Deval Patrick Drops Out

The Democratic nominee will be white.

The one-two punch of being a non-factor in Iowa and New Hampshire has claimed another candidate.

CNN:

Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor who in November made a late entrance into the Democratic 2020 race, ended his campaign on Wednesday, according to a statement provided to CNN.

“I believed and still believe we had a strong case to make for being able to deliver better outcomes,” Patrick said. “But the vote in New Hampshire last night was not enough for us to create the practical wind at the campaign’s back to go on to the next round of voting. So I have decided to suspend the campaign, effective immediately.”

He added: “I am not suspending my commitment to help — there is still work to be done. We are facing the most consequential election of our lifetime. Our democracy itself, let alone our civic commitments to equality, opportunity and fair play, are at risk.

The announcement comes after Patrick, by getting less than 1,300 votes, turned in a disappointing performance on Tuesday night in New Hampshire, his neighboring state.

A disheartened Patrick told supporters on Tuesday night that he and his wife needed to “go home and rest and reflect on this outcome and make some decisions tomorrow morning about what the future of this campaign can and should be.”

“No matter whether it is a candidate for president, or as a public citizen. I’m going to stay involved,” Patrick said. “No matter what decision we make tomorrow morning about the practical ability of this campaign to continue. I’m going to stay involved, and so must you.”

With Andrew Yang dropping out last night, this leaves an all-white cast of characters vying for the Democratic nomination.

While variants of “running for no apparent reason” has become a running joke of OTB commentary on the race, the fact of the matter is that Patrick was quite well qualified to seek the Presidency. Indeed, he’s arguably more qualified by traditional standards than the candidates who finished ahead of him in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Alas, there was never a Patrick boomlet. His campaign attracted far less media interest than Yang’s, even though Yang had no business running. Ditto Pete Buttigieg, who has arguably positioned himself as the top non-Sanders candidate in the race.

Life ain’t fair and politics is particularly cruel in that regard.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    I don’t have much interest in safe punditizing, it’s only fun when the odds are long, so, I want to be the first to say:

    Bloomberg-Patrick 2020.

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  2. Moosebreath says:

    “Indeed, he’s arguably more qualified by traditional standards than the candidates who finished ahead of him in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Alas, there was never a Patrick boomlet. His campaign attracted far less media interest than Yang’s, even though Yang had no business running. Ditto Pete Buttigieg, who has arguably positioned himself as the top non-Sanders chandidate [sic] in the race.”

    This suggests that traditional standards of qualification mean less than the pundit class believes they do. I suspect the reason is that traditional standards seem to apply more to governing than to getting elected, and different skills are needed to get elected.

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  3. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Bloomberg has his own issues with women and #metoo, so I don’t think adding a VP who tried to keep his rapist brother-in-law off the sex offender registry is a good match.

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  4. James Joyner says:

    @Moosebreath:

    This suggests that traditional standards of qualification mean less than the pundit class believes they do. I suspect the reason is that traditional standards seem to apply more to governing than to getting elected, and different skills are needed to get elected.

    It’s certainly true that less-qualified candidates often outperform better-qualified ones. But there had been a baseline threshold throughout the modern era until the 2016 cycle.

    For a variety of reasons, I start the “modern era” with Franklin Roosevelt. Let’s look at all the elected Presidents during the era and their top previous experience:

    FDR: Governor
    Truman: President (he had succeeded FDR before running in his own right), Vice President, Senator
    Eisenhower: Supreme Allied Commander, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
    Kennedy: Senator, Representative
    Johnson: President, Vice President, Senate Majority Leader
    Nixon: Vice President, Senator, Representative
    Carter: Governor
    Reagan: Governor
    GHW Bush: Vice President, UN Ambassador, CIA Director, Representative
    Clinton: Governor
    GW Bush: Governor
    Obama: Senator
    Trump: Reality show host

    Arguably, Obama was under-qualified, in that he had barely any experience in the Senate before taking the top job. Ditto, to a lesser extent, JFK. But literally all of them had filled a Big Boy Job until Trump.

    I think Trump has opened the way for the Yangs and Buttigiegs of the world that didn’t previously exist. (Although, arguably, Ross Perot did that with his 1992 bid.)

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  5. Moosebreath says:

    @James Joyner:

    I think you are missing my point, which is that getting elected requires a different set of skills than governing, and the list of traditional qualifications focus on the governing skills to the exclusion of the ones which make a person appealing to a national electorate.

    It is also possible that (as in so many other things) the post-WWII period was an anomaly as to what were viewed as requirements to be elected President. Many of the Presidents prior to FDR spent very little of their careers holding significant offices, including some of the Presidents generally viewed highly favorably (such as Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Wilson).

    BTW — JFK was first elected to the Senate in 1952, and was a Representative for 6 years before that. That was far more time in “Big Boy Jobs” than FDR, Carter, Reagan or Bush the Younger. So I think you are off on your assessment of Kennedy.

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  6. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner:

    Trump: Reality show host

    You are selling Trump short. He’s also a failed casino operator, failed airline operator, failed social climber, barely successful real estate man, successful self-promoter and racist gadfly…

    If we end up with President Pete, I’ll assume that a mischievous genie granted someone’s wish that we our next president would have some government experience.

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  7. Jen says:

    @Gustopher: That situation with Patrick really, really bothers me. It hits all of the wrong notes: the obvious problem with letting a rapist have a pass, the use of a position of authority to elicit special treatment for a family member, and the fact that it was HIS SISTER who was the victim–there’s just so much wrong there.

    Yes, if he’s on the ticket I’ll support the ticket, but I would much rather vote for Corey Booker as VP than Deval Patrick.

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  8. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    The brother-in-law raped Patrick’s sister twice , and was convicted of the second offense in June 2019, in addition to charges of stalking, harassing, kidnapping, and witness intimidation.

    ReplyReply
  9. Jen says:

    @CSK: I just cannot fathom how that wouldn’t end up being an issue if he is added to the ticket. I think the whole scenario is disqualifying. And unsettling.

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  10. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    When he was asked about it last summer, Patrick said he had no regrets. I simply do not understand his thinking at all. Granted, he might have found it inconvenient to have a registered sex offender in the extended family (by the time the second offense took place, Patrick’s sister and brother-in-law had been divorced for a year or so.) I gather Patrick’s rationale for not wanting Bernard Sigh’s name on the s.o. list was that in 1992, when the first offense occurred in California, “spousal rape” was not recognized as a criminal offense under Massachusetts law. The Mass. hearing officer back in 2007 considered the offense to be “indecent assault and battery.”

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  11. Guarneri says:

    And then there were three…….maybe.

    So serious question. Who thinks Biden, looking half in the grave, can mount a comeback? I see nothing in his current or past performance that he can restart the engine.

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  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    Patrick waited far to long before jumping into the race. If he’d announced early in Q1/19, he would have been in a position build support and a campaign infrastructure. In 2018 Patrick’s name was bandied about as a possible candidate and that he had received a push from Obama to run. Reportedly, his wife’s illness kept him out of the contest earlier.

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  13. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Diane Patrick was, I’m pleased to say, successfully treated for Stage 1 uterine cancer and is now free of the illness. In the past, she’s been quite open about her long history of depression, and has been commended for that openness. She’s had to fight some tough battles.

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  14. James Joyner says:

    @Moosebreath:

    getting elected requires a different set of skills than governing

    Oh, that’s for sure. GHW Bush was a far better President than presidential candidate.

    the list of traditional qualifications focus on the governing skills to the exclusion of the ones which make a person appealing to a national electorate

    Agreed. Although, historically, they’ve simply been threshold qualifications. That is, if you’d been a VP, governor, senator, or four-star general, you were considered viable and if you’d merely been a US Representative, you weren’t. But we didn’t nominate the most qualified candidate, merely the most appealing of those deemed qualified.

    It is also possible that (as in so many other things) the post-WWII period was an anomaly as to what were viewed as requirements to be elected President. Many of the Presidents prior to FDR spent very little of their careers holding significant offices, including some of the Presidents generally viewed highly favorably (such as Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Wilson).

    Sure. BUT there’s a reason I mark the start of the “modern era” with FDR. Not only is there a vastly different media environment but the job is just massively bigger. Both the Commander-in-Chief and Chief Executive jobs are vastly more complex than they were in the olden days. (TR and Wilson both technically meet the thresholds, though. TR had been VP and POTUS before running in his own right. WW was governor of New Jersey when he was elected, although he only served two years.)

    @Moosebreath:

    BTW — JFK was first elected to the Senate in 1952, and was a Representative for 6 years before that. That was far more time in “Big Boy Jobs” than FDR, Carter, Reagan or Bush the Younger. So I think you are off on your assessment of Kennedy.

    Fair enough. While I don’t consider US Rep a “Big Boy Job,” I didn’t remember JFK having been in the Senate that long. I guess because he was only 43 when he took office, I compressed his career.

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  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    A few months ago you were telling me Dems would never accept a billionaire. We’re starting to shed our self-defeating, ever-so-precious, Polly Pureheart b.s. and learning to prioritize. Black voters who know all about stop and frisk are turning to Bloomberg. Turning to Bloomberg from Joe (Lock Up the Crackheads) Biden. Although they may give a look to Amy (I also want to lock ’em up) Klobuchar.

    The whole anyone who ever did anything wrong must be canceled mentality only survives on Twitter. Out here in the real world we know that when you fight Hitler you make common cause with Stalin.

    You want to win, or do you want to be a saint?

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  16. Moosebreath says:

    @James Joyner:

    “BUT there’s a reason I mark the start of the “modern era” with FDR. Not only is there a vastly different media environment but the job is just massively bigger. Both the Commander-in-Chief and Chief Executive jobs are vastly more complex than they were in the olden days.”

    Not disagreeing, but in many other respects the post-WWII era has ended, and we have returned to a situation more similar to how things were pre-WWII. This applies to items as diverse as partisanship of the press, ideological sorting of the parties and class boundaries hardening as income stratifies.

    It may also apply to qualifications for President. I will admit that there is insufficient data to prove this, though as you point out, qualifications seem looser starting around 1990, during the same time as many of these other items also occurred.

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  17. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I think that Patrick was never going to stand a chance because, IMO, he would always be regarded as Obama 2.0 in the minds of many Democratic primary voters. I do not think that we will have a second black president until we’ve had one or more of a woman, Jewish, Latino, Asian, and/or LGBT+ president. I’m leaving out Muslims and “nones,” because I don’t think we will see either in my lifetime.

    ReplyReply
  18. Chip Daniels says:

    I’m not at all fond of Bloomberg, but a Bloomberg/ Harris ticket seems enticing to me.

    ReplyReply
  19. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    A few months ago you were telling me Dems would never accept a billionaire.

    Pretty sure that wasn’t me.

    I’ve long thought people underestimate Bloomberg’s chances — he’s running a campaign only a billionaire could run, and a strategy that hasn’t been tried yet. Bloomberg isn’t dumb, and he isn’t about to spend all that money without some chance of success.

    (I do suspect that his definition of success might not be as simple as getting the nomination)

    Tom Steyer, on the other hand…

    Also, Dems haven’t accepted a billionaire. (Yet?)

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  20. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The whole anyone who ever did anything wrong must be canceled mentality only survives on Twitter. Out here in the real world we know that when you fight Hitler you make common cause with Stalin.

    You only make common cause with Stalin if you have no choice. Deval Patrick doesn’t bring anything to Bloomberg other than his skin, and there are lots of brown folks who would bring similar skin and a lot less baggage.

    Kamala Harris has not, to the best of my knowledge, fired people to try to help her brother-in-law who raped her sister off the sex offender registry.

    I believe Corey Booker was never involved with Bain Capital, widely regarded as being one of the Vulture Capital companies.

    And if we want to expand to other skin tones, or people who haven’t been senators or governors… lots of possibilities.

    There is nothing that Deval Patrick brings that Bloomberg doesn’t have, and which cannot be easily found elsewhere. He should be led gently out of the spotlight, thanked for his service, and maybe get nominated for a cabinet position if someone wants to draw attention from another nominee’s flaws.

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  21. Joe says:

    @James Joyner: Say what you want about the recent history of experience in the job, the incumbent has no basis to argue that his opponent lacks sufficient experience, although they will tout his questionable business experience. If Bloomberg ends up on top of the ticket, Trump has nothing to say on any relevant subject.

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  22. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: ” Out here in the real world we know that when you fight Hitler you make common cause with Stalin.”

    Of course this isn’t a war but an election, and if we elect Stalin to get rid of Hitler, we then have President Stalin. Call me a crazy idealist, but at least at this stage of the race I think maybe we can do a little better.

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  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    A) Sorry I misidentified you.

    B) You miss the point. Everyone is dirty, Gus, it’s just a matter of degree. If you think Kamala’s clean, I think you’re naive. She was a Willie Brown protege. Dig enough and you’ll find multiple misdemeanors, the occasional felony and reams of stupid, racist or misogynist remarks in 90 plus percent of humans, and 100% of anyone who’s ever gotten very far in life. Everyone can be canceled. No one can pass the purity test.

    So whoever we end up with will be some degree of asshole. There’s no black and white in humans, just shades of gray. The question is how dark a gray is acceptable, how much asshole we can tolerate, and that is a function of their usefulness in combating a greater evil.

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  24. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    A) It’s possible that I wrote something sloppy once that stuck in your head.

    B) I have repeatedly said that I would sooner vote for a child molester than a Republican. I would not, however, vote for a child molester in a primary where there are other reasonable options.

    I have no naive belief that people are particularly good, or that we can always find someone who is pure. I do think that we can draw a line and say “no worse than this, without seriously considering whether this really is the lesser evil.”

    Deval Patrick may be a lovely man who was in a hard place and trying to protect his sister’s privacy or something… but what he did was to help a rapist, and moral issues aside, it’s a huge vulnerability for a VP nominee, which will be exploited. Does he bring anything that makes him essential or otherwise worth that problem? Stalin brought an army on Hitler’s Eastern Front, but Patrick brings… nothing.

    If Deval Patrick somehow fixes this liability, with a heartfelt speech about how rapists are people too (my friend), and moves the country to tears, then he would be fine. But without accomplishing this impossible feat, he’s too tarnished (justly or unjustly), and would tear apart our coalition.

    But, of course, we both know this really goes back to Al Franken. He was a victim of his own medium boorish behavior and light (trivial?) sexual assault, at a moment when #metoo was surging, and he made the crucial mistake of being replaceable. He was replaced by a perfectly adequate Democrat, Tina Smith.

    Sucks to be him. Maybe he shouldn’t have been grabbing asses in photo lines. Maybe he should have made a better, broader statement early on to get in front of the many accusations so they wouldn’t keep coming out. Maybe he shouldn’t have resigned.

    Maybe it’s unfair that he had to face the full consequences of his actions when so many men don’t face any consequences at all.

    He became a problem that was easily solved. He continues to live a reasonably charmed life. I’m not going to lose sleep over his (self-imposed) punishment.

    And, on the cancel culture and #metoo in general — I have no doubt that there are some men getting clobbered and having their careers destroyed who don’t deserve it, but I also have no doubt that this is way fewer than the number of women who have their careers destroyed by sexual assault and harassment, and that it’s changing behaviors. So, a net positive, but with a few bad outcomes.

    As Stalin said, “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”

    (Just wanted to link it back to Stalin)

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  25. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Also, if Bloomberg becomes a serious contender, he’s going to have to contend with stories like this:

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/bloombergs-sexist-remarks-fostered-company-culture-degraded-women/story?id=67744180

    A lot of people willing to go on the record to say that his sexist comments created a hostile working environment for women at Bloomberg.

    On the other hand, a billion dollars can buy a lot of good press.

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  26. Jen says:

    Of course no one is 100% squeaky clean, but as indicated, Deval Patrick doesn’t bring anything utterly irreplaceable to the ticket. Also, frankly, a Bloomberg/Patrick ticket would not be the greatest choice from a geographical perspective. I’d rather see a Texas Dem like Castro, or a Governor Grisham (NM), etc. We’re a long way off from selecting running mates, so I’m not going to get worked up over this.

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  27. Moosebreath says:

    @Gustopher:

    “As Stalin said, “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”
    (Just wanted to link it back to Stalin)”

    Sorry, but Frederick the Great said it first.

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  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    Let’s back up here. I wasn’t endorsing Patrick, I was predicting an outcome:

    I don’t have much interest in safe punditizing, it’s only fun when the odds are long, so, I want to be the first to say: Bloomberg-Patrick 2020.

    On the larger issue, the death penalty is almost always properly applied, except when it isn’t. There have been a relative handful of wrongful death penalties and that, more than any other factor, has discredited the death penalty for many people, including me.

    HUAC and Joe McCarthy outed some genuine Communists, and also destroyed the lives and careers of a few innocent folks. I have no idea the proportion, but it was those wrongful cases that put an end to blacklisting and, because the system had been unjust and discredited, ended up whitewashing Communism more broadly. (And just for the benefit of the young folk here who don’t remember, Communist governments killed tens of millions of their own people.)

    I believe we’re already seeing #MeToo lose steam, in part because we’re starting to see ‘false positives,’ and we’re seeing inconsistencies in ‘punishment’ and the result is a growing sense that the movement is flawed and unjust. Just to remind you, I was a sexually abused child, my wife was pistol-whipped pursuant to an attempted rape, and I have two daughters, so not a friend to predators.

    But you don’t get justice from an unjust process. Those eggs you’re willing to break are people with lives and you may not give a damn because it’s an abstraction to you. But it’s not an abstract issue to me. I hate those men. I fucking hate them for what they do to women and children, what they do the culture more broadly, what they’ve done to colleagues and for spreading their noxious stain over decent men. Cosby can die in a hole along with Weinstein. But I’d still rather a guilty man go free than an innocent man be unjustly punished, precisely because I’m not one of those men willing to victimize others and I can’t just ignore injustice.

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  29. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    But you don’t get justice from an unjust process.

    I don’t think you get justice, period. You can remove people from society, you can set an example, and you can change the culture — but justice doesn’t exist.

    So few people get their just rewards that it’s a farce. Sometimes people who commit a minor infraction get the full force of “justice” while others publicly skate free.

    I work in an industry (software) that is dominated by men, or perhaps more correctly man-childs (men-children? man-children?) and where women were constantly belittled and abused and told that they have to be one of the guys if they want to succeed. Corporate culture meets frat-house wannabes.

    And I’ve tended to work at the better places.

    I’ve seen the change in the past few years where things that were given at most lip service (diversity, respect, not groping people at mandatory-fun drinking events, following up on sexual harassment claims) are actually being taken seriously, and that’s 100% accountable to #metoo. Man-children are a little scared. Women are breathing a little easier.

    There had been efforts down this path previously, and some success, but it finally hit with #metoo. I hope it results in women staying in the industry longer, because they’re pretty to look at*. Also, we shouldn’t be harassing out an entire class of people.

    And, as a bonus, if people learn to tolerate women in the workplace, they use those same skills to tolerate me.

    ——
    *: When they are having mandatory diversity training, and are asking how diversity helps you, this is not the answer they are looking for.

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  30. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Let’s back up here. I wasn’t endorsing Patrick, I was predicting an outcome:
    “I don’t have much interest in safe punditizing, it’s only fun when the odds are long, so, I want to be the first to say: Bloomberg-Patrick 2020.”

    Bloomberg is smarter than that. Particularly with his own problems with people going on the record to accuse him of mild sexual harassment, and at least 6 women paid off and under NDA.

    He would pick someone with a different set of liabilities. Or at least not so public ally known.

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  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    Failing to demand justice, whether or not it is achieved, is surrender to injustice. Same as Truth with a capital T. We’ll never get there, we’ll never know the absolute truth, but if we stop trying then what’s the objection to fake news? Why not just make things up? Isn’t that exactly what the Trumpaloons are doing? They got impatient waiting for Jesus to smite their enemies so they sold their souls to a golden calf and just lied, just pretended.

    A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for? In a post-religious world we have to create our own moral and ethical systems. And then we have to actually be moral and ethical. I believe in Truth knowing that it’s an unreachable goal, and in Justice which will never be perfect. I’m 65 and still trying to be a better man, to be truer to my ideals.

    Many years ago we were asked to write a kid biography of Colin Powell and Gen. Benjamin Davis, Jr., the guy who created the Red Tails. As part of that I interviewed one of the pilots, a black man, obviously. A black man from the Jim Crow south who had fought for the right to go to war, to risk his life, to defend a racist nation that had never done a decent thing for him. He was a patriot and he had hope, not for perfect justice, just hope he could help push this country an inch closer to justice. The unattainable goals are the only ones worth fighting for.

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  32. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: ” The unattainable goals are the only ones worth fighting for.”

    I like this Michael Reynolds. Someone should introduce him to the Michael Reynolds who insists we all settle for Bloomberg right away.

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  33. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Except there is truth, even with a capital T, even if we may never know it. There are either children in cages or there aren’t.

    But justice? It’s a fairy tale as much as god is. It’s a belief that people will get what they deserve, and that people deserve what they get. And it’s a fairy tale that gets wielded as a weapon.

    Justice is an fiction created as an opposite to what we see around us every day — injustice. It makes our desire for vengeance seem respectable.

    The most we can hope for is harm reduction. Separate the worst elements of society that we can find, and encourage behavior that leads to better outcomes, while accepting that all human endeavors are going to be flawed.

    Also kindness. We can hope for and strive for kindness.

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  34. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    But I’d still rather a guilty man go free than an innocent man be unjustly punished, precisely because I’m not one of those men willing to victimize others and I can’t just ignore injustice.

    But, how many guilty men would you be willing to see go free to prevent a single innocent man from being unjustly punished? 1? 10? 100? 1000?

    Would you be willing to see so many go free that there is ultimately no deterrent to them victimizing others?

    As Stalin said, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” 😉

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