“Both Sides” Fallacy Crumbles Again

One thing that has been in the news over the past few weeks is the Bundy standoff: A rancher in Nevada is freeloading off of federal land. He has not paid grazing fees. His armed militia thinks the feds are acting like tyrants. I always thought a tyrant would haul people off in secret in the middle of the night, not fight them in court for a couple of decades.

At first, a lot of Republicans and Libertarians flocked to his side, saying Bundy was a “true patriot”, and a “real American”.

Then he decided to tell what he knows about the Negro.

First off: What is it with conservatives telling us what they know about other people? I have heard a lot of christians make statements about atheists and why people are atheists and what atheists think, and I have heard a lot of Republicans and conservatives make statements about what liberals think and why we think it. And they are almost always wrong. Yet these same people get very upset when anyone talks about them or their motivations. So much for consistency.

Anyway, he said that maybe blacks were better off as slaves. Then a lot of the people who supported him said they didn’t support him. Some of them said they thought he was still correct in his land dispute. He is not. But it’s hard to distance yourself from someone when you say they are the best thing since slice bread.

Then there is Donald Sterling. A guy who is has a half-black, half-Mexican mistress, owns a basketball team, yet hates black people. He got in trouble because he told his mistress he did not want her bringing any black people to an NBA game.

First off, if you do not like black people, perhaps you should find another sport to be involved in.

A lot of conservatives tried to say that Sterling was a Democrat since he donated to a few Democrats in the past 20 years. Then it turned out he is a registered Republican.

Why do people keep trying this “both sides” nonsense? Maybe this is not quite the same as the usual “both sides” stories I have commented on.

As I started writing this piece, it occurred to me there is another interesting parallel: The Sterling case is another example of conservatives trying to define liberals, and failing badly again in the process. Democrats were not lining up in support of this guy. And nobody was forcing anyone to speak out in support of Cliven Bundy.

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use


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