Until Midterm Elections...

Scott versus Scott

Welcome to our blog. Here we will debate the days most serious topics and allow users the chance to discuss the topics as well. The range of topics will vary, but one thing will remain certain, the debate will rage on. Scott Lesinski is a proud conservative and Scott Jones is a proud liberal. However, the roles will switch on some topics. Stay tuned.

Scott Lesinski is currently an actuarial associate for a large human resources and insurance consulting firm in Saint Louis. He is also an avid student of US history and enjoys following current events, with an eye to their contextual relationship to the past. He is also, in fact, a former student of Mr. Scott Jones. Scott is working toward his FSA credentials, which is akin to earning a PHD in Actuarial Science.

Scott Jones is currently a high school social studies teacher at a high school in suburban St. Louis, MO. He teaches World History, AP American Government and Senior American Foreign Policy. He has a BS. Ed. (Secondary Social Studies) from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a M.A. (History) from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently working on a dissertation in character education to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Removing the Limbaugh Post - An Explanation

First, I have removed my most recent post concerning Rush Limbaugh and racism. It is not because I have been convinced that Limbaugh is not a racist. While the two quotes concerning slavery and James Earl Ray have no real basis in fact and I was wrong for reporting them as such (I did have credible sources that have also been duped). I do believe him to be a racist based on other comments.

The problem is that I accidently implied that those who support Rush Limbaugh also share his beliefs concerning race. This is not the case and, after consulting with Scott, I realize the possibility that people would think that since Scott has used Limbaugh as a source for economic and constitutional issues, that readers would think that he endorses Limbaugh's, in my view, racist remarks.

I know for a fact that Scott does not hold these beliefs. When he posted that conservatives are not racist, it is because he is a conservative and does not hold racist beliefs. From this, he generalized to the entire conservative population, which I do believe some hold very racist views. Scott is not one of them and I did not mean to imply this.

In attacking Limbaugh's racism, I fell guilty to a logical fallacy that I hate when other people make and I am able to recognize my mistake. In fact, if we could all avoid this fallacy, I think the world would be better.

Just because I believe Limbaugh to be filled with racial bigotry/insensitivity, it does not discredit him in other areas. His opinions concerning the economy, the Constitution, the proper role of government and other issues before our government are valid. He is a credible source and a real expert on such matters. Just because he might be considered a racist by some (including me), does not deny his expertise on other matters. Scott L. has the right to quote and cite Limbaugh on these matters and this does not in any way indicate that he supports everything Limbaugh says.

In fact, if Rush Limbaugh and others of his ilk (Hannity, Beck, Olberman) could stop with the childish name calling of their opponents, I would be more willing to listen. The philosophy they espouse has credibility and deserves a rightful place at the political table. In fact, I often quote Limbaugh in my classes as I discuss the two views on an issue. It is just the incessant name-calling that turns me away from these conservative and liberal pundits.

What good to the political discourse does Limbaugh do by saying he's sending vacuum cleaners to Sotomayor or calling then-Senator Obama a halfrican-American? What about his Barack The Magic Negro bit? I know Limbaugh supporters will claim that it is just a joke, but you can't claim to be color-blind and then make these type of statements.

Disagree with the policies, but stop the name calling and using stereotypes as humor. It doesn't serve the public good. I know my attack was on Limbaugh and not the other broadcasters, but he is the one I am most familiar with because I used to be a listener. I have never listened to Beck, Olberman or Hannity.

Unfortunatley, my post was just like what they do to their opponents. I resorted to discrediting the source and not discussing policy. At the same time, I implicated my fellow blogger whom I respect more than he probably realizes. He uses Limbaugh as a credible source on topics on which Limbaugh is a credible source.

There is nothing wrong with that so long as the issues are discussed and name calling is avoided, which is something that Scott does better than Limbaugh could ever hope to do.

In fact, when Scott posted on the way that supporters of Obama were claiming racism about critics of the President, Scott was subjected to name-calling from commenters that were unable to counter his argument. It seems as if Limbaugh/Olberman disease is alive here as well.

Because of these reasons, I removed the post because it would do nothing more than resort in name-calling on the race issue where dialogue is never positive and implications are imagined on all sides of the debate.

We would, unfortunately, succomb to the Limbaugh/Olberman disease of name-calling and not discussing the issues.

I would also like to add, my post was not concerning Limbaugh's inclusion in a possible ownership group of the St. Louis Rams. Any free person has the right to buy anything legal. Limbaugh is free and the Rams are legal (at least the franchise and not the play on the field, which might be criminal).

3 comments:

  1. In the interests of full disclosure, I would challenge Mr. Limbaugh to open his website to everyone for one week so that we can all search what is there for paid subsribers.

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  2. I don't have time now, but I'm going to link to both the LA Times article that discusses the "Magic Negro", an article written by black columnist David Ehrenstein (sp?), that uses the term in such a way as to ascrible magical properties to then-candidate Obama for absolving white liberals of their irrational guilt over slavery, AND the entire text of the Barack the Magic Negro parody.

    You will see that it is both hilarious and not racist. Limbaugh was playing off of somebody else's work.

    Scott, thank you for this post.

    The offer still stands if you want my login info...I just am not going to list it here where it would be available to anyone.

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  3. Scott,
    I missed the original post completely, but your post contains a great deal of wisdom in dealing with ideas and arguments from people we don't like. Judging ideas based on their own merit and not by who it comes from is a hard concept to put into practice. It was hard during Bush, because everything he said sounded like somehting my "country" granny would say, but damn if he didn't get a few things right here and there! Each idea has to be considered based upon the supporting evidence and the soundneses of the logic in its construction. After these two factors have been considered, then we can decide if it "fits" with our own ideas and worldview... The sad part in all this is that there are realtively few people who are skilled at making intelligent, logical arguments. Most people give up and resort to name-calling and other abusive language. I used to tell my students all the time that name-calling and profanity are symptoms of a underdeveloped vocabulary and lazy mind. They hated when I would tease them: "use your words..." It's hard to do because you have to put in the effort to actually line up your ideas and make them make sense.
    Thanks for this post, Scott. Sometimes the posts get heated and off track- nice change of pace to see the Scotts "on the same page". Hope your studies/degree are progressing well.

    ReplyDelete