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on comparing terrible politicians, parties, and partisans

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When I say that X and Y are terrible, it does not imply that they are equally terrible or they are invested in the same kinds of terrible.

When I say that X is terrible in a situation with only two choices, it does not imply that I approve of Y, “support” Y, or am a fan of Y. (When I see people who choose terrible X over terrible Y, I apply the same logic.)

I recognize that knowledge about politics and public policy is usually light and biased. But I don’t get excited about this, unless the ignorance is accompanied by dogmatism.

I recognize that preferences about politics vary and are important to many people. So, I tolerate those differences, unless they start making contradictory claims– e.g., I’m liberal but I don’t vehemently oppose cancel culture; I’m socially conservative and sexual ethics matter in a president…well, until it’s our guy.

I recognize that preferences about public policy vary. So, I tolerate those differences, unless they start making contradictory claims (again, often with dogmatism)– e.g., I’m “pro-choice” but only on abortion; I’m “pro-science” but it doesn’t matter to me that biological life begins at conception; I’m “conservative” but condone or even embrace fiscal profligacy; I’m “liberal” but say little or nothing about warmongers.


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