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Aug 25, 2023Liked by Alan Elrod

In response to Vivek Ramaswamy’s 10 points, I offer the following:

1) God, if real, is unknowable to humans except through speculation by other humans written into religious texts, and personal revelations of uncertain origins claimed by religious leaders and their followers.

2) There are two biological sexes, but intersex persons and persons with gender dysphoria are real, and should not be punished or abused because they are atypical.

3) Human flourishing is reliant on fossil fuels, but that must change quickly to avoid destroying the planet through global warming.

4) Reverse racism is racism, and so is systemic racism and white supremacy, which are bigger problems effecting more people.

5) An open border is a permeable border defining legal jurisdiction - every state, county, city, and town in the US has open borders. Opening or closing national borders is a political question not answerable with a simple slogan.

6) Parents determine the education of their children when families home school - public schools are run by the government, religious schools are run by religions, and private schools are run by their agreed upon bylaws and/or charters. Parents can disagree with teaching standards and contradict them at home.

7) The nuclear family is not a form of governance at all. The nuclear family is not democratic because children do not get to outvote their parents on any important issues. Governance by means of nuclear families would be anarchy leading to a feudal system governed by the strongest family.

8) Capitalism lifts people up from poverty, and casts others into poverty when it’s creative destruction favors new industries over old ones or moves industries to other countries to lower labor costs.

9) There are three branches of the US government.

10) The US Constitution as amended after the Civil War, is the strongest guarantor of freedoms in history. Before that, it allowed bondage slavery to flourish and expand into new states, and regarded non-whites as subhuman and women as the property of men. Of course, the hearts of men are often harder to amend than The Constitution.

He said he composed his in about 15 minutes. I am not as smart as he is, so I took about 30 minutes to compose my response. I am not certain of the points in my rebuttal since I was going off the top of my head, and they are not the product of deep thought and concentration. However, I believe that my points are more accurate, and certainly less misleading than his. No, I don’t plan to run for President.

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Control over a county’s borders does not equal a closed border. Whether to open it, close it, or partially open are political questions. I agree that we should be able to control our borders, but how far to close it is a separate question because we need immigrants for high skilled and low skilled jobs.

I don’t understand systemic racism to include all systems at all times. But there has clearly been systemic racism targeting African Americans in housing, lending, and employment, which led to affirmative action (deemed reverse racism) as a partial remedy. Nobody should be coerced or pressured into transgenderism. However, no adult who chooses it should be prohibited by the government from receiving medical treatment to transition. For children, families and doctors should decide what treatment, if any, is appropriate with a strong presumption against irreversible procedures that weakens as a person approaches 18.

Globalism leading to the loss of jobs to other countries would require government intervention to stop, not government intervention to start. Capitalism is a race to the bottom for employees because cheaper labor can be found where there are no laws protecting labor and/ or the environment.

To my way of thinking, families are not “governed.” The nuclear family is great, and generally benefits society, but they are not any sort of model for governing the nation, and may be less beneficial than extended families. Moreover, oppressive nuclear families, and extended families, are harmful to family members and to society because they turn out damaged children and spouses. So, Ramaswamy’s line about nuclear really makes no sense. As noted above, most of his points sound catchy, but do not withstand casual attention, much less scrutiny. But, as a demagogue and narcissist, he doesn’t care - sounding good is good enough for a lot of voters.

Your guess about Constitutional racism was incorrect. The Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution as viewing African Americans as property, not men protected by the Constitution, in Plessy v. Ferguson. Slaves had no rights under the Constitution and were mere chattel to white men wherever white men chose to have slavery. And, the 3/5th clause gave slave states an electoral advantage over northern states until the Civil War. While the Northern states generally opposed slavery, they also did not want whites and blacks intermingling and kept them separate through housing restrictions, etc. it took a Civil War and Constitutional Amendments to change the Constitutional view of African Americans, but the Amendment were subverted by the undermining of Reconstruction, Black Codes, and Jim Crow.

Common law viewed women as the property of men throughout the 1700s and 1800’s. Women received the right to vote by Constitutional amendment after African Americans did, also by Constitutional amendment. The Eugenics movement in 20th century America put white males at the top, and all other races ( and women) below. White Supremacy continues to be a very serious problem - see Charlottesville - though it has diminished over time.

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Interesting article though I don't agree with much that is said here (mostly the extrapolation of that points that Vivek talked about in the debate), the conclusion which is what I'd guess is a extreme left wing partisan conclusion (not what a typical moderate liberal conclusion would be) and the extreme partisan-like title. Expected from an oped in nowadays.

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