Politics

In Today's America, Everybody Who Disagrees With You Is a Traitor

Throwing the word treason around, unmoored from its actual meaning, is a weapon for delegitimizing political opposition and dissent.

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With a little over a year to go before the next presidential election, politicians, pundits, and political players have grown comfortable yelling "treason" in each other's faces. That's a problem. Except in those rare circumstances when the charge is accurate, tagging your enemies as traitors lazily bypasses debating their ideas and actions and goes straight for accusations of betraying the nation on behalf of its enemies to such a heinous degree that it warrants punishment with a bullet or a noose.

It'll be interesting to see whether, after the votes are counted, the side that comes up short will be comfortable conceding to "traitors"—or if the victors will overlook the "treason" of the vanquished.

One of the sillier examples comes from Paul Krugman, former economist and current stroker of Manhattanite prejudices. "Big Finance, given the choice between treason and a wealth tax, chooses treason," huffed Krugman.

Were these big financiers defecting to North Korea or diverting support to ISIS? Nope! Krugman, a high-profile New York Times columnist, saw treason in the disinterest many Wall Street Democratic donors have in his preferred presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

If failing to support the "right" candidate constitutes treason, then it's no surprise that politicians feel so free to level the same charge when referring to each other.

"Donald Trump is a traitor," hissed super-wealthy Democratic presidential hopeful Tom Steyer, linking to recent news about President Trump's abusive arm-twisting of Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky. Trump wanted his counterpart's guarantee of an investigation into potentially corrupt dealings with the Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, involving leading Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

"It's treason," agreed Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). Long-shot Republican presidential challenger Bill Weld concurred that Trump had committed "treason, pure and simple."

Not that Trump can't give as good as he gets. "Spies and treason" is how he referred to whistleblower leaks about his dealings with Ukraine's president. Trump also suggested that Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-Calif.) comments about presidential conduct could be grounds for arresting the congressman for treason.

It wasn't the first time he lobbed the treason insult, having unleashed it against former FBI officials James Comey and Andrew McCabe for allegedly abusing their power to aid his political opponents. He also slammed Democrats who refused to applaud his State of the Union address for "treasonous" behavior."

All of this would be little more than stupid and unseemly if "traitor" was just the new pronunciation of "jerk," but it's not. Treason is a specifically defined crime named in the Constitution, and one that potentially carries the death penalty.

"Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort," the Constitution specifies.

Referring to that definition, Professor Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas School of Law warned last year (even before accusations of treason had reached current levels of popularity) that "treason is not defined by the gravity of the offense; it's a crime indicating the clear support our enemies during wartime, period." He called for a "long overdue moratorium" on calling people traitors.

Conspiring with another country may break all sorts of laws, but it's not treason unless the United States is actually at war with that country, agrees Professor Carlton F.W. Larson of the University of California. Likewise, "leaks might violate other provisions of federal law, but they are not treason."

That means that dirty political shenanigans don't rise to the level of "treason." Neither does failing to clap for a politician's speech. Nor does—and this deserves emphasis—declining to open your checkbook for political candidates favored by excitable pundits.

Treason is so narrowly defined cautions Vladeck, because "for much of the pre-revolutionary period in England, the accusation was a means of suppressing political dissent and punishing political opponents." To accuse somebody of treason was to put them beyond the pale and delegitimize anything they might do or say.

Unfortunately, that's exactly where we are in America's political life.

Over 40 percent Americans now say the political opposition is "downright evil" and many think the country would be better off if opponents "just died," according to a paper published this year by Nathan P. Kalmoe and Lilliana Mason, political scientists at Louisiana State University and the University of Maryland. To deal with such evil opponents, "violence would be justified" if the opposing party wins the 2020 presidential election say 18 percent of Democrats and 13 percent of Republicans. Anticipating an election win increased support for violence among strong partisans in the study.

So, throwing the word "treason" around, unmoored from its actual meaning, is a weapon for delegitimizing political opposition and dissent. It's a way of rallying the troops and telling them they don't need to respect the enemy—they just need to destroy them.

This is not a new tactic; it's too common, and very destructive of political systems.

"Perceptions of the out-party as a threat to the nation or way of life if they were to come to power or stay in power lead to violation of democratic norms," write Jennifer McCoy and Tahmina Rahman of Georgia State University and Murat Somer of Turkey's Koç University in "Polarization and the Global Crisis of Democracy," published last year in American Behavioral Scientist. "Government supporters grow increasingly tolerant of illiberal actions to tamp down dissent and of extra-constitutional (or at times anti-constitutional) measures to extend an incumbent's term in power. Oppositionists contemplate extra-constitutional (or at times anti-constitutional) measures to remove the incumbent group from power…"

The United States hasn't gone that far, yet, and hopefully never will. But calling somebody a traitor certainly paints him or her as "a threat to the nation or way of life." They don't just have different ideas—they're existential dangers.

And once you've acquired the habit of tagging your opponents as traitors and their political conduct as illegitimate, how do you gracefully concede a lost election to them? Or, should you be the winner once the votes are counted, how do you sit back and let your enemies continue their allegedly treasonous behavior in preparation for someday taking office?

Republicans and Democrats, politicians and pundits, are gleefully backing each other into a corner in their scramble for victory in next year's elections and their grab for the sort of total victory that healthy democracies just don't offer. Having smeared each other as traitors and done their best to delegitimize disagreement, they're going to have a hell of a time extracting themselves from that tight spot. Unfortunately, the rest of us are stuck in that corner with them.

NEXT: $100 Million for a Minor League Ballpark?! 

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  1. Are you serious? Hitler attacked Pearl Harbor and the Nazis declared war on the US, just because they changed their names to Donald Trump and the Republican Party doesn’t make them any less our enemy. Just as when al Qaida attacked us on 9/11, changing their name to ISIS and ISIL and Ilhan Omar didn’t mean they weren’t our sworn enemy still. I say we hang them all for treason just to be safe.

    1. “Germans?”
      “Forget it, he’s rolling.”

      1. Hitler piloted the lead plane.

        1. everything the dems have done since trump was elected (and even before) certainly qualify as treason, beyond any shadow of a doubt – along with the CIA, they are trying to orchestrate a coup against an elected president – they have lied and manufactured evidence – that is the definition of treason

          1. No, the definition of treason was provided in the article and that’s not it.

            1. It quite spoils Tuccile’s effect when he neglects Libertarian Presidenial wannabe Bill Weld calling Trump a traitor on national TV.

              1. One must also object to the author’s unpresidented statement, presented as the premise of this article, that “dissent” is somehow a “legitimate” thing. True, we might be able to tolerate certain “opposing” opinions if they are expressed in an appropriately mild and polite manner, but there is no more “constitutional” protection for subversive political activities than there is for “parody.” Given the current circumstances, we will prosecute, on the national level, the case against these “dissenters,” just the way legal authorities in New York prosecuted the case against our nation’s leading criminal “satirist” on behalf of faculty officials here at NYU. The nation will benefit from clarity, which is hardly the goal of this article. See the documentation at:

                https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

              2. It quite spoils Tuccile’s effect when he neglects Libertarian Presidenial wannabe Bill Weld calling Trump a traitor on national TV.

                It’s almost like Weld turned back Republican.

              3. Are there any actual libertarians who think Bill Weld was ever one of us?

        2. Or maybe he didn’t, but you can’t deny that Mitsuo Fuchida had the same mustache.

        3. Tora! Tora! Tora! Heil!

    2. Japanese naval intelligence officer Takeo Yoshikawa was assigned to the Japanese Consulate Mar 1941.
      One of his duties was to supply money to the Nazi spy Bernard Kuehn who had been placed in Honolulu about 1935 to spy on Pearl Harbor.
      One of Kuehn’s jobs was to report by radio to Japanese submarines on the comings and goings of US Navy warships in Pearl Harbor, since 1935 mind you.
      SO yes, the government of Actually Adolf Hitler aided and abetted the Japanese Raid on Pearl Harbor. For all I know, Hideki Tojo was acting as a stooge of Actually Hitler in going to war with USA.
      The Nazis blameless for Pear Harbor? Ha!
      (BTW Takeo Yoshikawa failed in his attempts to recruit Japanese-Americans to spy for his homeland: he said they self-identified as Americans. In Hawaii, only about 1,200 to 1,800 of the 150,000 Hawaiian Japanese Americans were interned during WWII.)

      1. He did a piss poor job monitoring Pearl as all the carriers were out to sea on Dec. 7th. That alone allowed the US to start to mount viable counter attack strategies, which would of otherwise been years away from being realized if we had to rebuild the carrier fleet.

    3. Calling everybody who disagrees with you a “traitor” is no different from calling them “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobic”, “islamophobic”, “white nationalist” or “white supremicist” — likewise with no evidence.

  2. Lets be honest. Between the current members of the House, Senate, President, Vice President and Supreme Court, there’s maybe 5 people who have not acted in a way that betrays their oath to the Constitution.

    1. I’m curious. What have the vice president and supreme court done to violate the constitution?

      1. Its clear that every SCOTUS decision that allows exceptions to the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments are violations of the Constitution.

        All gun control laws (background checks, etc) are unconstitutional and the SCOTUS can strike them all down sua sponte

        All states are now required to have minimum rights and protections for their state residents in compliance with the Bill of Rights as per the 14A.

        Per the 8A, all defendants are guaranteed a right to non-excessive bail.

        ObamaCare is a violation of the Constitution in that it gives non-enumerated powers to government.
        …..

        1. The problem in general is the USSC is only a reviewer. I agree they turn down too many 1st and 4th violation cases, but ultimately it is the legislative that is violating the constitution, not the USSC.

          1. Court enables it by allowing them to get away with it even in cases it takes up.

            1. Size of the court limits review. I blame appeals courts far more than the USSC.

          2. One of the SCOTUS’ main job is to strike down unconstitutional statutes enacted by Congress and unconstitutional actions by the Executive Branch. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803)

          3. The problem in general is the USSC is only a reviewer. I agree they turn down too many 1st and 4th violation cases, but ultimately it is the legislative that is violating the constitution, not the USSC.

            Look, you just aren’t going to be able to penaltax your way out of this one.

        2. “All gun control laws (background checks, etc) are unconstitutional and the SCOTUS can strike them all down sua sponte”

          So you think SCOTUS should violate the actual case and controversy requirement of article 3 in order to address other violations?

          1. I think he would point out that they’ve a) had cases where they ruled the wrong way and b) summary rulings are fast and easy on a lot of these cases, so they could drop a dozen argued cases and add a thousand summary strikes a year and clear up their backlog pretty quickly.

      2. VP voted for the Patriot Act several times. That is the most immediate specific example to come to mind.

        Supreme Court has given its blessing to many of the violations of the other two branches.

        1. He did so as a legislator, not as a VP.

          1. A distinction which is not relevant to DaveSs’ allegation.

          2. Getting a promotion doesn’t really excuse his past violations.

            1. Getting elected VP is a demotion.

  3. Obama’s presidency belied the hope that the United States had entered a postracial political era. Instead, political scientists determined that racial resentment, ethno-nationalism, and racial prejudice played a major role in predicting voting choice among Whites in the next two presidential elections, costing Obama votes in his second election and lending votes to Trump in 2016 (Abramowitz, 2016; Knuckey & Kim, 2015; Morgan & Lee, 2017; Tesler, 2016).

    Obama’s election spurred a counter-mobilization of White, conservative, and evangelical voters in the Tea Party. The early Tea Party movement expressed anger and resentment at the distributive injustice of welfare programs for “undeserving” immigrants, minorities, and youth, while favoring entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare for “hard-working” Americans (Skocpol & Williamson, 2012).

    Six years later, the reaction to the growing racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the American electorate produced a surprising win for Donald Trump, whose campaign rhetoric was starkly polarizing and anti-establishment, dividing the country between “Us”—the “real” Americans who hungered for a return to an idealized past when industrial jobs provided for upward mobility and White males were in charge in the workplace and the family, and “Them”—the immigrants, minorities, and liberal elites who had wrought an “American carnage” (Inaugural speech, January 21, 2017). Trump’s victory spawned another grass-roots counter-mobilization, this time on the Left and in particular women, who marched and ran for political office in massive numbers.

    How a country as deeply racist as ours ever allowed a black man to be elected President is left unexplained. But one thing is for sure, if you’re an anti-communist defender of capitalism, you’re a white supremacist and a misogynist and it’s your fault our country is divided.

    1. It is not our fault the country is divided. It is our fault those who divided it are still around.

      Welcome to the revolution.

    2. Obama was half black, half white, literally. There’s your answer, literally — the idea that one drop of black blood defines you as black hasn’t gone away. His children, by contrast, are 3/4 black, and legit. If Michelle had been white, do you think Obama’s children would have been called white?

      Racism lives. Post-racial my ass.

      1. Wtf are you talking about?

        1. Racism too complicated for you?

          Start your own rant.

          1. He’s saying that racist people are still racist, with President Obama as a prime example.

            In a thousand years most people will look more or less like my kids (25% each African, Asian [Filipino], Viking [mixed from all over Scandinavia], and German).

            But until we get to the point where skin tone variations are no longer good predictors of recent ancestors skin tones (like my kids – they’re much darker than me, and much lighter than my wife) we’ll continue to get bigots who will claim superiority in varying circumstances.

            President Obama was black because he thought it would be advantageous, as he could have just as legitimately claimed to be white, and for the same reason.

      2. Obama referred to HIMSELF as black.

        1. “Trayvon could have been my son.”

          That should cover it.

      3. If Michelle had been white, do you think Obama’s children would have been called white?

        Possibly, but any who did would be stoned to death.

      4. That would have been very helpful for his election to have resulted in a discussion about the ‘one-drop rule’. He acknowledged that it affected how he was perceived by others throughout his life and is why he realized he would always be seen as ‘black’/’other’.

        And it’s had a huge impact in our history – Homer Plessy of Plessy v Ferguson was 7/8ths ‘white’ and 1/8th ‘black’ – but legally determined to be ‘black’ and on that Jim Crow was created.

        This and ‘passing’ and a ton of other related stuff is virtually unknown outside the ‘black’ community now.

        1. Just looking at that photo of Plessy again. The reason he was the one chosen to challenge the segregation law was because he was ‘white’ enough to actually be able to get on the train and ‘black’ enough to be arrested for doing so. He was arrested only because that was part of the legal plan to challenge the law. People did not want to have to merely ‘pass’ and live in fear of getting caught. So he told the conductor he was 7/8ths white and 1/8th black and refused to sit in the ‘blacks-only’ car.

          1. And whoops – I guess that photo is not Plessy. No photo of Plessy exists. The photo is of Pinckney Pinchback – a 3/4 ‘white’ and 1/4 ‘black’ who was governor of LA for one month during Reconstruction and elected to be Senator but never seated. He helped in the legal case of Plessy but had left LA because of discrimination a couple years before that case.

        2. That would have been very helpful for his election to have resulted in a discussion about the ‘one-drop rule’.

          No. It wouldn’t. Ugh. You continue to be tedious and ignorant.

          ‘Race’ is not a valid scientific category of homo sapiens sapiens. The noticeable physical differences caused by the isolation of sub-groups historically are already vanishing. There will always be natural variation. Using race/ethnicity to classify people as majority/minority is nothing but piling ignorance upon stupidity.

          I realize that we are only a few generations removed from racial oppression in America, but you have got to let that shit go. Instead of letting it heal, you keep tearing the scab off and screaming ‘It still hurts!’

          1. Well, I think the point of the discussion of the one drop rule would be to see how silly and incorrect it is. Or I would hope it would be.

          2. I have been saying that for years. Race is a myth.

          3. ‘White’, ‘Black’, ‘Red’, ‘Yellow’, and ‘Brown’ as well as ‘Asian’, African American’, ‘Colored’, ‘PoC’ are not valid scientific categories of H. Sapiens sapiens.

            The term ‘race’ however, is. It refers to the three largest human subgroups and is used in the same fashion as the demarcation between different types of orangutans, horses, lions, tigers and every singly other species that shows differences that do not inhibit interbreeding.

            Barack Obama IS a racial hybrid, with Caucasian and negroid being the two major sources. He IDENTIFIED as black because he more closely resembled the type of people called ‘black’

            1. What you are talking about is a social construct, not a scientific one.

            2. He IDENTIFIED as black because he more closely resembled the type of people called ‘black’

              No. He ultimately identified as black because everyone around him identified him as black. He struggled with who he was which is why he used drugs as a teen – and he describes that in his memoir. And that dynamic persisted with voters with the ‘birther’ crap which was essentially a rhetorical attempt by OTHERS to eliminate his white ancestry. He’s not just black. He’s Kenyan.

            3. The term ‘race’ however, is. It refers to the three largest human subgroups

              Even if this were the consensus (which my research has indicated it is not), humans are no longer constrained by geography and the groups are mixing. Regardless, the identifiable differences in the subgroups have been determined to be more akin to the heritability in family lines than speciation. Meaning that differences in skin pigment, hair texture, musculature, etc. between the subgroups are only consistent because people have historically breed with others who look like they do.

              In other words, if we all choose to ignore ‘race’, it really truly won’t exist anymore.

              1. The attempt do divide humans into races failed with Darwin who held that all humans are the same species with phenotypic differences resulting from geographic distribution and environmental factors.

                Darwin himself had limited information. Nobody understood genetics and DNA at that time.

                Chuck has it right.

                Even when it was popular the three race theory was not a majority opinion in the natural sciences as they were in the 1800s with most proposing 8 or 12 races.

                Since then genetics and anthropology have exponentially advanced.

          4. I realize that we are only a few generations removed from racial oppression in America, but you have got to let that shit go

            A ‘few generations’? What are you – a fruit fly? Legislation to amend the purely racially based disparity (from an arbitrary 100:1 to an arbitrary 18:1) in FEDERAL sentencing re crack v cocaine passed in 2010. It was only partially retroactive and was not fully made so at the federal level until Dec 2018 with the First Step Act (which resulted in about 3000 releases for crack sentences which had already passed the equivalent cocaine one). It did not – and still does not – apply at the state level where most are sentenced even though many states have since changed.

            That single disparity was the reason the avg sentence for blacks went from 11% higher than whites for same class of charge to 49% higher than whites for same class of charge. That length of sentence was why the US turned into a country with more black men in prison than in college. It ensured that the already problematic issue of single mothers raising kids became worse – and that successful re-entry (which massively depend on time in prison and hence ability to find work when released) became worse.

            And fucks like you who want to pretend that it was only your greatgreatgreatgranddaddy (is that ‘few’ enough generations) who was an asshole are a big reason racism can persist TODAY in ways that you don’t give a shit about so you enable. And that overt obliviousness is precisely why playing the race card still works.

            1. Lie some more, bitch.

              To put the speed and size of the trend in perspective, between my first day of Kindergarten in 2001 and my first legal drink in 2017, the incarceration rate for black men aged 25–29, 20–24, and 18–19 declined, respectively, by 56 percent, 60 percent, and 72 percent. For young black women, the story is similar: a 59 percent drop for those aged 25–29, a 43 percent drop for those aged 20–24, and a 69 percent drop for those aged 18–19.

              Here’s some actual data. Maybe if you didn’t get all your talking points from people who have either forgotten or deny that Dr. King was a reverend, you might come to the understanding that the only true way to heal from trauma caused by others is to forgive.

              The reason all the Proggies seem to suffer from PTSD is because they have never been taught to get over shit. That would violate the playbook chapter ‘The Race Card – Better Than a Gold Card’.

              1. What a dishonest repugnant fuck you are.

                You’re right. There was no disparate crack v cocaine sentencing at all. Which did not start in 1986 – since of course it never existed. So we can pick an entirely different arbitrary date 14 years later – after our prison population has tripled from 750k to 2 million or so. In order to then show that prisoners being released from prison after excessive sentences is actually a sign of amazing progress. And since there was never disparate crack v cocaine sentencing, there is no need to have any interest in 2010 legislation that ended it so let’s pick a different arbitrary date of 2017 in order to hint that the changes in sentencing post-2010 (which is obviously what would affect 18-24 year olds in 2017) may have actually occurred as early as 2001.

                There’s only one ‘source of data’ here – Bureau of Justice Statistics.
                The author on that blog is writing from the perspective of someone born in the late 90’s – for whom that disparate crack v cocaine sentencing was just the world he was born into. So of course he is going to be optimistic that that disparity, no longer existing, is reason for optimism.

                YOU – OTOH – are trying to use his optimism to assert that that racist world hasn’t existed for ‘a few generations’. That nothing at all happened in 1986. To absolve YOURSELF.

                you might come to the understanding that the only true way to heal from trauma caused by others is to forgive

                And the only way to understand the trauma you CAUSE to others is to fucking acknowledge it rather than insist that they forgive and move on. If they forgive, that is THEIR action not yours to demand.

                1. Keep that racism alive, jfree

                2. Funny watching a psychotic anti-Semite like J(ew)Free, accuse others of racism.
                  Fuck you JFree, you bigoted, fascist hypocrite.

                3. YOU – OTOH – are trying to use his optimism to assert that that racist world hasn’t existed for ‘a few generations’.

                  Let me lay this out like your mom lays out your jammies.

                  Jim Crow laws were actual racial oppression. The oppressed were denied equal access to public accommodations based only on a superficial quality which they had no choice in determining. They were punished for being born. Those laws went away literally generations ago.

                  The data you provided does not logically lead to the conclusion you reach. Convictions for drug crimes are based on a choice made by the individual for which anyone would face the same potential consequences. If sentences are meted out disparately, that is an injustice, but it is dishonest to claim oppression when the accused is being punished for actions they chose to take knowing they were illegal.

                  If you read the article I linked to, you completely dismissed it. Instead, you continue in parsing racial data according to the Proggie playbook regardless of the demonstrably better outcomes for the rising generations. By doing so, you give the actual racists the garbage analyses that they use to reinforce their beliefs that ‘minorities’ commit more crime because they are inherently different.

                  1. If you read the article I linked to, you completely dismissed it.

                    No I read it all and thought it was quite good actually. YOU OTOH completely dismissed or didn’t read/understand the very SENTENCE before the one you quoted:

                    When you look at age-specific incarceration outcomes, you find two opposing trends: Older black Americans are doing slightly worse than previous generations, but younger black Americans are doing better—so much better that they more than offset, in statistical terms, the backslide of their elders.

                    WTF do you think the ‘backslide of their elders’ means? I’ll tell you EXACTLY what it means. ‘Older black Americans’ were the ones who got caught in the racist sentencing trap starting in 1986 – and the result was that they ended up in worse (emphasized in the article too) shape than earlier blacks of their age group (say 1960’s and 1970’s). They are now older because time passes and we all get older. They are older now. They weren’t then. THOSE are the only blacks where your ‘forgive and forget’ demand applies cuz THEY were the ones harmed.

                    Younger black Americans – meaning those who are now reaching adulthood AFTER that 2010 change – the authors age roughly – are in better shape cuz they no longer face that racist sentencing world. And those very outcomes that I described as getting worse via that racism then (births out of wedlock, single mothers raising kids, blacks going to prison v college) are exactly the ones he can now list as being optimistic about now that that racist sentencing era is hopefully over.

                    IOW – what that racist sentencing did was put a huge brake on progress from 1986-2010. Not Jim Crow years. 1986-2010. An entire generation. And your attempt to freaking continue to turn yourself into pretzels denying the racism of that is precisely why racist stuff can still be implementable. Cuz you are more comfortable and habituated to turning yourself into a denialist pretzel than you are to opening your eyes. You think racism disappears as long as no one mentions it. You are the three monkeys. The courtiers in the Emperors New Clothes. Part of the PROBLEM.

                  2. If sentences are meted out disparately, that is an injustice, but it is dishonest to claim oppression when the accused is being punished for actions they chose to take knowing they were illegal.

                    90% of those arrested and sentenced for crack offenses were black. 60-70% of those who USED crack were NOT black (ie – 30-40% were black). IOW – the law was used – quite deliberately – to roundup young blacks because they were young and black – and then incarcerate for long times those who had small amounts of crack on them. That’s how ‘law and order’ dragnets in those neighborhoods work – and is how they have worked going back to Jim Crow times. Stop being blind.

                4. And the only way to understand the trauma you CAUSE to others is to fucking acknowledge it rather than insist that they forgive and move on. If they forgive, that is THEIR action not yours to demand.

                  Dude, you took a reference to MLK, who unequivocally called for forgiveness for racism, into, well, your reaction has no relation to what I actually said. Do you have a Fallacy Generator 3000 app on your phone that you plug in quotes and it spits out this garbage?

                  1. you took a reference to MLK, who unequivocally called for forgiveness for racism, into, well, your reaction has no relation to what I actually said

                    THIS is how forgiveness works. It is the victim (Botham Jean’s brother) who forgives the offender (Amber Guyger – the cop who shot him). It is not for the offender to expect that or demand that or insist that everyone move on by citing MLK.

                    1. THIS is how forgiveness works.

                      Yes! 100%. I actually fought back tears when I read that earlier in the week.

                      It is the victim… who forgives the offender… It is not for the offender to expect that or demand

                      You blew it. 100%. I had been ignoring the ad hominem, but, despite my impassioned posting decrying the use of race as a classification, you have insinuated multiple times now that ‘Chuck is a racist who has abused people with his racism or condoned racist abuse by others and is now demanding that people forgive all racist abuse because MLK said they should’.

                      Hey, let’s get real for second, Jeff. If you reflect, you will see that I only judge the things you have actually posted – the content of your character as you have chosen to present it. I may use florid language and engage in some juvenile name calling, but I admit here and now that I do it mostly because it is a cathartic way to express my frustration.

                      You will never be able to point to any racist comment I have ever made, because I have never made one, overtly or by insinuation. You know very little about who I have encountered in my life, who I have offended, who I have forgiven, or who has forgiven me. You have no basis to infer or to imply that I am a racist or that I passively condone racism. So, go fuck yourself.

    3. I can explain it. See, the country isn’t as racist as the unethical trash in the media make it out to be. It’s just a great way to monetize nuts that need a hate fix. Hope this helps.

      1. It’s not just the media. There is a whole educational industry formed to keep racism alive. They have convinced races to self segregate on campuses. Decry appropriation. do things like the NYT 1619 project. Kids are being taught to seek put victimhood in their failures instead of how to overcome failures.

    4. “How a country as deeply racist as ours ever allowed a black man to be elected President is left unexplained.”

      Obama, in his infinite power and wisdom, allowed us to be governed by us. We didn’t choose him, he chose us.

    5. Obama’s presidency belied the hope that the United States had entered a postracial political era. Instead, political scientists determined that racial resentment, ethno-nationalism, and racial prejudice played a major role in predicting voting choice among Whites in the next two presidential elections, costing Obama votes in his second election and lending votes to Trump in 2016 (Abramowitz, 2016; Knuckey & Kim, 2015; Morgan & Lee, 2017; Tesler, 2016).

      The fault there was entirely with Obama: he tried to magnify racial divisions in order to gain a political advantage and it backfired. Obama’s presidency caused large numbers of people to openly come out and tell me that they hate me for my skin color and that I should give in to their demands because of my race. It’s those people American voters rejected, but unfortunately their racist attitudes are very widespread among blacks.

      I hope we’ll see more minority candidates run on conservative and libertarian platforms, people who actually believe in equality of opportunity, private property, and free markets. People who won’t abuse racial divisions for their own political gain. People who can demonstrate by example that being a minority doesn’t mean you have to align with racist Democrats in order to get ahead.

      1. > The fault there was entirely with Obama: he tried to magnify racial divisions in order to gain a political advantage and it backfired.

        How? Was he the one who spent years claiming that his opponent was a secret Muslim born in Kenya?

      2. “Obama’s presidency caused large numbers of people to come out and tell me that they hate me for my skin color and that I should give in to their demands because of my race. It’s those people American voters rejected, but unfortunately their racist attitudes are very widespread among blacks.”

        No it did not. Did someone actually tell you that they hate you for your skin color?

        I do not know or interact with any people with more or less melanin as different than anyone else. I do not hate people for whom they voted for. That is their right and choice.

        Then you want votes. This is not the way to get them.

        Always focus on the individual.

    6. Ignorance of how viralized asset-forfeiture looting wrecks a fractional-reserve banking system led prohibitionists to destroy the economy to please God. GW Bush subsidized faith-based fanatics to intensify the process and the crash in 2008 was a rerun of 1987 and 1929. Obama struck voters as something different from a brainwashed evangelical fanatic eager to send armed men into homes and banks. Prohibition, Crashes and Depressions are causality in action, and voters are accelerating toward the LP as comprehension dawns.

  4. “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort,” the Constitution specifies.

    So what?
    The constitution prohibits infringement on the keeping and bearing of arms.
    The Constitution prohibits searches without probable cause.
    The Constitution prohibits restriction of free speech (including campuses).
    Nobody in the political or judicial arena cares about that old piece of parchment from a bunch of old white landowners.

    1. s/land/slave/

      Please do keep up.

    2. +100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

      1. When people say that they don’t care about the Constitution, they also have no idea that all government power is derived from that same Constitution.

        No Constitution= No courts. No military. No roads. No welfare. No 2nd Amendment. No 1A….

        1. Without the Constitution there is no justification of the powers or authorities of the President, the Congress, or the Judiciary, and no guarantee or protection for the rights of the people.

          Those who say they have no respect for that old parchment written by old white men they mean they want a dictatorship.

          The fact that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren are on the records as fans of Stormborn Dragon Lady Daenerys Targaryen of The Game of Thrones should be a heads up. Do they dream of ordering their enemies, Bend the knee or by fried by my dragons?

        2. Doesn’t that describe Libertopia?

          1. Anarchy-Land

  5. But they started it.

    1. Well, they did.

      1. Which they is this?

  6. Well, it’s nice to see Reason note that Trump isn’t the only one throwing “It’s Treason!” around like rice at a wedding.

    1. Agreed. It’s Tuccille, at this point possibly the only libertarian writer at Reason that steps off his front porch and onto flyover country without any shame.

  7. It makes a little more sense to call someone a fucking traitor when they’re literally working with foreign govts against other Americans. Oh I realize those other Americans are Democrats so it hardly counts. The founding fathers knew all about this problem of officials conspiring with foreign govts. It was a big issue with France and England right after the American revolution. I think we’re well within reason to call what Trump is doing traitorous. I don’t think has anyone should seriously suggest executing Trump. I want him impeached and removed and the truth of thing acknowledged.

    1. Why is the first half of your argument about the Mueller investigation and then you talk about Trump?

    2. You’re correct, Lefties are working with foreign Socialists to undermine the US Constitution.

    3. The enemies within are progressives and socialists.

      You heard it here first.

    4. Pod
      October.1.2019 at 8:48 am
      “It makes a little more sense to call someone a fucking traitor when they’re literally working with foreign govts against other Americans….”

      Pod is here to demostrate how stupid fucking lefty ignoramuses can be.

    5. “‘It makes a little more sense to call someone a fucking traitor when they’re literally working with foreign govts against other Americans”‘

      Then why do you give the Steele dossier a pass?

      Ok for one team but not the other?

    6. Pod finally got one right, he’s just a little confused about the party affiliations of the busy little bees working with foreign govts against all Americans.

    7. “” The founding fathers knew all about this problem of officials conspiring with foreign govts. It was a big issue with France and England right after the American revolution.”””

      Was that before or after Ben Franklin talked France into giving us money and sending warships?

  8. Post-racial?

    In what regard?

    How about the commission of inter-racial violence? According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, black on white violent crime is increasing. In 2018, blacks committed 90% of violent inter-racial crimes whereas whites accounted for less than 10%.

    Folks should be demanding an end to black social dysfunction.

    1. Pointing out the benefits of 2 parent households and family units is racist.

      1. And if the two parent ideal is man and woman, it is cisnormative and homophobic Thought Crime. Especially if they are gender euphoric and cisvestites.

    2. Were I black, and a criminal I certainly would not limit my depredations to black people. Because that would be racist, which is wrong. And I certainly wouldn’t want to do anything wrong.

    3. Not completely refuting your point, but the distribution of blacks to whites (assuming no other groups) would yield a strong disparity just based on the availability of victims (and simplified statistics).

      If you’re a criminal and randomly select your victim, 90% will be white and 10% black. So if you’re white, that’s white on white crime 90% of the time, but if you’re black then it’s inter-racial crime 90% of the time.

      Traue keiner statistik die du nicht selbst gefalscht hast.

  9. Despite the Constitutional definition of treason, I must repeatedly repeat again – the Constitution is not our foundational document, the Declaration of Independence is. The Constitution is merely the foundational document of the necessary evil known as government. The American Revolution was not George Washington and Paul Revere and Joe Biden shooting Redcoats, the American Revolution was this:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    The Individual is sovereign. That’s it, plain and simple. And that was the most revolutionary political philosophy the world has ever seen.

    Listen to every single Democratic candidate and tell me they’re not socialists and collectivists who believe the individual exists merely to serve the needs of society as expressed through the state. Tell me every single one of those pieces of shit aren’t traitors to America as she was founded by the Declaration of Independence. Tell me those traitors who speak of a “fundamental transformation” of our society aren’t directly speaking of imposing the sovereignty of government and the subjugation of the individual.

    1. ” the Constitution is not our foundational document, the Declaration of Independence is. “

      +10,000

      1. I’d also add that it is the greatest secular document ever written.

    2. Go move somewhere without a strong government and tell me how you like it.

      Stop listening to idiot radio. There’s just no point.

  10. There is one treason actually occurring today that isn’t hyperbole; every single politician that supports sanctuary policies. Sanctuaries allow you to pad the census and steal representation in both the HoR and EC. This strategy directly requires collaboration with foreign actors who, while they are not necessarily legal “enemies,” the people utilizing these strategies are in fact attempting to undermine and overthrow our systems of governance.

    1. What happened to states’ rights? If a state wants people to be there, why does the federal government get to say that’s wrong?

  11. Just curious, has Tuccille ever heard of someone named Shikha Dalmia?

    Because throwing the word “racism” around, unmoored from its actual meaning, is also a weapon for delegitimizing political opposition and dissent.

    1. “Because throwing the word “racism” around, unmoored from its actual meaning, is also a weapon for delegitimizing political opposition and dissent.”

      If that doesn’t work just remember you can say they grabbed your ass 13 years ago and people will take your word for it. Nothing really means anything anymore and you don’t need proof of anything. That goes for racism, treason, and just about everything under the sun.

    2. See also, conspiracy theory, white supremacy, #metoo, Islamophobia, homophobia, misogynist, etc.

  12. In Today’s America, Everybody Who Disagrees with You is a Traitor

    You can say that again, JC. I come on here and advocate for higher taxes on rich people, redistributing wealth, and a sensible welfare state with cradle-to-grave social security and people on here accuse me of being responsible for a 100 million deaths! That’s harsh, man.

    1. You aren’t listening. The accuse you of shitty third-hand satirical idiocy. They ascribe a 100 million deaths to more instrumental adherents to your ideology.

    2. There there *pats head*. It’ll be ok.

    3. That just means you’re a stupid troll.

    4. People who spend time thinking about what someone else’s “fair share” should be are the ugliest kind of folks.

      You take care of you and I’ll take care of me shouldn’t be controversial. Only to resentful douchebags.

  13. Dear Team GOP: This is a libertarian website. You’re confusing this place with Breitbart.com. Why don’t you fucking GOP Trumpian jackasses go over there and stop trolling libertarians, ok?

    1. Haha. Yeah. A “tax the rich, cuz they owe me” libertarian.

      What a doosh.

    2. > Why don’t you fucking GOP Trumpian jackasses go over there and stop trolling libertarians, ok?

      MAGAts gonna MAGAt.

  14. “Big Finance, given the choice between treason and a wealth tax, chooses treason,” huffed Krugman. “Myself, given a choice between paint and glue, huffed paint.”

    1. “Myself, given a choice between paint and glue, huffed paint.”

      Krugman finally spoke truth!

  15. I mean, I’m not sure what the actual charge would be for conspiracy and attempt to illegally overturn a presidential election. Treason might not be the proper legal term for it, but its definitely in the right direction.

    1. Even if you are correct, the burden of proof would be impossible in the modern environment.

      A conviction on a charge of treason can happen only on the testimony of two eye witnesses to the same overt act of treason, or confession in open court.

      It doesn’t matter how much documentary or modern forensic evidence you can amass, it’s all irreverent to a charge of treason.

      The feds can’t beat, otherwise coerce, or trick a defendant into a written confession. It’s inadmissible. Only a verbal confession made in open court in front of judge and jury counts.

      There is a reason why Congress over the course of the 20th century enacted ordinary criminal statutes covering everything that would potentially fall under the constitutional definition of treason. They wanted to get out of the impossible burden of proof.

      The last case of treason that actually went to trial was over acts related to the Civil War.

      And IIRC, over the whole history of the US, the record for conviction on treason is somewhere between 30 and 50%

    2. What about a successful attempt to fuck with a presidential election by foreign agents in cahoots with the winner?

      1. We don’t deal in hypotheticals.

        1. It’s just an (R). It doesn’t have to control your thoughts.

          1. True: (R)achel Maddow isn’t God.

            1. Who’s quoting Rachel Maddow here, Brian. Man, TDS has turned your brain into mush.

              1. She’s being quoted much more directly than I am quoting R’s.

                1. By whom? Trump’s raccoons in your head?

                  1. Tony and the whole debunked “Trump conspired with foreign power to steal the election of 2016” bit.

                    Rachel Practically dedicated years solely to that.

                    1. I never bothered with that crap. Of course, obstructing Justice in the pursuit of quashing an investigation is imminently impeachable. You TrumpianS tend to neglect to mention that part.

                    2. But no one was talking to you, silly.

                    3. Well if the last impeachment for obstruction of justice is any indicator, it might be impeachable, but it’s not worthy of removal from office.

                      So said the democrats in the Senate.

          2. > It’s just an (R). It doesn’t have to control your thoughts.

            Fox News is a hell of a drug.

      2. What about a successful attempt to fuck with a presidential election by foreign agents in cahoots with the winner?

        Tony
        October.1.2019 at 12:19 pm
        If we’re not at war you can’t commit treason.

  16. “Throwing the word “treason” around, unmoored from its actual meaning, is a weapon for delegitimizing political opposition and dissent.“

    A few points;

    Nobody on the Left is in any position to complain about hyperbole after standing around grinning while deranged squirrel food called President Bush, a sort of mild-right Rotarian, ‘Hitler’. Or, for that matter Donald ‘much more like Huey Long than Hitler’ Trump.

    Also

    The Progressive Left has worked for most of a Century to undermine the protections against an authoritarian government in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. That may not fit the precise definition of Treason as written into the Constitution….but it’s close enough for horseshoes. The Progressive Left are dupes and Quislings in search of a…well, not the despicable Austrian, but certainly a Stalin.

    And

    Goddam it, THIS IS THE NORMAL LEVEL OF POLITICAL DISCOURSE. The period of gentlemanly intercourse everybody and his cousin mourns was a period of artificial and largely fraudulent amity fronted by the fact that the Progressive Left controlled almost all the means of debate. Don’t believe me? Go look at political cartoon and speeches from before WWI.

  17. Or, now stay with me, he really is a traitor who has no allegiance but to himself?

    1. Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence.

  18. Excellent observations, well defended, but a touch too much credit to sincerity at the feeding trough. We are witnessing two looter gangs jostling and snapping like dogs at a single dish. Most of what they say about each other is true, albeit inflated, yet their self-assessment is entirely fictional. For 40 years I have urged voters to listen closely to what the initiation-of-force parties say about each other, and to recall all that on election day. The LP is growing despite the Nixon congress paying the media to smear and dismiss it–and that growth is accelerating up a replacement curve. This means Americans are quitting the coercion racket.

  19. All this talk of treason and the hypocrisy of it all but no one is asking the real important question! Who is the real patriot now, Colin Kaepernick or Drumpf?

  20. This isn’t new: rich people like me are evil so that wealth distribution is totes cool.

    After all I’ve done for them? That’s treason.

    1. Me too. After hearing how Trump was going to go after elitist liberals in California I thought, “oh no!”, but all he’s done is give me a tax break and made it easier to hire an illegal to do my lawn. All I have to say is “Whew!, it turns out he’s just another NY lib bullshitter” Potential crisis averted.

      1. Now if we can just keep those whiny poor butthurt socialists where they belong…

  21. A racist bigoted fascist traitor, no less.

  22. “Unfortunately, that’s exactly where we are in America’s political life.”

    Way too many of our most visible and influential politicians, regardless of creed, and those who support them, seem to be acting more like sophomoric 8th-graders than grown-ups. Name-calling and hate- and fear-mongering seems to be the best they can come up with, Of course, this is not new, and we will survive it, as we have in the past. But wouldn’t it be nice, for a change, if politicians actually acted like adults?

    1. Aptly describes a good portion of people who post here as well. I think politicians do those things because it works.

      Keep the message simple, provocative, and repeat it often. Every propagandist or advertising exec knows that.

  23. If we’re not at war you can’t commit treason. Russia committed an act of war, and the president aided them and benefitted from it, but Congress didn’t technically declare war, and they probably shouldn’t.

    But half the country and growing are pretty convinced he committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

    1. They probably shouldn’t because it’s not an act of war.

      1. Could be if they wanted it to be.

        A successful propaganda effort to influence a US presidential election and destabilize the country (while they were doing the same in Europe). It’s not great.

        But it did get a guy with an (R) after his name elected, so of course all is forgiven by libertarians.

        1. You’re giving them far too much credit. Is victimhood really that valuable?

          1. It’s not doing Trump any favors right now, even though it is his entire political platform.

            1. “entire political platform”.

              Sounds like people I know.

              1. Don’t accuse me of being a fucking pussy sympathy junkie. I come here. I get called an AIDS-ridden faggot here every day. Fuck you.

                All I want is a society that is organized in a rational way.

        2. A successful propaganda effort to influence a US presidential election and destabilize the country (while they were doing the same in Europe). It’s not great.

          But it did get a guy with an (R) after his name elected, so of course all is forgiven by libertarians.

          Now do Russian interference in the 2012 election.

          1. “”Now do Russian interference in the 2012 election.””

            Facebook memes vs Steele Dossier.

            Guess which one has had a greater impact?

      1. Just because some conspiracy theorists are insane doesn’t mean there are never conspiracies.

        I prefer mine a little less unhinged and inept, but at least the Americans can finally grasp the basic outlines of the plot on this one.

        Half the country wants him impeached and removed. I never thought that shit would happen. Certainly not in the span of a week.

          1. It’s kind of all over the news.

            Where do you get your news? Nobody ever seems to want to say.

    2. If we’re not at war you can’t commit treason. Russia committed an act of war, and the president aided them and benefitted from it,

      Your ilk never cared about Russian interference before; you just care about it now because you delude yourself into thinking that you can propagandize against a political enemy with it.

      But half the country and growing are pretty convinced he committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

      Yes, and that half is mostly the socialists and racists living in left wing districts. Fortunately, the US isn’t governed by majoritarianism.

  24. I preferred when we just delegitimized people’s views by calling them racist white supremacist Nazi.

  25. Wait…I’m a traitor? I thought I was Hitler?

    1. Why can’t you be both? Slurs aren’t a zero sum game. We can just keep making up new ones.

      1. It’s not so much making up new ones as misapplied usage of old ones. It’s risky. People can see through it.

  26. I had two uncles who were members of the Birch Society. I never thought I’d hear the words ‘Treason’ or ‘Traitor’ again.

  27. ‘Over 40 percent Americans now say the political opposition is “downright evil” and many think the country would be better off if opponents “just died,” according to a paper published this year by Nathan P. Kalmoe and Lilliana Mason, political scientists at Louisiana State University and the University of Maryland. ‘

    So Tony, The Rev, Butt Plug, and a few others must die. Got it.

  28. I recently learned that under the old British common law, copulating with a member of the Royal Family without the express permission of the King constituted treason.

    1. I trust that only applied to heterosexual intercourse with cis-gendered persons, right?

      1. Non-heterosexual intercourse was extra illegal back then.

  29. diverting support to ISIS?
    What happens in Aleppo stays in Aleppo.

  30. It is hard not to see that our country has lost its collective mind, but I think it is even worse than that. We should reflect on Matthew 16:26: “For what does it profit a man to gain all the world, but lose his own soul?”

    I think this applies not just to us as individuals, but to us as a nation. In search of partisan advantage, we have injected so much hate into our nation that I have a hard time seeing how we will be redeemed. As a believer, I know that all things are possible with God (love) … but we seem so determined to push God (love) away that it is hard not to see the hand of evil in what is happening.

    By the way, I believe it is totally possible to be a libertarian and a Christian. We are going to need both to find our way out of this mess, somehow. But right now, I feel so alone in my beliefs.

    1. ^ this.

      I am not a Christian. I am Jewish. I feel the same way.

      Wise words in the book of Mark. Without wisdom and spirit we have no lighthouse to see through the fog.

      This one I like because it has humor.

      “There are two things that are infinite, the universe and man’s stupidity….. And I am not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein

      1. Thank you and God bless.

  31. President Trump’s abusive arm-twisting of Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky. Trump wanted his counterpart’s guarantee of an investigation into potentially corrupt dealings with the Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, involving leading Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

    I’ve read enough of the transcript of that phone conversatioin with Ukraine’s president to have learned that there WAS no arm twisting either way, no push to guarantee any investigation into Burisma,. Turns out Ukraine’s president was already concerned about the Biden fils et pere,AND the company for which Biden fils was an overpaid nincompoop.
    And PLEASE don’t forget to remember that, back when Bidens were involved in Ukraine directly, it was Joey His Sewf was on the phone with the then-president DEMANDING the prosecutor who WAS investigating Burisma (and thus necessarily the son “working” for them) to be sacked within six hours… and he was. WHERE are the accusations against Biden pere for his harsh unambiguous demands the prosecutor be made to go away? This is proven FACT, even “Joey Boy His Sewf” bragged and laughed about this.

  32. I’ve read that part that defines treason, found in our COnstitution, multiple times, and NEVER got the impression treason can only be committed during time of war.

    “making war” implies that a state of war does not yet exist. But one can make war uon another subtly, or openly.
    Our operations in el Salvador and Honduras in the 1980’s was, despite never having been so declared, unambiguously the making war upon the regime of Daniel Ortega, dictator (squeeze me, el presidente) of Nicaragua. As was our participation in the”Lend Lease” programme with England the making war in Europe long before it was offiicially declared to exist by the COngress.

    Removing, or attempting to remove, a sitting president, king, prime minister, etc, of any nation (including our own) is an act of war, whether by openly assassinating him, or working in the background to remove, whether by direct pnysical act, “arranging” some disaster to bring about his demise, or not-so-subtly using the political process to render his authority of none effect, such as by rogue judges taking up court cases over which they utterly lack jurisdiction and issuing nationwide “judgements” because no one will pick up the chair and back them into their cges again

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