Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Regarding Trump and "whataboutism"

  1. #1
    Professor Zymologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    someplace in Montana
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,014
    Amen (Given)
    1298
    Amen (Received)
    3593

    Regarding Trump and "whataboutism"

    I just had a thought1 on this, and figured I'd share. I don't feel like debating this; I'm just throwing it out there. There's been a lot of talk around here about Trump, his behavior, other people seeming to excuse it by bringing up Obama, etc. So take this as my recently-found two cents on the subject:

    I think what may be intended by a lot of the "whataboutism," and which has not been communicated well, has been that a lot of the criticism of Trump is regarding how unprecedented his actions are. Things like how Trump has dictator-like tendencies to belittle the press, his over-the-top rhetoric, etc.

    So I think2 that a lot of the response to this could be explained as an attempt to combat the claim or implication that Trump is unprecedented3 in stuff like this. For example:
    "Trump said this about the media. Unheard of!"
    "Well, Obama did this."

    The Obama statement could be intended as a few things:
    1. Obama did it, so it's ok for Trump to do it (stereotypical "whataboutism")
    2. Look at the hypocrisy here! (this has been mentioned a lot)
    3. These are examples that Trump's behavior isn't as unprecedented or unusual as is being claimed.

    If I'm right about #3, and that this is what has--at least sometimes--been intended, it's been poorly communicated. And heck, it may even be wrong (i.e., the examples don't hold, for whatever reason)--that's not the point of the thread. This thread is an attempt to be fair-minded with what could explain a lot of the so-called "whataboutism" that's been going around here.



    1. I have these sometimes!
    2. Again, I'm just spitballing here. I'm not going to debate this, so think of this thread as "for your consideration."
    3. At least, unprecedented in US politics. Obviously if Trump really does have some of the behavior or tendencies of a dictator, it's not unprecedented in a more broad sense.
    Hofstadter's Law: It will always take longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

  2. Amen Jedidiah amen'd this post.
  3. #2
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Inside the beltway
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    18,114
    Amen (Given)
    5345
    Amen (Received)
    10221
    From what I've seen in debates here, the norm is that those who bring up the actions of others are doing that for reason 2, but are nearly always accused of doing that for reason 1. What I have yet to see in any thread here is "it's okay for Trump to do X, because Person Y did X too!".

    Maybe I'm just missing something.

    Then again, maybe this isn't unique to us.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

  4. Amen RumTumTugger, Cerebrum123, Mountain Man amen'd this post.
  5. #3
    Professor Zymologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    someplace in Montana
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,014
    Amen (Given)
    1298
    Amen (Received)
    3593
    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    From what I've seen in debates here, the norm is that those who bring up the actions of others are doing that for reason 2, but are nearly always accused of doing that for reason 1. What I have yet to see in any thread here is "it's okay for Trump to do X, because Person Y did X too!".

    Maybe I'm just missing something.

    Then again, maybe this isn't unique to us.
    No doubt reason 2 plays a big part, and is probably even the predominant one. But I think a lot of it at least has hints of #3, which I think is a perfectly valid point to make. I wish it had been communicated better.
    Hofstadter's Law: It will always take longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

  6. Amen Jedidiah amen'd this post.
  7. #4
    tWebber
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Faith
    Agnostic
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,373
    Amen (Given)
    927
    Amen (Received)
    432
    Quote Originally Posted by Zymologist View Post
    I just had a thought1 on this, and figured I'd share. I don't feel like debating this; I'm just throwing it out there. There's been a lot of talk around here about Trump, his behavior, other people seeming to excuse it by bringing up Obama, etc. So take this as my recently-found two cents on the subject:

    I think what may be intended by a lot of the "whataboutism," and which has not been communicated well, has been that a lot of the criticism of Trump is regarding how unprecedented his actions are. Things like how Trump has dictator-like tendencies to belittle the press, his over-the-top rhetoric, etc.

    So I think2 that a lot of the response to this could be explained as an attempt to combat the claim or implication that Trump is unprecedented3 in stuff like this. For example:
    "Trump said this about the media. Unheard of!"
    "Well, Obama did this."

    The Obama statement could be intended as a few things:
    1. Obama did it, so it's ok for Trump to do it (stereotypical "whataboutism")
    2. Look at the hypocrisy here! (this has been mentioned a lot)
    3. These are examples that Trump's behavior isn't as unprecedented or unusual as is being claimed.

    If I'm right about #3, and that this is what has--at least sometimes--been intended, it's been poorly communicated. And heck, it may even be wrong (i.e., the examples don't hold, for whatever reason)--that's not the point of the thread. This thread is an attempt to be fair-minded with what could explain a lot of the so-called "whataboutism" that's been going around here.



    1. I have these sometimes!
    2. Again, I'm just spitballing here. I'm not going to debate this, so think of this thread as "for your consideration."
    3. At least, unprecedented in US politics. Obviously if Trump really does have some of the behavior or tendencies of a dictator, it's not unprecedented in a more broad sense.
    My criticism of Trump is based on how wrong he is morally speaking and not about how unprecedented his actions are.

    Let's put your three options through the test to see if they any of them actually provide anything of vaulue if we are a having a debate about what is wrong or right in and of itself. Let's say a person in here points out that what Trump is doing is wrong in moral terms. Then you provide three options for the actions described as whataboutism:

    1. Obama did it, so it's ok for Trump to do it (stereotypical "whataboutism")

    This option does not work, because whether an action is right or wrong does not depend on whether others did the same thing or not. So let's look at the next option:

    2. Look at the hypocrisy here! (this has been mentioned a lot)

    This option does not work. Even if the person who points to the fact that what Trump is doing is morally wrong is a hypocrite it simply does not follow that the statement is wrong. It is a fallacy to conclude so. So let's move on to the last option:

    3. These are examples that Trump's behavior isn't as unprecedented or unusual as is being claimed.

    Again this does nothing to prove him either wrong or right. Taking certain kinds of actions is simply wrong or right independently of whether other people did the same or not.

    So, none of the options you provided work if we are have a discussion about whether his actions are right or wrong, morally speaking. And that is the discussion some of us are trying to have but others do their best to take focus away from with whataboutism. And since none of your options have any significance in a moral debate, you have not provided a solution to that problem. If it was only about whether it was unprecendented or not, some of it would actually work. You may feel i misapply your options but if that is so I would point out that you have missed my intentions with some of my posts and some of my criticism of the whataboutism.
    Last edited by Charles; 11-07-2018 at 11:45 AM.

  8. #5
    Professor Zymologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    someplace in Montana
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,014
    Amen (Given)
    1298
    Amen (Received)
    3593
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    My criticism of Trump is based on how wrong he is morally speaking and not about how unprecedented his actions are.

    Let's put your three options through the test to see if they any of them actually provide anything of vaulue if we are a having a debate about what is wrong or right in and of itself. Let's say a person in here points out that what Trump is doing is wrong in moral terms. Then you provide three options for the actions described as whataboutism:

    1. Obama did it, so it's ok for Trump to do it (stereotypical "whataboutism")

    This option does not work, because whether an action is right or wrong does not depend on whether others did the same thing or not. So let's look at the next option:

    2. Look at the hypocrisy here! (this has been mentioned a lot)

    This option does not work. Even if the person who points to the fact that what Trump is doing is morally wrong is a hypocrite it simply does not follow that the statement is wrong. It is a fallacy to conclude so. So let's move on to the last option:

    3. These are examples that Trump's behavior isn't as unprecedented or unusual as is being claimed.

    Again this does nothing to prove him either wrong or right. Taking certain kinds of actions is simply wrong or right independently of whether other people did the same or not.

    So, none of the options you provided work if we are have a discussion about whether his actions are right or wrong, morally speaking. And that is the discussion some of us are trying to have but others do their best to take focus away from with whataboutism. And since none of your options have any significance in a moral debate, you have not provided a solution to that problem. If it was only about whether it was unprecendented or not, some of it would actually work. You may feel i misapply your options but if that is so I would point out that you have missed my intentions with some of my posts and some of my criticism of the whataboutism.
    This thread isn't about whether Trump's actions are right or wrong, so ironically...I'm inclined to say your post doesn't add anything of value to this particular discussion. And if you specifically have never tried to make the case that Trump is unusual in certain misbehavior, fine, but that has not been the case with every criticism of Trump here.
    Hofstadter's Law: It will always take longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

  9. #6
    Professor Zymologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    someplace in Montana
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,014
    Amen (Given)
    1298
    Amen (Received)
    3593
    Quote Originally Posted by Zymologist View Post
    This thread isn't about whether Trump's actions are right or wrong, so ironically...I'm inclined to say your post doesn't add anything of value to this particular discussion. And if you specifically have never tried to make the case that Trump is unusual in certain misbehavior, fine, but that has not been the case with every criticism of Trump here.
    I did say in my OP that I don't want to debate this, so now that I've basically made myself a liar (nice job, Zym), I'll probably just observe and maybe drop a question here or there.
    Hofstadter's Law: It will always take longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

  10. Amen Cow Poke amen'd this post.
  11. #7
    tWebber
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Faith
    Agnostic
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,373
    Amen (Given)
    927
    Amen (Received)
    432
    Quote Originally Posted by Zymologist View Post
    This thread isn't about whether Trump's actions are right or wrong, so ironically...I'm inclined to say your post doesn't add anything of value to this particular discussion. And if you specifically have never tried to make the case that Trump is unusual in certain misbehavior, fine, but that has not been the case with every criticism of Trump here.
    But many of the posts in which I have pointed to whataboutism were about whether Trump's actions were right or wrong so if we are discussing "Trump and "whataboutism"" as you called your post it is important to bring it up. The reason I am opposed to it is because it is often used to avoid discussing what is right or wrong in and of itself. If you failed to see that I am a bit surprised.

    Luckily enough some of Trump's wrong actions are unusual. But whether they are so or not does nothing to answer the questions as to whether they are right or wrong in and of themselves. But I feel this is a discussion you don't really want to concern yourself with? If you want to discuss whatabotism without adressing how it misses the most important part then I would say you fail to add anything of value.
    Last edited by Charles; 11-07-2018 at 11:58 AM.

  12. #8
    Professor Zymologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    someplace in Montana
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,014
    Amen (Given)
    1298
    Amen (Received)
    3593
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    But many of the posts in which I have pointed to whataboutism were about whether Trump's actions were right or wrong so if we are discussing "Trump and "whataboutism"" as you called your post it is important to bring it up. The reason I am opposed to it is because it is often used to avoid discussing what is right or wrong in and of itself. If you failed to see that I am a bit surprised.

    Luckily enough some of Trump's wrong actions are unusual. But whether they are so or not does nothing to answer the questions as to whether they are right or wrong in and of themselves. But I feel this is a discussion you don't really want to concern yourself with? If you want to discuss whatabotism without adressing how it misses the most important part then I would say you fail to add anything of value.
    The OP was about something specific.
    Hofstadter's Law: It will always take longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

  13. #9
    tWebber
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Faith
    Agnostic
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,373
    Amen (Given)
    927
    Amen (Received)
    432
    Quote Originally Posted by Zymologist View Post
    I did say in my OP that I don't want to debate this, so now that I've basically made myself a liar (nice job, Zym), I'll probably just observe and maybe drop a question here or there.
    While I disagree with what you wrote in your answer I have no problem with the fact that you are taking part in the discussion and comment on my posts. That is, of course, if you don't provide whataboutism.

  14. #10
    tWebber
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Faith
    Agnostic
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,373
    Amen (Given)
    927
    Amen (Received)
    432
    Quote Originally Posted by Zymologist View Post
    The OP was about something specific.
    And my answer was about something specific related to the OP.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •