Saturday, August 8, 2015

Quickies: A Lesson In Freedom Of Association

     I know that this isn’t news any longer:

     I have tried to give a great deal of latitude to Donald Trump in his run for the Presidency.

     He is not a professional politician and is known for being a blunt talker. He connects with so much of the anger in the Republican base and is not afraid to be outspoken on a lot of issues. But there are even lines blunt talkers and unprofessional politicians should not cross.

     Decency is one of those lines.

     As much as I do personally like Donald Trump, his comment about Megyn Kelly on CNN is a bridge too far for me.

     In a CNN interview, Mr. Trump said of Megyn Kelly, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”

     It was not the “blood coming out of her eyes” part that was the problem.

     ...but I’ll rave about it all the same.

     Were I in charge of the invitations list to a “debate,” Trump’s behavior, both during and after the occasion, would have moved me to disqualify him as well. But a number of persons have argued against Erick Erickson’s decision. Some have castigated him for being “PC.” Others have said that as Trump commands the lead in the polls, he should be included despite his boorishness. Still others merely comment about how excluding a “significant” figure is “unprofessional.”

     But no one’s opinion of Trump, his rhetoric, or his “significance” is at the root of the issue. RedState has the same freedom of association as you and I. It’s up to RedState’s organizers, among whom Erickson is paramount, to set the criteria – the behavioral criteria – under which a declared candidate will be welcomed onto the stage. They are, after all, paying for the stage.

     Consider for a moment this matter of behavioral standards. Let’s imagine that a candidate for the GOP nomination were in total command of the polls: 80% to 90% dominance. Should that guarantee him access to any “debate” or unreasonable facsimile thereof, no matter what he might say or how he might act? Is there nothing imaginable he might say or do –before the public’s eyes and ears, at least – that would serve to disqualify him from a “debate” you would host?

     My criterion for whether to consider a candidate for any office is simple: If I wouldn’t be willing to have him at my dinner table, I won’t consider him. I might not vote for his opponent, but I certainly won’t vote for him – and if I would never vote for him, why should I bother to invite him to the Fortress of Crankitude’s Debate Among Presidential Contenders?

     We already have a vicious-mouthed buffoon in the White House. Who among us wants another?


Adrienne said...

Mr. Erickson should hold himself to the same standards. I believe that not only has Fox News shot itself in the foot, so has Mr. Erickson.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Has Erickson ever been equally coarse and insulting in a public venue, Adrienne? If so, then I won't invite him to my debate either. But he and RedState wouldn't forfeit their freedom of association even so.

You can love, like, be indifferent to, mildly dislike, or utterly despise a candidate for office...but none of those positions is relevant to anyone else's opinion of him. That's really all this is about.

Adrienne said...

Erickson has made statements that make what Trump said appear to be child's play. I've posted just a few of them.

Also - Erickson doesn't "own" Red State. This was not his decision. Red State, Townhall, and Hot Air are all owned by Salem Communications. They pull the strings and make the decisions.

He also works for Fox News which is just giddy over their ratings for Thur. night. Dumb. It just means 24 million people watched Fox News make total and complete asses of themselves.

Megyn Kelly is an ignorant twit. I'd much rather have Donald Trump over for dinner. I will make sure to not have him over the same night you come for dinner ;-)

Francis W. Porretto said...

Okay, so Erickson won't be at my debate. But if memory serves, he's not a candidate, so that works out just as well.

Adrienne said...

Your debate is becoming quite small, Fran.

There's also this: Many people laid out a whole bunch of money in hopes of seeing Trump speak. If I had spent money to go the RedState Gathering, I'd be asking for a refund. It would be like buying pricy tickets to see Taylor Swift only to have her replaced with Myrtle Mousette at the last minute. (I wouldn't spend money for either of the aforementioned events, but I will attend your debate.)

Francis W. Porretto said...

I hold most of my debates (and dinner parties) in a convenient phone booth, dear. Anyway, the point remains that it was RedState's / Erickson's decision and perfect right. Concerning those who paid to attend: It has been my experience that such admissions are sold on a "hold harmless" contractual basis, meaning that nothing that happens to disturb the event or the venue can be held against the organizers. That does strike me as unfair -- I was once euchred out of a chance to see Cream and was treated to Vanilla Fudge instead (talk about your unintended puns) -- but those are the conditions upon which tickets are usually sold.

Dystopic said...

I don't care for Trump, either. But the other candidates could learn from his example where the media and political correctness are concerned. You fight back, you don't cave.

And unfortunately, rhetoric is all the average voter cares about anymore. It's a real pickle we're in.

Adrienne said...

Cream vs Vanilla Fudge? Tough one. One has Ginger Baker and the other Carmine Appice. I studied with Carmine in California, so I'd have to vote Vanilla Fudge.

Dr.D said...

This is a prime example of what he would be like as President. We don't need that, don't want that, cannot abide that.

Yes, it is true that Chump has spoken out bluntly on some important issues, a feature lacking in most (not all) of the other candidates. But his value is mainly for shock entertainment; he is not a serious person. Promoting the image of Chump is his principal concern at all times. We have one of those right now, just a Marxist flavor.

I could never vote for that clown, and I am very conservative, far to the right of the Tea Party.

Eskyman said...

I'm sorry to differ with you on this one, Francis. I hold you in very high regard, but think you are missing what is underneath this contemptible attempted hit job from Fox.

We have a two headed monster: the Washington Cartel. The two heads are Republican and Democrat; they appear different, but they are the same beast. They stand for the Establishment, and mean to protect their rice bowls at all costs! I truly believe that it makes no difference whatever, whether Hitlery or Jeb! wins, and that's the choice we have without Trump. Either way, the fat cats/bankers/crony capitalists all keep on promising, promising, promising... but never delivering. The GOPe got the House; then the Senate; oh my, they still can't even put up a single bill to actually accomplish anything that conservatives want, yet we are supposed to keep on voting for them. What's that definition of insanity again?

That's why I'm for Trump; and why I am so angry about the hit job that those dirty "moderators" tried to pull off! No difference between Fox and MSNBC, is there, when all the left-wing outlets are heaping praise on those "tough" questions. They were "gotcha" questions, meanly delivered, with one aim: to destroy, humiliate and remove Donald Trump from the race. Matthews has always been a pissant, but I was most upset with Megyn Kelly; I had thought better of her, but she actually IS a bimbo, that has sold out to the progressives.

This country is going down the rathole, fast. Being a nice guy doesn't win anything, as we have found out over and over again! So stop being a doormat to our enemies! No more Mr. Nice Guy Who Will Lose Gracefully! If you want that- well, cast your vote for Bush then. Let the progressive wave continue to bury us.

No! Fight back! Go Donald Trump! Make America Great Again!

Dr.D said...

There is nothing about THE DONALD that will make America great in a good sense. I will only make us more of laughing stock among the nations, quite a feat, but not one I want to see. Oblama has destroyed out standing in the world as well as our security at home, but the CHUMP will do nothing constructive. He is all about entertainment (remember his reality show?), and about making himself great at the expense of everyone who comes near him. We can (and must) do better.