Today: Apr 07 , 2020

Opinion: Courage and Ethics vs Mobs
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21 October 2018   Buz Williams

"Ethics is doing the right thing when everyone is looking and pushing the individual to do the expedient thing"

Last week, the left leaning cable news stations gave credence to President Trump's accusations of “fake news”. There is a great deal of video of so-called progressive protesters in Portland and other locations stopping and hitting cars with metal sticks, and harassing people they believe differ from them politically. Add to that, videos of Trump administration officials and conservative politicians being screamed at by groups of organized leftist. (Sometimes these videos take on a surreal feeling, as in a sequence in Portland when a big, chubby Caucasian started calling an older Caucasian “Whitey”.) Then mix in the filmed statements of Maxine Watters, Hilary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats that urge these groups on.

There is an unmistakable need for these attacks to be conducted by groups. This need is called “mob courage”. It is the same false courage that animated lynch mobs in the past. Few individuals would have the will to do this type of thing alone. A group feeds off the hate or other emotions in each individual, and that moves the mob into a group action.

The fake news hustlers, however, are bristling at anyone using the term “mob” to describe these groups of what they term “protesters”. If the political correctness of the left's talking heads won't permit the word “mob” to describe these groups of bullies, what should they be called? CNN and MSNBC probably wouldn't go for words like rabble, gang, miscreants or malefactors, since they seemingly consider these groups to be heroes of the resistance to the Trump administration.

If one is in the main stream media, a Silicone Valley high tech company or entertainment industry, it takes little courage to speak against President Trump, conservatives, the Republican Party or traditional values. The vast majority of your friends and coworkers feel and speak the same way. Coming out in favor of President Trump or any of the above would cause that person, the rejection of some friends, vilification by most peers and a questioning of one's sanity. Expressing opinions that are the opposite of those in one's work and social circle also requires an inordinate amount of intestinal fortitude.

I do not listen to Rap music. I have never heard a Kanye West recording. I did see him speaking to President Trump in the Oval Office. I think that the use of profanity anywhere, let alone the White House, is banal and shows a lack of vocabulary and imagination. I didn't agree with all of what Kanye West said. I have to admit that by going to the White House and showing his support of President Trump, he displayed an amount of courage and independence that is seldom seen by those in the entertainment industry. He also brought down upon himself, the wrath of the elites that think that all blacks should think, act and vote one way, as should all minorities and entertainers.

In ethics classes, the cliché definition is: “Ethics is doing the right thing when no one is looking”. If one analyzes that thought a little more deeply, it seems like a fairly low bar. Either one is a thief or he is not a thief. He is either an embezzler or he isn't and the reality that no one is looking doesn't change that fact. A higher standard of ethics is doing the right thing when everyone is looking and pushing the individual to do the expedient thing rather than what is right, even against one's own self interest.

What Kanye West did in showing his support for the President, was an example of courage, ethics and individual thinking. It defied the conventional wisdom, which is always conventional and seldom wise.