The fallacious and overpraised Ben Shapiro is a traditional conservative pundit known for his journalism and his company, The Daily Wire. He posits Judeo-Christian values and the 10 commandments as the founding ideology of Western society. Shapiro promotes family values, traditional gender roles, and celibacy before marriage. Something which Ben Shapiro claims is not influenced by his religiosity or conservatism is his stance on trans people. He claims only the facts of biology, genetics, and language determine his positions on this.
By Dr. Kyle Varner | United States
The National Rifle Association ruffled a lot of feathers recently when it published a tweet that said doctors should “stay in their lane” on the subject of gun control.
As a practicing physician, you might be surprised to hear that I side with the NRA.
There’s something fundamentally different between diagnosing and treating a disease in a patient and recommending a new law because you treat people injured by guns.
While I can sympathize with how sad it is to see one shooting attack after another in the news, the fact remains that gun violence is currently at a historic low in the United States. The FBI reports that gun violence was actually at its all-time highest in the mid-1980s. The rate has gone from 6.2 shooting deaths per 100,000 people in the 80s down to 3.4 per 100,000 in 2016. That means shooting deaths actually went down almost 50% in the last 30 years!
But whether or not gun deaths are going up or down, the key issue is in presenting partisan political proposals as medical recommendations.
When you push for a medical recommendation to become law, you are essentially trying to make the entire nation your involuntary patient. When doctors put on their white coats in political discourse and recommend authoritarian policies, they’re acting outside the scope of their expertise–and trying to force their opinions on millions of unwilling subjects.
The idea of informed consent is paramount to medical practice. As doctors, we should never force our therapy on our patients. Not only is this immoral, but the results can be deadly.
For decades, medical professionals have advised low fat, high carb diets, which studies increasingly show is completely misguided. Had this been just advice from doctors to their patients, that would be one thing. Instead, with the government’s support, this advice was established as indisputable fact and taught to an entire generation. The result has been to kick off a diabetes epidemic that’s set to make my generation the first in American history to have shorter life expectancies than their parents.
This is also the same profession that refused the idea that stomach ulcers could be caused by H. Pylori for twenty years. This stubbornness prevented people from getting the appropriate treatment for easily curable stomach ulcers, leading hundreds of thousands of people to suffer or die unnecessarily.
Today, because of irresponsible medical prescription practices, the US is currently facing an opioid epidemic that claimed the lives of an estimated 72,000 people last year. This is roughly the same amount estimated to have been killed by guns in that same time period.
Clearly, “staying in our lane” and focusing on the problems being perpetrated by our own industry could have a much more significant impact on the country than getting involved with gun politics at a time when guns have never posed less of a safety threat.
While many of my colleagues think of laws as helpful rules that let people get along, the truth is that laws are enforced by governments with the use or threat of violence. This isn’t hyperbole–if people fail to comply, they will be arrested and locked in a cage.
Medicine and public policy have no legitimate relationship to each other. Medicine concerns itself with diagnosing and healing individuals. Public policy concerns itself with the use of state violence against peaceful people.
As healers, we should always reject the use of violence. Even if we think a law might make the world a safer place, it remains immoral to condone the use of violence to stop violence.
This article was originally published on KevinMD.com
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Ian Brzeski | United States
Politics, in essence, is the art in which people are involved with changing or guiding government policy. The majority of the population detests politics mainly due to the recent extreme polarization of the political spectrum. The left hates the right and vice-versa. People have forgotten how to argue and have resorted to slander to try to make themselves feel good about whatever it is that they are claiming.
The polarization of the political spectrum has led people to believe that there is a hierarchical standing associated with politics. People everywhere on the political spectrum think that whatever they believe in is correct. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with that, but where it starts to get dangerous is when people begin to dehumanize the other side which will inevitably lead to hatred for others.
Unwilling and Unyielding
This all comes from people’s unwillingness to learn and view other viewpoints. Take Ben Shapiro for example. I have no doubt in my mind that Ben is a brilliant man. He is intelligent, knowledgeable, and knows how to win his arguments. I agree with him on specific issues, but I also disagree with him on a multitude of others. The problem that I have with Ben is not where I disagree with him, but it is where I can see that all he really cares about is winning his argument. Ben goes into every single discussion thinking that he is already right. He does not want to learn or take anything away from a debate. Arguments should not be about winning. They should be about learning or gaining a sense of understanding from other perspectives.
Going into an argument thinking that your mind cannot be changed is honestly the worst thing a person can do. Nothing good is going to come out of that argument, only hatred and further polarization. Due to this, constant generalizations about people of their respective political standing which will only lead to slander and dehumanization. It is so feeble-minded how conservatives hate liberals and liberals hate conservatives solely based on their politics. When this hatred in politics arises, people are quick to resort to slandering their opposition, and it is horrible to look at. It is dehumanizing and frankly extremely childish. It is not even just conservatives and liberals; it includes every single area of the political spectrum, including libertarians. People need to start attacking ideas in arguments and not the people themselves.
A Riff Caused by Hatred
People hate each other in politics for no rational reason. Everywhere I look on social media, I see many conservatives who think every liberal is a crying “snowflake” who kills babies, wears vagina hats and is a member of Antifa, and many liberals who believe every conservative is a racist, misogynist pig who enjoys mass shootings and sexual assault. Yes, maybe there are some extreme rarities on both of these sides that people fall under, but in no way whatsoever is this the case. It would be incredibly idiotic to think so.
Some of the worst childish banter comes from libertarians themselves. You have the libertarian infighting where many libertarians think some libertarians are not libertarian enough. You also have the opposite of this where many libertarians believe that there are libertarians who are too radical. Some libertarians want no government at all, and others still believe in some form government, a minimal government, however. It is honestly weird that there is so much tension between these two sets of libertarians despite having near similar beliefs especially since the political system we have in place today is nowhere near the realm of any form of libertarianism.
Libertarians not only hate each other, but they also hate other groups even more. To many libertarians, if you are not a libertarian, you are probably a statist pig who hates our freedoms. Just like how not every conservative is a racist and how not every liberal is a snowflake, not every non-libertarian hates your freedoms. These straightforward generalizations that people make towards other political groups are abnormal, to say the least, and has led to a deep hatred towards others. The legitimate hatred for others based on political views is exceptionally pathetic, almost as pathetic as hating somebody because they are a supporter of another sports team.
This hatred has led to so many people not knowing why they like or dislike a political candidate or why they are Republican or Democrat or Libertarian. They only vote for specific candidates or align with specific political parties because they are quick to make generalizations about the other side. They don’t try to read about opposing viewpoints or learn why people hold opposing views because they already believe that they are inherently right or maintain the moral high ground. This all stems from people’s unwillingness to learn and hear new ideas. People need to go into arguments willing to learn or get something out of it, not to just go into arguments trying to win. In my eyes, a genius of a person unwilling to learn is way less respectable than a less intelligent person who strives to learn.
Politics is literally just people trying to figure out what they think would be best for everybody. Conservatives, liberals, libertarians, independents, socialists, communists, objectivists, anarchists, and many others are not inherently evil people. These people are generally well-meaning people who want the betterment of society. There is really not that much more to it. So stop hating people based on their political ideology and start reading and learning about why people believe in what they believe. You are going to remain stupid and ignorant if you do not have a proper understanding of other ideologies.
If you are a socialist who likes to hate on libertarians but has never read Hayek or Rothbard or Bastiat for example, then you have no right to hate on libertarians at all. This also goes for libertarians who have not read any books or articles from any great socialist thinkers or authors. This goes for every single person who is invested in politics. Read as much as you can so you can obtain the most knowledge. Read so you can formulate your ideologies to the best of your ability because if you don’t, you really shouldn’t be engaging in political discourse at all.
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By John Keller | United States
In the current day, a critical midterm election is rapidly approaching. With this, a segment of the Democratic Party is claiming that only they care about the nation’s youth. This segment of the party is campaigning with their alleged care for the youth. But their promises of free college, free healthcare, and more only prove how little they really care.
Promises of billions, even trillions, in new spending for the youth beg a simple question. Just where will all of this money come from? Currently, the United States Treasury is bankrupt, with a debt of over $21 trillion. “Free” education and healthcare is only remotely possible in a stable economy, and holding a debt greater than our GDP is a guarantee at an economy that is too weak and too unstable for such programs.
Furthermore, the money for “free” programs must come from somewhere, meaning it comes from government revenue. Ultimately, this is a fancy term for the taxpayer’s back pocket. Currently, the United States has some of the highest tax rates in the world when factoring in city, county, state, and federal taxes.
In order for the Democratic Party’s “free” programs to work, the current entitlements, such as Medicare and Medicaid, require major revisions. As they hurtle towards bankruptcy, there is not much more room to tax people to fund them. In order to avoid this, it is necessary for the government to look at its wasted spending. Several members of Congress, such as Senator Rand Paul, have spoken out against it. In order to improve the United States Treasury and make any of the Democratic Party’s policies attainable, ending waste is a must.
However, the Democratic Party has no plan to lower the debt or rework spending in order to make their promises possible. Thus, any tangible Blue Wave will only put America’s treasury deeper in the red. A bigger debt with consistent votes for more spending simply pushes the issues down the road. This, of course, deepens the severity of issues that America’s youth must tackle. As taxes increase and services decay, America’s youth will take on the responsibility of this nation’s debt. But the cycle can end, in fact quite simply, by stopping this fall’s Blue Wave.
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By Joshua D. Glawson | United States
Throughout the political world, a lack of integrity is often fostered for particular party agendas and cronyism more than for the actual, or even perceived, betterment of their respective constituents. These ethical inconsistencies tend to serve companies via cronyism and coercive monopolies, fill the pockets of politicians, get politicians reelected, and help to raise more funding for the political parties-but they can also harm other people. Rather than staying true to a principled ideology such as a Non-Aggression Principle, many politicians do what is seen as best for themselves and those they work closely with rather than the people the politician is meant to be “working for.”
Just What Is Political Integrity?
‘Integrity’ is touted as a value everyone should have, especially a good politician, if they even exist. For some reason, the word ‘integrity’ has shifted in meaning to something more of a strong moral uprightness that never sways from its subjective stance. We typically say that someone has integrity when they tell the truth about something even when it could hurt them, or when someone treats everyone with respect and dignity. Is this correct?
The word ‘integrity’ originates from the Latin word ‘integritatem’ meaning “soundness, wholeness, completeness,” and figuratively it means “purity, correctness, and/or blamelessness.” However, there is more to the word than simply being whole, or pure, in only a circumstance or two, it suggests that the person is consistently integral. In this sense, when someone is consistent, they are said to be standing firm after taking a position, while not ceasing or bending. The word ‘integrity’ has the same core meaning as ‘integer,’ meaning “intact, whole, and/or complete,” while figuratively it means “untainted, and/or upright.”
A Need for Consistency
Therefore, in order to have integrity, one must be consistent in their actions, not compartmentalized or fractioned, while appealing to a higher, nobler, moral standard or ethic. A person with integrity acts in respect to these principles equally throughout their personal life with everyone. So, can a politician have integrity?
In short, yes, a politician can have integrity, but it is much more difficult than what the mass public would like to impart. For a politician to be integral, they must be consistent in their higher moral or ethical stance and not differentiate or sway on that standing depending on the situation. Unfortunately, many people who claim the title of being politically-minded, whether layman or politician, will vary on their so-called principled stance depending on the situation they find themselves in.
Uncommon in American Politics
For example, an American politician will go to great lengths when speaking out against innocent lives being lost within the US, but when it comes to other deaths in other countries they remain silent. Better yet, many help to pass bills that just further the military complex. The same figurative politician may even explicitly state that they do not believe in war or the military industrial complex, while simultaneously implicitly helping to pass bills that provide more benefits for soldiers and military personnel, which in turn incentivizes perpetual growth of the military and the supposedly disdained war hawk behavior.
Even more commonly, the same politician will speak against theft between citizens, yet also advocate for government laws that coerce businesses and individuals, in general, to give to others as a form of “redistribution,” making it plunder of the highest degree. In each of these, the politician is not being consistent in their self-professed ideology, thusly contradicting and fractioned, making the politician lack integrity.
A Universal Ideal
Of course, the concept of ‘integrity’ applies to all people within each of our lives, not just in politics. The best way to self-assess whether you are being integral is to not only consider the consequences of your actions, but also the process by which you came to the consequence. It is also beneficial to discuss your ideologies and philosophy with others that can challenge or help to strengthen your understanding. Consider these ideas and ask yourself the following:
- Am I harming or threatening to harm myself or others with my actions?
- Do I appeal to a moral or ethical standard that does not infringe on the negative rights of others?
- Am I consistent in how I treat people in a moral or ethical manner?
- Do I act completely different around various people in order for them to like me, approve of me, or to not witness my alternate characteristics?
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