At long last, there's an explanation for Glenn Reynolds and his ilk; we called them sociopathic halfwits one too many times, and they finally decided to knuckle under and deliver the goods. I hope those of you who've been claiming that Reynolds is a pea-brained demagogue with less moral awareness than a spirochete are happy with the monster you created:
Some people, judging from my email, are misjudging — or deliberately misconstruing — Ingemi’s point. Ingemi’s point, as I took it, is that crying wolf leads in the end to moral callousness, as people assume that there’s no point in behaving morally when they’re going to be called monsters anyway. This seems rather uncontroversially obvious to me.This is altogether marvelous stuff; every word is a sermon in itself.
I've been called a lot of names in the last few decades. I was told I hated America for opposing aid to Saddam in the eighties, and that I was objectively pro-Saddam for opposing war with him later. I've been called an anti-Semite for daring to question the policies of the Israeli far right, and a terrorist-coddler for supporting the Geneva Conventions, and a traitor for...well, for just about everything, really. And the number of names I've been called for "prematurely" accepting the reality of anthropogenic climate change is incalculable; suffice it to say that I was on the right side of this issue almost twenty years before Gregg Easterbrook, and he's still calling Al Gore names.
Of course, I'm also a "mullahcrat" or "dhimmicrat" who opposes Bush out of a secret love for Islamofascism. How I'm supposed to reconcile my desire to live under sharia with my "hatred of religion," my "moral relativism," and my desire to "destroy marriage" and "murder babies," is anybody's guess. But gosh...if you folks don't stop saying these awful things about me, I guess I'll have to give it a whirl!
Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to Reynolds' application of his "rather uncontroversially obvious" moral axiom to issues like American race relations and educational policy. Something tells me he may find those waters a bit muddier.