Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Corroborating Evidence

Let's let our imaginations run wild and suppose that a black man shot and killed a white youth. The shooter claimed that he'd been punched in the nose, knocked to the ground, and was having his head smashed against the concrete when in desperation he pulled his firearm and shot the attacker once in the chest.

Suppose then that white groups go beserk, placing a bounty on the shooter. Agitators show up to fan the flames of racial rage. The media pronounces the shooter guilty of homicide, disregarding his side of the story. The president identifies with the victim, suggesting that the shooting was racially motivated. I know it's hard to imagine all this, but just suppose....

Then in the discovery phase of the trial it was learned that all the forensic evidence supported the black man's version of events. Don't you think that all of the above groups would be forever discredited for their inexcusable prejudice against the black man? Wouldn't they be forever made objects of shame and derision, just like those who jumped at the chance to condemn the Duke lacrosse players in 2006, for their closed-minded, racially bigoted stupidity?

Well, we'll see. Meanwhile, here's the latest on the George Zimmerman/ Trayvon Martin incident:
A medical report compiled by the family physician of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman and obtained exclusively by ABC News found that Zimmerman was diagnosed with a "closed fracture" of his nose, a pair of black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury the day after he fatally shot Martin during an alleged altercation.

Zimmerman faces a second degree murder charge for the Feb. 26 shooting that left the unarmed 17-year-old high school junior dead. Zimmerman has claimed self defense in what he described as a life and death struggle that Martin initiated by accosting him, punching him in the face, then repeatedly bashing his head into the pavement.
And that's not all:
WFTV has learned that the medical examiner found two injuries on Martin’s body: The fatal gunshot wound and broken skin on his knuckles.
If this is all true, if Zimmerman's account is corroborated, then a lot of people in the media and in the black "community" should socially ostracize themselves in penance for their sin of inexcusable prejudice. They would also owe Zimmerman a huge apology, but don't hold your breath while you wait. People that small don't usually do things that big.

Should Everyone Vote?

MSNBC political analyst Andrea Mitchell says on a promo for her network that she thinks it's a scandal that some people are trying to prevent other people from voting. We should try to get as many people as possible to vote, she opines, regardless of which party benefits.

Well, no we shouldn't. In the first place no one is trying to prevent anyone who has the right to vote from voting. What some people are trying to do with voter ID legislation is to prevent the system from being abused by people who are not legally eligible to vote. Ms Mitchell and others of her ideological persuasion think that the voting franchise should be as broad and as easy to exercise as possible, but this is ludicrous.

Should we extend voting rights to 16 year-olds? How about resident non-citizens? How about citizens of other countries who once upon a time visited this country? Why not let anyone anywhere vote in our elections? If we adopt what we might call the Mitchell Principle there's no obvious reason why we shouldn't.

Should we make it hard for eligible citizens to vote? Not especially, but neither should we encourage people to vote who have not taken the time to inform themselves on the matters upon which they'd be voting. Someone who cannot name at least four Supreme Court judges or explain what the Supreme Court is or does should not be encouraged to vote. Someone who pays no federal income tax and thus has no economic stake in the country should not be encouraged to vote. Someone who cannot name their U.S. Senators should not be encouraged to vote. Indeed, they should be encouraged not to.

People like Ms Mitchell want these folks to cast a ballot, of course, because she knows that the less well-informed people are the more likely they are to vote for candidates who have charisma and who promise them access to goodies that must be paid for by the rest of the population. In other words, the more uniformed a voter is the more likely he or she is to vote for the liberal candidate.

This may seem a bit unkind, but in the last election Mr. Obama won largely on the basis of the support he received from two groups of people who are generally the most indifferent toward politics - young voters and poor minorities.

People like Ms Mitchell argue that we all have a civic duty to vote, but this isn't true either. We have a civic duty to inform ourselves so that we can vote responsibly. If we haven't done that then we actually have both a civic and a moral duty not to vote.

Major League Baseball doesn't allow just anyone to vote for their MVP. They restrict the process to sportswriters who make it their business to follow the game. There's a reason for that. The MVP shouldn't be a popularity contest, it shouldn't be based on which player is the best looking or the best speaker at off-season events, it should be based on his merits as a baseball player. The same is true of the office of the President. People who only read the sports pages of the newspaper shouldn't vote for president anymore than people who only read the editorial page should vote for baseball's MVP.