Friday, January 18, 2013

Politics and the Merit of Ideas

Politics makes people irrational.

Back in 2000, on the one-year anniversary of the Columbine shootings, Bill Clinton proposed that federal money be used to provide armed and trained police to guard schools.

From the LA Times article: "WASHINGTON — Marking the first anniversary of the shooting deaths at Columbine High School, President Clinton announced $120 million in new federal grants Saturday to place more police officers in schools..." (

Not surprisingly, the Republicans opposed the idea: "Republican critics said the federal government is a clumsy middleman in trying to cope with problems that should be addressed locally."

Fast forward to 2012. In response to the Sandy Hook shootings, various conservatives propose that armed and trained police be used to guard schools. This time, not surprisingly, the Left says that's an unreasonable idea.

From the New York Times: "The N.R.A.’s plan for countering school shootings, coming a week after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was met with widespread derision from school administrators, law enforcement officials and politicians, with some critics calling it “delusional” and “paranoid.”" (

Moral of the story: It's not the merit of a given idea that is the issue, but rather the political affiliation of the person who comes up with the idea.


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