or demagogues – they are instead certainly adversaries, or at most opponents. Perhaps we should sit around the proverbial campfire and have a kumbaya moment.
Clark Westphal, Arden
The Quantum State of Consent
Posted: 10 Feb 2018 04:34 PM PST
56% of younger millennials identify as Christian. 2% as Jewish or Muslim. 1% as Buddhist. And 36% as nothing. That's double the number that made up the "nones" among baby boomers. Being a "none" often means having no sense of purpose, except to seek personal happiness and make the world a better place by recycling, opposing Trump and calling out racism. It also means a moral code based on academic analysis of power relationships between races, genders and sexual orientations.
"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom," Benjamin Franklin cautioned more simply.
These aren't abstractions. Nor are they measured on some vast scale of civilizations. They define how we live our ordinary lives. They are why this debate is taking place.
Free people consent. But freedom comes from virtue. Freedom without virtue is anarchy. And anarchy ends in brutality and tyranny. That outcome isn't only expressed in riots in the streets. It emerges in smaller and more intimate matters, like the debate over consent.
Freedom of consent is failing. The left wants to replace it with brutality and tyranny. The brutality of online smear campaigns and the tyranny of campus kangaroo courts. But a secular right has no replacement for it either except the more libertarian brutality and tyranny of the individual.
What we forgot is that we don't truly have freedom of consent, until we have purpose.