— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 20, 2016
Dear Sen. Chris Murphy,
I have no doubt that no one on your staff will ever read this, much less you. However it needs to be said. I am, notwithstanding the tone I’m about to take, a reasonable person. I try to make arguments that stand on logic rather than emotion, and I’m open to hearing opposing views. Indeed, without hearing those views I can’t assess my own views.
Nevertheless, it’s quite clear that you only respond to incredible hyperbole and ad hominem attacks, and so I shall follow that tone from here on out, in hopes of getting your attention.
You, Senator Murphy are perhaps one of the worst persons I’ve had the displeasure of hearing about recently in the news. Oh sure, there’s been incredible evil lately. But blatant evil is…well blatant. In many respects you are worse because you’re evil and try to hide behind sanctimony.
The premise of your argument (repeated by the equally despicable Elizabeth Warren) would be laughable on its face, if its intent wasn’t to paint your opposition as murderers. Let us be clear, there is a sharp ethical distinction between valuing due process and freedom while understanding the risks those create and actively deciding to act evilly. In fact, the distinction is so sharp they aren’t even in the same ethical universe. But because it was convenient, you chose to ignore that distinction to gain political points against your enemies.
I shouldn’t have to explain this to you, it’s basic high school ethics, however, since you’re apparently as dumb as a rock I will. In the law there is a principle known as “double effect.” It’s actually borrowed from Catholic ethics, but that’s just because Catholics were doing this kind of thinking long before the legal system. Under this principle an action is ethical, even if there are bad outcomes, provided a few criteria are met. I’m lazy so I’ll steal the list from Wikipedia so I don’t have to retype it:
- The nature-of-the-act condition. The action must be either morally good or indifferent.
- The means-end condition. The bad effect must not be the means by which one achieves the good effect.
- The right-intention condition. The intention must be the achieving of only the good effect, with the bad effect being only an unintended side effect.
- The proportionality condition. The bad effect must not be disproportionate to the good effect.
Clearly respecting due process meets this test.
To be even clearer. I don’t want ISIS to have guns, hell I don’t want ISIS to exist. However, I cannot accept that the best method for that is to throw due process out the window. Indeed, that line of reasoning leads to horrific outcomes. I don’t want 182 murders in the City of St. Louis again this year. However, I also don’t want to create a secret list of people that are allowed to be arrested without cause as a way of trying to prevent that. Yes, it may save lives, but at the cost of failing to respect our rights and liberties. You may scoff that you’re not arguing that, but in reality the argument is in fact the same. You’re arguing that due process should not exist when there’s danger. I’m replying that “he who would sacrifice essential liberties for security will get neither.”
You will likely further argue that I cannot understand the pain of those who lost loved ones in these tragedies. I have noted elsewhere, that is not only entirely untrue it’s incredibly arrogant.
In short, you’re being an incredible asshole and by trying to score political points over actually doing your job as senator you’re embarrassing this country.
Now I’m happy to sit down and discuss this like adults with you. But not until you agree to apologize for calling me a heartless murderer and pull your head out of your fucking ass.