Here it is, months later (18 July 2017). I’ve watched Caitlin develop as a journalist and blogger. And I can say now that my original infatuation with her has faded. At first, I expressed concerns (publicly) over the absolutism I saw her adopting. And though I intend to continue to follow her, and I respect her passion, I’m no longer in her camp or on her wavelength. The two links at the end of this addendum capture what drove me to this conclusion.
In a nutshell, here’s why. When Frederick Douglass said…
“I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”
…I don’t think he was talking about anybodies associated with ineffably vile actions or positions. The moral question here is akin to the debate in the medical community to reference (or not to reference), in peer-reviewed scientific publications, data derived from Nazi medical experimentation on Jews. I suggest Caitlin familiarize herself with the intricacies of that debate. Only if the data are critical to the current study, and only if they are unavailable in any other way, and only if the current study’s purpose and results are demonstrably important to the relevant area of study, and only if the source of the data (Nazi experimentation) is clearly described in its moral context, should such data be used.
That’s a lot of only ifs. Surely, the survival of humankind by the avoidance of nuclear annihilation is a demonstrably important and relevant area of civil discourse. Check off that only if. But if Caitlin wishes to partner, on certain discrete issues and positions with which she feels simpatico, with alt-right figures who stick their faces right out there in public to espouse various outrageous, vomit-inducing, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic opinions, she needs to tick off the other only ifs. Each time, every time. Develop a boilerplate disclaimer, Caitlin. And use it only if you have to write the damn thing in the first place.
A study by the Journal of Patient Safety says that somewhere between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die every year as a…medium.com