We’ve all heard the expression there’s two sides to every story. It implies that one side is the truth, and the other side is lying. While that can be true, it can also be that both sides are right, and are both just leaving out crucial factors. It could be that neither side is right, and the truth is something else entirely. It could be that one side is right, and the other believes they’re right, but are simply mistaken. And most commonly, it could be a matter of opinion, and there simply isn’t a right or wrong in the first place.
The point of skepticism, is to be able to consume information in such a way that you are least likely to be deceived, or make bad assumptions. Thus leading to more intelligent decisions, and typically better outcomes for you. Let’s look at some examples.
But when you click the actual study, and apply a little skepticism (and some math), you might look at it a little differently.
There were 475,581 participants in the study, and a mere 2609 case of cancer reported among all participants. So if one group is 20% higher than the other, that means it’s approximately 45.4/54.6 split (45.4/54.6 = 120.2%, or 20% more).
54.6% of 2,609 = 1,425 (0.29% of the total group)
45.4% of 2609 = 1,184 (0.24% of the total group)
So while 1,425 is indeed 20% more than 1184, out of the total group or people observed (475,581) a mere 0.55% contracted colorectal cancer. A total of 241 more were the bacon eaters, or a mere 0.05% overall increase (0.29% vs 0.24%).
An almost entirely insignificant 0.05% or 241 out of 475,581 people doesn’t sound nearly as scary as 20%, does it? But scary sells news media, and journalists are rarely scientists.
This problem isn’t entirely about science, because you can apply these same skills to a myriad of things you’ll read or see in the media.
Imagine a news story we’ll call statement A with a headline that reads, “Woman courageously does all that is needed to put food on the plate for her child.”
But then imagine a different news outlet runs a different headline we’ll call Statement B that reads, “Woman fired for drinking while at work, stole unhealthy snacks and booze from a grocery store.”
Statement A makes her sound like a hero, but Statement B tells a very different story. Both can be 100% true, but the context changes how you feel about the story entirely.
The point of all this are to make you think about any news story you read, and maybe think about changing the way you consume information. So here’s a couple of ideas on how to improve how you consume information.
Avoid click-bait headlines from sources you’ve never heard of, or that you know are openly biased. You know they’re all almost entirely bullshit. So why waste your time on them? The good ones will link to credibly sources, and you should click on those to read the whole story, if you do go down that road. But in general, if people stop clicking on clickbait, the people doing it will respond to the lack of demand for it, by ceasing to make it.
Read the article and not just the headline. Even reputable sources have resorted to click-bait headlines just so you’ll read their stories over the nonsense from non-reputable sites. You’re missing a lot of context and nuance if you don’t read the story. Not to mention, you look silly when you add your own comment that clearly shows you didn’t read the article.
Any story that says something like, “The such-and-such that such-and-such doesn’t want you to know” or “Person A destroys person B” is bullshit. All of it. Like every single one of them.” Stop sharing that nonsense. Seriously.
If you see a story and it seems pretty amazing, but you aren’t seeing it on reputable sources, I assure you, some podunk website did not scoop Reuters or AP. It’s bullshit that they didn’t vet properly, or worse, that they just made up.
Check a second source. This one is huge. If you see a story on a site that’s kinda reputable but not great, look for it on a site like Reuters or AP. If you confirm from multiple reputable sources, then it’s probably true. But if it’s multiple sources with the same bias, you should probably still avoid it.
Think about what’s being said in the story, and could there possibly be another way of looking at it. For instance, if I told you France gets 75% of its energy from nuclear, where the United States only gets 20%, you could easily assume that France is a leader in nuclear energy compared to the United States. But if I told you France has 58 nuclear power facilities whereas the United States has 98, you’d think the US is the leader. Both are true, but both tell a different story. So it pays to dig into the data when you can, and form your own opinion based on all the information.
Hopefully this helps you think about how to consume news differently, and prevents you from being that embarrassing friend on social media always sharing bullshit articles everyone but you seems to know isn’t true. You’ll thank me later. 🙂
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. ~ 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.
Nothing seems to evoke more passion from either side of the political aisle than the 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution. People on the Individual-Right side of the fence often cite the “shall not be infringed” clause, but those who wish to limit or eliminate the individual right to bear arms often cite the “well-regulated militia” clause.
The anti-individual-right argument being that the framers meant for Americans to be able to form militias to protect the people or the country, and those militias would need to be armed. This sentiment has been echoed by such noteworthy Civil Rights leaders as former ACLU head and mathematics professor Ira Glasser, which he discussed at length during the March 2nd, 2018 Comedy Cellar podcast. (click to listen)
Side Note: Don’t be fooled that the podcast is from the Comedy Cellar. Owner Noam Dworman is quite fond of discussing politics, and is incredibly thoughtful, fair, and insightful on the subject.
Oddly, the person who got it right (IMO), contradicting Ira Glasser, was Noam’s co-host, comedian Dan Naturman, who often describes himself as left-leaning. Dan does possess a law degree from Fordham University, and Noam studied law at the University of Pennsylvania, making them the only people trained in law involved in the discussion, not Glasser.
While Noam Dworman tends to seem centerist, he understandably felt the need to defer to Glasser’s judgement, since his work with the ACLU would seem to assert Glasser would be the more knowledgeable person in the room—but on this issue, he just wasn’t.
The argument the anti-individual-right group presents seems pretty sound on the face of it, but there are several flaws with this line of thinking, making it unarguably incorrect.
But let’s break down the flaws of these arguments one by one.
The first issue is that it is entirely contradictory with the rest of the Bill of Rights.
The Bill of Rights was drafted, not as a set of laws for the people to heed, but instead, limits set on government as to how government may restrict the people’s individual rights.
The Bill of Rights Institute writes:
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. James Madison wrote the amendments, which list specific prohibitions on governmental power, in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties.
So if the 2nd Amendment was drafted to allow the establishment of militias, and was not meant as an individual right, it would be inconsistent with the other nine amendments.
Our founding fathers believed you have inalienable rights by virtue of existing, and they cannot be taken from you. They don’t come from government at all—the founders of our country were very clear on that when they wrote the Declaration of Independence.
The Bill of Rights places limits on what government may do, not establishes the formation of government entities. Those things are laid out in the first portion of the Constitution. But it also is written with the intention that the power comes from the people, not government.
For instance, our first amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” versus something like “You are free to practice any religion of your choosing.”
This pattern is consistent throughout the Bill Of Rights, and while most see both those phrases as essentially the same, there’s an incredibly important distinction. As the Bill of Rights are written, the people have the power and are imposing a limit on the government’s ability to limit their religious freedom. In the second theoretical example, it implies government has the power and is granting religious rights to the people.
So now that we understand the Bill of Rights (it’s in the name, for Pete’s sake) establishes rights of the people, not of government, and thus contradicts the idea that the 2nd amendment was meant to help local militias to form, let’s move on to issue #2.
THE MEANING OF THE WORD MILITIA
The meaning behind the word “militia” in the second amendment.
If we assume the term “militia” refers to local military and police, which are government entities after all; the people arguing the 2nd amendment was set up to allow local governments to establish militias comprised of the people believe our forefathers wrote an amendment that says that government cannot infringe on government’s rights to bear arms. This is not only inconsistent to the rest of the Bill of Rights, which guarantee individual rights, but its redundancy is nonsensical. If government cannot infringe on government’s rights to carry guns, then there would be no reason to even mention it in the first place.
The militia clause does refer to government, but not just local governments, it means any government. It wasn’t a right of the militia, it was a limit on it. This will make more sense as we move on to the next issues.
THE MEANING OF THE WORD REGULATED
The third important issue people get wrong with this, is believing “well-regulated” is synonymous with “well-organized.”
The last issue with the anti-individual-right argument is what it argues is being protected. The incorrect argument is that it’s protecting a country (state) which is free. But the reality is it is protecting freedom itself, ensuring the state remain free. You’d have to deny nearly all of America’s founding history to believe that freedom wasn’t at the core of everything the founding fathers did. Freedom was always more important in their minds. Far more important than the state.
ANOTHER WAY TO WRITE IT
With all that in mind, let me reword the amendment in the way it was intended using language that is maybe more understandable in today’s vernacular.
In order for the people of the United States to remain free, the militia shall be kept under control by the people of the United States who have the right to keep and bear arms.
This is precisely how the amendment was intended, and the only interpretation of it which cannot be easily challenged.
They knew government will always be prone to becoming bloated and oppressive. And while a government can pass a million laws, those laws have no teeth if there is no militia to enforce them. So in order to keep that government, specifically its enforcement wing (the militia) well-regulated, the people should be armed as well. This way, the government (and militia) always have some level of fear from the people. It’s the only reason to use the word “regulated” that makes sense.
This opinion, being current precedent, effectively settles the argument for now.
IS THIS IDEA OF THE GOVERNMENT FEARING THE PEOPLE EVEN REALISTIC NOW?
Since the United States Military is infinitely more powerful than its armed citizens, many argue the point becomes moot, since we “the people” couldn’t possibly fight them. Which in a narrow scope might seem accurate, but again, if you apply a little skepticism, it isn’t.
So why do gun control advocates believe this is what the 2nd amendment implies? It’s likely a simple case of confirmation bias—a phenomenon whereby someone attempting to prove something they hope to be true/false, eschew interpretations that conflict with their bias and/or accept suspect data that supports their bias, due to an inner desire to substantiate their argument.
We are all prone to do this, and with the exception of devout skeptics like myself, we’ll rarely even know we’re doing it, nor act to correct it.
Their lives were forever changed because of gun violence, so it’s quite reasonable to assume they would advocate limiting our right to bear arms. And when people have been forever affected by senseless gun violence, it behooves all of us to respect their trepidation in respect to lax gun laws. We haven’t walked a mile in their shoes.
But apologies to those who wish to limit our rights to bear arms, and believe the “militia” clause supports your argument. If you want to argue against gun rights, using the “militia” argument, it just isn’t consistent with the rest of the Constitution, and you’re unfortunately misinterpreting the clause.
A large majority of Hollywood believe Trump is basically satan, and many black athletes have taken a knee during the national anthem because they believe the police are too quick to shoot a young black man.
When they have these opinions, being someone who is used to being in the spotlight, they rarely shy away from sharing their feelings on any given subject—using their bully pulpit to encourage others to follow their lead.
There are a few important facets to these expressions of beliefs that I feel are worth discussion.
First things first. They have a right to an opinion, and they should share such an opinion if they’re passionate about it. They should be shown respect for speaking out on something that’s important to them. Their success means that if it is a cause worth fighting for, they can shine a light on a subject that us non-famous people simply don’t have the ability to do.
I’ve seen the Twitterverse often have regular people telling athletes with an opinion on politics to “Just shut up and play (insert their respective sport here)”, or people tell British physics Professor Brian Cox, who’s quite vocal about Brexit, to “just stick to science.”
I understand why people might feel this way, since such famous people are not famous for politics, and thus not presumed to be experts on the subject. But politics isn’t science, it’s entirely driven by subjectivity. Meaning one person’s opinion is just as valid as another. And as a libertarian, anyone who speaks truth to power (even if I think they’re misinformed on what is truthful) is still doing something noble.
By all means, make the effort to correct them if you think they’re wrong on the facts, but people should do so respectfully, and applaud anyone with a voice for speaking out.
Colin Kaepernick started a movement to call out when officers shoot unarmed black men, and little repercussions occur as a result, something we should all be bothered by when it happens. We can quibble over whether some of the shootings he rallied against were justified, some may have very well been, but it does happen nonetheless, and we shouldn’t excuse it.
But all that being said, people should understand that being famous doesn’t make you an expert and thus adds no additional credibility to their argument, versus your neighbor who may be espousing the same opinion, (unless they’re an expert in the field.)
So while we should not discourage them from speaking out with things like, “just shut up and play your sport” or something like that, please bear in mind that you shouldn’t be blindly following them either. You shouldn’t assume they’re in command of the facts, and that the information they provide is truthful. The only thing you could presume to be true, is that their heart is in the right place, and they mean well.
Just about every issue is way more complicated than any non-expert understands. So listen to what people say, but apply your own skepticism, and if you care about the issue, take the time to look up credible sources on the issue, forming your opinions based on them. Doing something, or believing in something because a famous person told you to, is irresponsible at best.
Political correctness is a term that typically evokes annoyance and hatred from almost anyone who hears the term. Yet despite this nearly universal hatred for it, political correctness seems to be as pervasive as ever.
As an example, in 2017, the TV show Bates Motel, a TV adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 epic thriller Psycho, opted to rescript what is arguably the most famous scene in movie history. The story is about a man (Norman Bates) who suffers from multiple personality disorder. Aside from his own personality, he would also take on the persona of his mother, a psychopathic killer who would murder women she felt were immoral.
When Norman became his mother, he would often dress up as her, and in the original and now famous shower scene, where a young woman is stabbed to death by Norman during a schizophrenic episode, he was wearing his mother’s dress.
However, the Bates Motel show runners, for fear of offending the trans-gender community it seems, opted to not have Norman (played by Freddie Highmore) wearing his mother’s clothes. The argument being they didn’t want to paint transgender people in a negative light. On the face of it, this can sound fair, but political correctness always does at first.
The first issue should be glaringly obvious. Norman Bates wasn’t transgender, he was schizophrenic with multiple personality disorder. He wasn’t a man who identified as a women. In his mind, he was his mother. So the show runners, for fear of offending people they weren’t even depicting, made the scene less accurate, out of irrational fear.
The referenced article above shows the writers clearly understood this, but the fear of offending someone and having the show be attacked by those who misunderstood the show’s intent was so great, they decided not to risk offending them.
In general, the idea of political correctness can be broken down into a couple of camps.
One is a selfless reason—you don’t want to offend someone because you’re a good person, and you just don’t like offending people.
The other is selfish—you have concerns that it might harm your brand or business if people happen to be offended. You don’t so much care that they’re offended, but if they make a lot of noise in attacking your business (or you personally), you’re concerned it could harm you financially when they do so. The above example falling into the latter camp.
If either camp is genuinely trying to avoid offending people, why is this a problem, then? Shouldn’t that be a good thing? The answer is a little murky, but let’s dig into the dirt a bit.
The Straw Man Argument
You may have heard of the logical fallacy known as the straw man argument. If not, click the video above from PBS. But the Straw Man Fallacy principle also applies to those who are easily offended.
Imagine I said, “I like Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president in 2012 and 2016.” Full stop. Now imagine a Trump or Clinton supporter who hears my statement, then gets offended and responds to me, “Oh, so you think Hillary/Trump is a bad person then? You’re a horrible person.”
Hopefully you see the problem here. I didn’t say anything about Hillary or Trump, and it’s genuinely quite possible I like all three people. So they’re mad at a straw man version of my argument, not what I actually said and intended.
This is why being easily offended is often the problem of the person who chose to mischaracterize your argument and be offended by it, and not the problem of the person who said something they were offended by.
For this reason, it’s important we not coddle such people, and give their behavior credence. They’ve made a mistake, and condoning and/or excusing that mistake doesn’t help anyone. Worse yet, it creates a whole new problem.
Factitious Disorder Imposed On Self (Munchausen Syndrome) is a condition where people claim to be ill in some way, when they’re either making it up, or they’ve actually harmed themselves, in order to gain sympathy for their illness from people who don’t know they’ve done it to themselves.
Many people who claim to be offended may not actually be offended per se, but much like those who suffer from factitious disorder, have learned that by proclaiming they’ve been offended on social media or some other public forum, gain sympathy from their followers, fans, or friends. They’re being conditioned to be offended about things going forward to attain even more attention (sympathy), creating this downward spiral of dishonest dialogue, fake outrage, and people who are afraid to be speak their mind.
So just by the virtue of it not even being honest outrage, or an honest assessment of the thing that outraged them, it’s already an illogical and potentially immoral condition. But this isn’t where the negatives end.
The Wisdom Of The First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
As most people know, the first amendment of the US Constitution wasn’t written so we can discuss the weather freely, nor to believe things we all believe. Our founding fathers understood you should have the right to say something offensive if it’s what you truly feel or believe. You should also be encouraged to speak truth to power when leaders say things that simply aren’t true.
This was of course about freedom from prosecution by government for saying such things, but the logic of protecting that speech is important outside of first amendment constraints as well. If people are afraid to speak their mind, you’ll never learn what they’re thinking. They might have ideas that could change the world, or at least maybe your world view—hear them out.
Martin Luther King Jr. for instance, was saying things we understand are true and not controversial now, but were quite controversial then. So much so, he was murdered over them. But you can go a lot further back in history to see why this is important. Galileo for instance, was famously convicted of heresy, and sent to jail for his arguments about the nature of our solar system. He described heliocentrism—the idea that our sun is at the center of the solar system, and not the Earth, as the Catholic church believed at the time. Not only is this not controversial now, only the most delusional of people think it isn’t fact.
While some things may be controversial forever, many things that are edgy today, will almost assuredly be commonplace tomorrow, and this should be deemed as typically a good thing. People are often afraid of change, but adaptation is the key to survival, and free speech is key to having the discussions that help us to evolve our way of thinking as time goes on.
Political correctness and being easily offended are the biggest detriment to these discussions, and reasonable people should make an effort to ensure such discussions aren’t quashed by aggressive social justice warriors.
As for how to fix this, the answer isn’t attacking people verbally with insults and such, that’s not going to win over hearts and minds. Technically, I’m arguing that you do nothing. No really, don’t do a thing. if someone gets upset, and demands apologies because they were offended, don’t say a thing. Let them realize no one agrees with them by not agreeing with them.
These people are seeking attention. If you don’t give them any, they will be conditioned to not waste the energy for their ineffective technique. We made it effective in the first place, we can make it ineffective, too.
There will surely be a knee-jerk reaction to respond by either giving in, if you’re not buying into my idea that it’s a problem, or to troll by lashing out at them for behaving childishly. You would think that those options are opposite each other, but the fact is that they’re both attention. And if you respond negatively to it in an effort to get them to “grow up,” others who don’t share your view (and mine) will sympathize with them even more because you were such a meanie to them.
Now that we’ve talked about how to stifle the political correct and easily offended, how do we promote the reasons for stifling them in the first place?
Also a pretty simple answer. Talk. Not yell or attack, but have respectful discourse with people. If you’re the type to avoid discussions that might get contentious, don’t. If they can’t respond in kind, then again, go back to not responding.
You can also stand up for facts. If someone says something you know isn’t true, chime in respectfully, and let them know they may be incorrect. Cite sources for extra credit. If at any point the conversation devolves, again…walk away. If enough people do this, eventually, reasonable discourse can and will prevail.
Right behind used car salesman and politicians, some of the most commonly distrusted people in our lexicon are large pharmaceutical companies—if people use the term “big pharma,” you can often assume that their thoughts are less than flattering.
One look at that civil litigation list provided, and you start to see a common theme. Almost all of them are for an “Off-Label” promotion violation of the False Claims Act, originally enacted in 1863. Off-Label promotion is when a drug company promotes a particular drug for treatment of something that isn’t supported by clinical data and thus isn’t approved by the FDA based on that data.
In evaluating minoxidil effectiveness in stimulating hair regrowth, the investigators found the 5% solution very effective in 15.9% of patients, effective in 47.8%, moderately effective in 20.6% and ineffective in 15.7%.
But it was not tested on a receding hair line near the forehead (bitemporal recession), so despite the fact that logic would seem to dictate it would be effective there also, it can only be marketed to restore hair at the scalp until studies confirm its efficacy for bitemporal recession as well.
This kind of false advertising is certainly inexcusable, and I don’t want to claim otherwise—the purpose of this article isn’t to argue that pharmaceutical companies are faultless and incorruptible. But instead, to promote skepticism as to whether they are to be trusted to a lesser degree than supplement companies.
Because of the life-and-death situations or general health implications involved when taking pharmaceuticals, that industry is far more heavily regulated than most—and arguably for good reason.
But such heavy-handed regulation has other implications. The more regulations an industry has, the greater the risk they’ll be prosecuted for violations, as their compliance is that much more complicated to achieve.
Said violation may be an intentional misrepresentation, an innocent mistake, or a subjective situation where they feel their claims are fair and accurate, but the courts ultimately disagree.
However, any industry has a list of civil litigation, so the argument that pharmaceutical companies are unique in this where supplement companies aren’t, or any other industry in general isn’t, is patently false logic.
But it’s imperative to understand that pharmaceutical companies largely make testable and proven claims, where supplement companies almost never do. I don’t think one can fairly argue the people making testable and proven claims most of the time, are somehow less honest than the people who purposefully don’t, because they know they’ll get sued for false advertising if they do.
There’s this notion that big pharma rakes in huge profits, while supplement companies are promoting all-natural products that work just as well at treating illness, and are being suppressed by the pharmaceuticals industry because they’re so cheap, so big pharma can keep you sick to maintain those huge incomes.
The problem with this argument is that it’s a patently false premise because the supplement industry is incredibly profitable too. As this PBS article from 2016 points out, they’re a $30-billion industry. By comparison, this US Trade Commission report shows that total pharmaceutical sales weigh in at a stout $333 billion.
Big supplement is 1/10th the size of big pharma, but they’re nothing to sneeze at, and at the end of the day, the profit-based-motive argument that decries big pharma is equally true for big-supplement. So one cannot fairly use that to attack big pharma against big supplement. But there’s more meat on this bone than you might think.
Why the Price Discrepancy?
As was noted earlier, the regulations around pharmaceuticals are based on the FDA requiring clinical trial data to support their claims. This is a good thing. But here’s a basic overview of how clinical trials work.
As you should easily understand from all of this, at a minimum, 2 years to 6 years of time and money will be spent by the pharmaceutical company, before they’ll ever see a dime of return-on-investment, nevertheless a profit.
But let’s do a little math here. Based on the FDA’s account of how many of those move all the way through the clinical trials process, 70 out of 100 move to phase 2 (70%), 23 out of 70 move on to phase two (33%), and 5-7 out of those remaining 23 move on to phase 4 (25% – 30%). Which means 93-95 out of 100 will not see the light of day, and will be money big pharma will have to write off as a loss. That doesn’t even include the ones that don’t make it through the other four steps that aren’t clinical trials.
So generally speaking, if one drug costs $5-$7 to manufacture, that means a drug company would have to charge, on average, $100 for that drug, just to break even.
When looking at the above, you can understand that since the supplement industry isn’t beholden to all of this, it makes sense that the average pharmaceutical would potentially be twenty times more expensive than the average supplement ($5 compared to $100). Not to mention, they don’t have to invest in all that pesky testing to verify their product does what they say it does either.
How does that compute? Think of it this way. If you’re going to argue some chemical does something to your physiology or health (everything is a chemical, even all-natural supplements, so I’m not talking solely about man-made products), then you simply have to prove it.
If you’re able to prove it, and you want to make that claim, then your product is a pharmaceutical. You will market it as such, because there’s credibility associated with your product if you do so. Not all pharmaceuticals require a prescription after all, things like ibuprofen, NSAIDs (aspirin), and other OTC medications are still pharmaceuticals that make specific, testable, and proven claims. So there’s no harm in marketing your product as such.
However, if you can’t prove it, but you want to sell something anyway, you have to make vague claims that can’t be challenged in court because they can’t be falsified.
For instance, you might say something “promotes heart health.” If something has any dietary value whatsoever, it can fairly be argued it promotes heart health, because nutrients keep you alive. Your basic apple, a juicy steak, or a big fat cheeseburger could make a similar claim, even though the latter two actually can harm heart function too. However, if you want to say it reduces the risk of heart attacks, now you have a very specific claim that must be backed up with data.
The basic gist of the argument is that if your product works, it’ll be a pharmaceutical, and if it doesn’t really do anything, it can still be marketed as a supplement. However, this is not to say that supplements can’t help. If your doctor notes a particular vitamin deficiency, then taking that vitamin supplement is surely an advantageous course of action. But as this Scientific American article points out:
The new studies, published today (Dec. 16) in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine —including two new clinical trials and one large review of 27 past clinical trials conducted by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — found no evidence that taking daily multivitamin and mineral supplements prevents or slows down the progress of cognitive decline or chronic diseases such as heart diseases or cancer.
So when comparing the two on the trustability scale, consider this:
With pharmaceuticals, you’re trusting a group who has to support their claims with clinical data under threat of civil action, and therefore spends the millions of dollars to prove their claims.
With supplements, you’re trusting a company who avoids such litigation by making ambiguous claims because they either didn’t want to make the effort to do such studies. Or worse yet, such studies were conducted, and no efficacy was shown for the claim they hoped to make, so they sell it under the guise of an ambiguous and often untestable claim instead.
The Overlooked Downfall of Supplements
With supplements, the reason they’re often unregulated and avoid the skeptical eye of the FDA, is often because the FDA deemed them innocuous, and therefore didn’t need regulated. Think about that for a minute. The FDA basically argued that when taken at their recommended dosages, these supplements do very little, if anything, so there was no need to regulate them.
So how then does one come to a conclusion that such things are better at treating a condition than something which was actually proven to do something, and specifically the something you needed it to do?
But it does get worse. Because there’s a saying in biology that states, “Everything is a poison, what matters is the dose.” In small amounts, most of these supplement compounds are harmless. But as this CBS News video points out, because many people take these supplements on the belief that they can’t harm you, the fact is, some can do harm if taken in excess.
Many people fail to realize that you get almost all the vitamins and minerals you need in your diet, assuming you eat reasonably healthy. So taking a vitamin pill when you don’t have a deficiency of that vitamin, is effectively an overdose. Most of the time, you’re body just sends it out your exhaust pipe, but they can in fact be harmful.
One of the final arguments I like to address, is the “all-natural” argument. (If you want an explanation of the Naturalistic Fallacy, click the title above.)
Cancer, arsenic, snake venom, and a litany of other things that kill you are also all natural. Many drugs stem from extracting the thing that helps you from a plant for instance, without making you consume other parts of that plant that either don’t help you, or might harm you.
To give you a fictional example, imagine you had a panacea tree. You notice that when eating the panacea tree leaf, that you feel slightly better when you have a stomach ache. So you start eating a lot more panacea tree leaves next time you get an upset stomach, but then you get dizzy because the panacea tree also has a psychotropic substance in it.
So pharmaceutical companies will extract the compound that helps with the indigestion, produce a pill that contains just that, so the next time you have indigestion, you don’t have to eat panacea leaves. You can just take their drug, and not have to deal with the psychotropic side effects from eating the leaves.
That’s clearly an incredibly simplified generic example, but you at least hopefully understand the principle of what pharmaceutical companies might do, and why they should get the presumption of benefit, compared to just eating some random plant that may help somewhat, but harm in other ways.
Expanding on our fictional example, there’s another scenario to note as well. Some of these compounds from a natural source, are so low in that natural source, like 1 PPM (parts per million). But in order for that compound to cure your condition, you’d need a dosage that’s more like 100,000 PPM (or 10%), so you either take a pill that was made with 100,000 molecules of just that compound, or you eat 100,000 of the panacea leaves and blow up your stomach because you ate too much.
Purposefully Keeping You Sick
People argue big pharma only wants to keep you beholden to big pharma by stringing you out on a never-ending supply of drugs. But there’s a few things to note on this point.
If you have an infection, you might take an antibiotic for a week, then you’re done. If you have cancer, you might be treated by something like chemotherapy, be cured, and then you’re done. I’m sure almost every one of you reading this, at one point in your life, had a condition which required you to take a drug for a short period of time, the drug cured your condition, and now you no longer take that drug.
These are all instances where big pharma cured you and did not string you out. But most supplements expect you to take them for the rest of your life, because you’ll be healthier. So who’s stringing you out again?
Many conditions people might have may require surgery. Surgery can be very dangerous and expensive. But there might be a drug that can manage your discomfort much more cheaply and less dangerously. If the condition isn’t life threatening, people will often choose not to have surgery, and just take the drug to manage the pain instead. Things like back surgery for lower back pain and such, come to mind. That’s not big pharma stringing you out, that’s you and your doctor choosing not to take a big risk.
Something May Be Better Than Nothing
Many conditions are degenerative in nature. If you lop a finger off, it won’t grow back. This is true for your bones for instance, as well. So with degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease or osteoarthritis, you cannot cure what is no longer there, at least, not yet.
So sometimes pain medications are the only alternative to osteoarthritis relief. Again, that’s not big pharma stringing you out, that’s your own body falling apart and you managing the pain with pharmaceuticals.
I say “not yet,” because regenerative medicine (the ability to regrow things on someone that aren’t regrowing naturally) is one of the biggest areas of new discovery these days.
It should also be noted that because researchers are working on regenerative cures, they’re also working to heal you in a short time, then stop treatment once you’re well. If we go back to the “stringing you out” argument, if that was their goal, they’d be pushing painkillers, not spending millions to find cures.
Both Big Pharma and Big Supplement are hugely profitable. Arguing one is better than the other based on profits is false.
Big Pharma is heavily regulated and backed by science. Big supplement is just a company trying to sell you something that is largely unregulated.
Most people who make pharmaceuticals studied years of biology to do what they do so they could make things that save lives. People who make supplements often don’t have such training, and are largely operating on guesswork, anecdotal evidence, false assumptions, and sometimes, outright lies and speculation which can genuinely be likened to magic and the supernatural in their outrageousness.
You should always be skeptical in life, and I would never promote not questioning big pharma, but if I’m dying and have to trust one of them, I’m going to trust the one with proven results, and I’m willing to pay them in a manner that makes them profitable to do it.
By now, unless you live under a rock, you’ve no doubt seen the backlash of these tweets from Donald Trump.
But how did we get here?
Most know it started with former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who decided during the 2016 NFL preseason to kneel for the following reasons, as cited here on the NFL website.
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.
If you are reasonably familiar with the situation, and on social media, you’ve no doubt noticed most people have an opinion on one side or the other, and it’s nearly as heated and divided as religion and politics infamously are.
Since most opinions I’ve read are pretty passionate instead of objective, I felt it was worth exploring the subject from a skeptic’s point of view. As an issue, between Trump’s position and Kaepernick’s, it’s pretty complicated with a lot of facets worth considering individually.
If we start from the beginning, Kaepernick opted to do this in the wake of a number of police involved shootings of young “black” men, some of which, were unarmed. It appeared to be excessive force by many, and potentially even manslaughter or murder. Yet no charges against said officers were filed in the immediate aftermath. (I’m not aware of whether charges were filed later.)
While I believe the deliberately hateful racists, whether they be white-on-black or vice versa, are an incredibly small minority; many more biases are simply ingrained, and a product of conditioning versus a deliberate intention to demean someone.
Respectful discussions between the two sides can help overcome both, if we’re willing to have them. So I encourage all people, no matter what their skin tone may be, to be open to such discussions. It’s surely the only way tensions will improve.
But moving on from whether Colin has a point or not, let’s discuss his tactics, since they’ve now overshadowed his initial concern he was trying to bring awareness to, which for him, is almost assuredly a tragedy.
Is Kneeling Effective Towards His Goal?
Since this started over a year ago, can we honestly say that racism has gotten any better?
It should be noted that it’s virtually impossible to quantify racism, but it is possible to quantify how many police shootings of unarmed black men who weren’t directly witnessed to have committed a crime.
Nonetheless, those parameters aren’t part of any FBI data I’ve seen. So there’s little way to determine if he’s been effective in reducing them.
As such, no claims one way or the other, can be considered anything other than speculation until that data is available. But I will say that it does seem like there have been fewer of these in the news since these protests began.
I think it’s also safe to say that racism is part of many discussions in a meaningful way at a number that’s probably as high as it has been since the civil rights movement.
The media’s coverage of Colin’s actions and their coverage of the police shootings which instigated his actions are largely to blame for this. So it is fair to say that he’s at least helped start the discussions that needed to happen, and are hopefully helping to achieve his end goal.
Are His Actions Congruent With His Goal
On this issue, I have to say I feel Colin missed his mark.
The U.S. flag is generally something that’s attributed to represent our nation, and also the men and women who served our military to defend it. But Colin never insinuated he was mad at those people.
He directed his anger at what he felt were several corrupt law enforcement officers, and the system that seemed to defend that.
So yes, he created awareness, but the people he offended doing it, were largely not the people he was mad at in the first place.
Is Colin Kaepernick a Racist
I cringe when anyone tries to make claims about what’s in someone’s heart. You just can’t know that. So you often have to take people at their word or their actions.
I don’t recall seeing one instance where Colin said anything negative about Caucasians. It’s also important to note that Colin has a biological mother who is “white,” presumably a “black” father, and adoptive “white” parents who took him in and raised him.
The idea that he’s racist, seems pretty far-fetched, and not supported by any evidence I saw. But feel free to comment below, citing sources, if you’ve seen any statements he uttered against Caucasians in general.
Could He Have Chosen a Better Tactic?
Because Colin is famous, I believe he’d have done far more to improve these relations between the police and young urban minorities by doing community outreach with police. Maybe trying to start a ride-along program with NFL stars, for instance.
Urging NFL players, especially those who were once urban minorities themselves, to go out with officers and start dialogues with them based on mutual respect between the police and many of the NFL players who were former at-risk kids themselves, would certainly help achieve his goal.
If police hear these stories from some of the NFL’s best, maybe it would make the officers see the young men in their community as potential greatness instead of potential criminal young men.
I also believe that if a cop car rolls up in a bad neighborhood with a superstar like Colin riding along with them, it might incite those kids to get to know their local police; building better relationships in the process.
If you’re one of those kids, you’d love to meet an NFL star. And if you meet one thanks to a police officer who brought him to you, all of a sudden that police officer is more likely to be seen as a friend instead of a foe.
Is Colin Trying To Create Unity
On the face of it, a peaceful protest is certainly what Martin Luther King is famous for. And his kneeling is not that different from Rosa Parks sitting on a front bus seat.
Yet once Colin knelt, many took offense, and sadly didn’t see it that way, if that’s how he meant it.
Even if he justifies it by saying that it was only directed at bad cops, I’ve heard multiple racist “white” people justify hateful speech by saying, “There’s black people, and then there’s n*****s”?
They assume because I’m white, I want to hear that nonsense. I assure you, I really REALLY don’t appreciate it. And I usually tell them so if I’m not in a position where I think I’ll be physically attacked for doing it. And Colin’s excuse for wearing those socks is pretty similar, in my opinion.
If rational people like me were apt to side with his peaceful protests, assuming he had nothing but the best intentions in his heart for all parties involved, this went a long way to burn that.
But nonetheless, I try to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was just angry, and did something ill-advised in his enraged state. Haven’t we all, in a moment of anger, said or done things we regret later?
Now let’s discuss Donald Trump’s actions.
Love him or hate him, I think it’s fair to admit that Trump is open and honest about his opinions. His Twitter feed is laden with unrehearsed, unpolished, and uncensored opinions that clearly seem to be what he actually feels.
So let’s take a skeptical look at those.
Were Trump’s Tweets Divisive When We All Tend To Agree Unity is Needed?
Yes Trump’s comments were divisive. I frankly wish he’d just stop. But so were the people opting to kneel.
You cannot fairly condemn Trump for being divisive, if you won’t equally condemn the players who know it’s upsetting a very large portion of the country, without being hypocritical.
Should Trump Have Said What He Said and Tweeted What He Tweeted?
Trump is effectively two people. He’s a president, and an American citizen.
As president, I want him to be involved in Colin’s (and the NFL’s) actions absolutely zero.
Instead, I’d want to see him order the FBI to investigate police shootings to make sure local police aren’t effectively protecting their own during the investigations of officer shootings. Clearly, letting the San Francisco PD investigate one of their own is as big of a conflict of interest as one could imagine.
I’d also want federal prosecutors to handle any disciplinary actions, up to and including criminal trials.
As for Trump tweeting an official position on the kneeling, he should simply say it’s a private matter for the free market to sort out.
If it kills NFL ratings, then they’ll react accordingly. This is not the business of a government who’s first amendment guarantees free speech.
As an American citizen, he has a right to an opinion on anything, including this. In my opinion, he should have two different Twitter accounts: one for “the president” and one for “the citizen,” which he does (@POTUS and @realDonaldTrump). Then, keep his official positions on one, and his personal opinions on the other.
On this issue, he largely did exactly that. His @POTUS account retweeted the personal account’s tweet below, and that’s all I’ve found. The rest were on his personal account.
In general, I don’t feel Donald Trump has done a remotely admiral job at unifying a divided nation—quite the contrary. His business acumen is about winning, which means he’s often competitive by nature. That aggressiveness comes out in his behavior often, and I suspect it’s not likely to change.
He’s arguably the most divisive president in history, but it’s not like we didn’t know this prior to the election, and yet he still won. So this isn’t exactly an overpromise/underdeliver situation; no bait-and-switch transpired here.
But as much as I disagree with him on significant policy issues, I at least prefer his unfiltered nature. I find it far better than people who are polished and rehearsed yet come off as obviously fake. I’d just prefer to know instead of wonder where you stand, and whether you’re a person I wouldn’t like in real life or not.
Should The NFL/Team Owners Fire Players?
Well, the players work for the teams (franchises), not the NFL. The only people firing them will be the team owners.
The NFL has code-of-conduct policies, which they seem to strictly enforce. For instance, the Cowboys wanted to have a simple sticker in support of a slain officer, and the NFL specifically forbade it.
One can certainly argue that this is somewhat hypocritical to forbid a helmet like this, while allowing some other form of protest on the field, like kneeling for the national anthem.
But nonetheless, the NFL is a private company, and they have every right to be hypocrites if they so desire, and the free market will sort it out accordingly.
As for the teams, if they want to fire the players for representing their brand in a way that’s inconsistent with their team owner’s values, then they have a right to do so. One caveat though: only if they drafted a code-of-conduct clause is in the contract they have with that player, which specifically forbids such actions.
Now that we’ve covered the two actors in this play, let’s discuss the issue in general. Because there’s a lot of hypocritical and/or illogical behavior from the professional media and the John Q Pissed-Offs on social media.
Is This a Free Speech Issue?
This one’s pretty easy:
Is government stifling the action? – Free Speech Issue
Is private enterprise (NFL or team owners) stifling the action? – Not a Free Speech Issue
Since no one is proposing a law to prevent this, or that government intervene to stifle free speech, it’s not a free speech issue. It’s that simple. When such a law or government action is proposed, only then will it become a free speech issue.
Is It About Disrespecting The Flag
Many argue that it’s just a flag, and we shouldn’t get so worked up about it. But here’s the rub with that argument.
Colin and his fellow kneelers aren’t attacking the idea that there’s too many stars and stripes on it, nor are they complaining the colors clash. They’re mad at a country that seems to allow racism and permit cops to kill “black” kids without recourse. The flag is just a representative icon of the country this occurs in, from their perspective.
Coincidentally, the people who are mad at disrespecting the flag aren’t really passionate about “the flag” either.
They’re passionate about all that the flag represents to them.
A country founded on liberty
A soldier who fought and died to protect them
A country they fought for if they are a soldier
The freedom it represents that they don’t have in other countries
That list goes on and on.
No different from you not caring about a piece of celluloid until there’s a picture of someone you love on it, the flag, as a piece of fabric, was never what anyone really cared about.
So when you make an argument that it’s “just a flag” to defend such actions, know that this argument isn’t relevant to this issue, since it wasn’t “just a flag” to either party. All sides would do well to understand that.
As a libertarian, I’m also fervent on the idea that thought-policing has absolutely no place in a free country. If it did, let’s be honest, Colin would be in jail, or worse, murdered by the state. Just ask many Iraqis who lived under the Hussein regime, North Koreans under the Kim Jong regime, or other dictator-run nations, who lost loved ones due to a government that didn’t take kindly to a lack of respect from its citizenry.
So to me, Colin should love America for the freedom it gives him to do these protests, and instead, direct his ire at the individual officers that commit heinous acts, a legal system that doesn’t seem to effectively prosecute them, and the racists who think it’s OK for officers to avoid prosecution for manslaughter of an innocent young man. Not the flag, and all the things that the flag represents to most Americans.
The Peaceful Protest
One of the most shining examples of hypocrisy in this is the people who lashed out at all the rioters after some of these controversial shootings (rightly so), and called for people to peacefully protest, then got mad at Colin and his peers for peacefully protesting.
They did what you asked, and they did it in a forum where they’d get the most attention for doing it. If the NFL allows it, you don’t have to agree with it, but you should at least give them credit for being peaceful, even if you agree with me that it’s misguided and ill-advised.
Again, we have to stop with all the hypocrisy.
All parties in this have good intentions, even if their tactics are poor. Throughout all of it, most people are calling for unity and peace. So let’s do the things that have a proven record of achieving those goals.
I’m willing to have a respectful discussion, give benefit of the doubt to those with good intentions, even if they aren’t acting like it, and show respect to those I disagree with.
I’d also suggest instead of standing with Trump or Kaepernick, you form your own opinions, while being your own worst critic. Come to a conclusion that you think is fair to both sides, and be honest when it’s obvious you’re being hypocritical. You have no right to demand others be better if you refuse to be better yourself.
Recently, a friend shared this meme on Twitter. Like anyone who stands behind and supports our military, I couldn’t help but be a little put off by Lena’s supposed argument. So I quoted the tweet with “We all have our problems. Unless your problems are life and death, your problems don’t make you special, they make you normal.”
This meme appeals to those of us who feel a heavy debt of gratitude towards our military. Sadly I jumped to conclusions that I absolutely shouldn’t have, and neither should my friend I discussed this meme with shortly after.
While we took different positions, he and I both assumed that Lena was referring to her claims of assault/rape during college. Sadly for Lena, the accusations she made against a person she identified as “Barry” were deemed to be about someone who never met her, and she was forced to walk her statement back.
She later stated that “Barry” was a pseudonym she had given to her attacker. It just happened to coincidentally somewhat describe a man she went to school with named Barry, who was then sadly attacked in the media after many assumed he was her rapist. To her credit, Lena eventually confirmed he was not her attacker, but no doubt Barry endured a lot of unfair stress and insults to his character as a result. People will argue whether it was her exhibiting a Munchausen Syndrome type scenario, seeking attention by claiming to be a victim when she wasn’t. But unless you were there, or unless she ultimately admits no such attack happens, she should rightfully be taken at her word that she was assaulted. Rape is not so uncommon, especially when the parties are impaired (drugs and alcohol), as Lena admits to during the attack.
Being famous, she would also likely understand that she may open herself up to a slander claim if she identified her potential attacker by name, when that attacker has neither been indicted, nor convicted of such an assault. So her pseudonym claims are entirely plausible and even logical if true.
As I give her the benefit of the doubt, I also have nothing but sincerest sympathy for what she would have went through. While I think her literal words—as written in the meme—are effectively falsified by the meme, I absolutely understand and acknowledge that I have not known the fear of being raped, nor ever been the victim of any type of sexual assault. So while I absolutely sympathize—in that context—I cannot empathize.
It should be noted that there are many false rape accusations leveled at people for a myriad of reasons from later regret of a consensual tryst, to the aforementioned Munchausen Syndrome where people derive pleasure from playing the victim. But that being said, unless I am the accused and know I’m innocent, or witnessed the event with my own eyes and saw the consent, I will never claim a woman is lying when she says she was raped, and neither should you.
Because if they are telling the truth, how dare you make them feel like the villain in this equation when you have no knowledge of the truth. We have a presumption of innocence in this country. It’s based on the solid scientific principle of falsification, largely attributed to Karl Popper. Because of its greater likelihood of coming to a truth, it’s the moral way to approach such a claim as well.
So what was our mistake in the assumptions we made? There were actually a few.
We both assumed that the text of the meme was what she said verbatim—it wasn’t.
We assumed she was talking about herself—she wasn’t.
We assumed it was about rape—it wasn’t.
My friend and I weren’t even in the same ZIP code.
Lesson learned, always be skeptical of memes, even if they’re shared by someone you trust. But nonetheless, there are many great discussions worth having about the assumptions we did make—even if they weren’t true—aside from the lesson we already learned about making assumptions.
So let’s take a couple of them on.
If she had been discussing women living in constant fear of being attacked by man, is that fair?
As he goes on to explain (click the link above for a more descriptive example), if you assume something is a threat that isn’t and flee the scene, you’ve endured no harm. But if you assume no threat when there is one, you are likely to be harmed. So it makes sense we’ve evolved to assume things are threats, even when that assumption may be false, as an effective method of self-preservation.
So for women to assume that some men are predators, even if those men are perfectly honorable in their intentions, is not entirely irrational, even though the feared assault is highly improbable (most men do not assault women). They have my sincerest sympathy that a small segment of the male population have implanted this fear in them, even if they have nothing to fear from me personally.
So men, while it’s easy to get mad at women for assuming the worst in us, understand that it’s a simple self-preservation instinct which is entirely natural and beneficial to their safety. Just make a sincere effort to make them feel as safe as possible if you wish to quash that fear and/or get to know them.
If we address my reply to the Tweet, I believe this is also a worthwhile discussion to have—not all problems are equal.
I get depressed about being single, or not reaching the level of success that I feel I should have attained in life. But I do have a job, I’m reasonably healthy, and have a wonderful family and friends. So I rarely openly share my issues, because I feel some level of guilt for complaining about these things when I see a baby with Leukemia, a soldier who lost limbs in battle, or homeless and/or jobless people whose lives are largely without hope.
It is important that we empathize where we can with people, and sympathize with them otherwise, no matter what they’re problems are. It helps to bring our community together, and it’s just the right thing to do in my opinion.
But for the person doing the complaining, it’s also important to keep your own problems in perspective. Problems aren’t that different from a hospital’s triage.
Society’s efforts should be focused on the most dire problems first, and we can address the less dire ones when the emergencies have all been dealt with. For instance, if I encountered both a drowning baby and a guy who’s depressed he broke up with his girlfriend and just wants to talk, I’m probably going to try to save that baby and leave the heartbroken dude to sort out his own problems. If my love-struck compadre were to complain about my choice, I think we all understand he’d be out of line.
My underlying point though, is that almost everyone has problems. We all love to believe we are unique in our pain—and somehow most others have a nearly perfect life.
But is this true?
No one was more loved or respected than Robin Williams, and with his portrayal of a homosexual cowboy, and then Batman’s The Joker, Heath Ledger had just solidified himself as Hollywood’s newest top shelf actor. Both of these men, by all accounts, were on top of the world.
Yet sadly both of these men, with so much love and respect heaped upon them, with none of the financial stresses many of us face either, could bear to live life another day.
And frankly, I defy you to ask anyone about their problems and find someone who responds that they don’t have any.
While someone may not know your specific pain, they almost assuredly have problems you don’t understand either. If you want sympathy and respect, don’t assume you’re the only one hurting. You’re dismissing the pain others around you are enduring—that’s pretty insulting.
I can’t emphasize enough how important I think it is that we be open about our problems, and discuss them with others. Bottling them up often ends in self-harmful or violent acts. So making the effort to not alienate those you’d like to sympathize with is something I think we should all strive for when we do reach out for help. I believe my approach would yield a more positive social interaction.
So now that we’ve covered our false assumptions, let’s address Lena’s actual claim.
A large portion of political arguments these days are hyperbole and hyper-partisanship. All sides of the aisle tend to overstate their strengths, while dishonestly ignoring their weaknesses. I’d be skeptical of anyone making a political argument on the campaign trail. But that being said, does Lena have a point?
On the face of it, no. History is littered with politicians attacking other politicians. Hillary Clinton was by no means the first to be the brunt of hateful political attacks. Some of hers are only unique in that she’s a woman, but most arguments were against her policy or character—not the fact she’s missing equipment down below.
The heinous acts toward the black community in American history dominate our culture. There are a multitude of movies, documentaries, and other media depicting the slavery era and civil rights movement—far more than there are about the hardships and atrocities women have endured as a group.
So women have gotten pretty poor treatment throughout history (not just America) without nearly as much attention given to that fact, compared to others.
I readily admit it’s plausible that a large majority of men will vote for another man. And, since many women still claim to support the traditional notion of being subservient to their male counterparts, many women may not necessarily vote for a woman either. This makes Lena’s underlying point more than fair.
Much like Obama overcoming the racial barrier on the path to the presidency, our first female president will likely have higher hurdles to jump than her male counterparts do to get there too.
However, if I can pose a hypothetical situation for a minute, I don’t think I could be easily convinced that if Republicans had chosen a well-respected woman like Condoleezza Rice, and Democrats had chosen someone who’s largely scandal-free like Tim Kaine as their nominees, I’m not convinced Condoleezza wouldn’t have gotten the same votes Trump did, and Kane gotten most of the votes Hillary did—yielding the same result.
I think if we’re honest, it would have been a far better election, with a better outcome, no matter who won, compared to the two highly-hated candidates the big parties actually picked.
Hillary most assuredly lost some votes solely by virtue of her pesky second X chromosome, but I am firmly convinced that she lost far more votes be virtue of being laden with a series of potentially immoral, corrupt, and even potentially criminal acts.
I’m of the opinion she got far more votes by virtue of being a Democrat from people who didn’t like her, than she lost by virtue of being a women from people who would have otherwise voted Democrat. Most heated political arguments are partisan in nature, not sexist.
So is Lena’s argument valid? Somewhat. Do I think it cost Hillary the election? No.
I think Hillary Clinton’s actions and persona cost Hillary Clinton the election. Trump was arguable one of the most beatable Republicans in recent history. Laying that defeat at the feet of her gender seems improbable to me.
But if you disagree, there’s a comment section below…have at it. Debate is good! Thanks for taking the time to read this.
log·i·cal: capable of reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion lib·er·tar·i·an: an advocate of the doctrine of free will; a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action