For the love of God, will someone explain to the mainstream-media morons that presidential candidates move to the center once they get the nomination? People are aghast that Donald Trump isn't striking a hard note on immigration, having done so during the Republican primary. It's because he's moving to the center! Hillary Clinton is moving to the center! It's what candidates do!
Addendum: A wall will be built and Mexico will pay for it. This will be one of the easiest things Donald Trump has ever done. It will take him five minutes.
Addendum 2: The idea that Trump will lose supporters because of his "softening" position on immigration is preposterous. First, his supporters know that he must move to the center to be elected. They're not idiots. Second, what's the alternative? Hillary Clinton will open the borders and grant amnesty to every illegal alien who is already here. It's a no-brainer. Trump's supporters stay with him and he gains additional votes by moving to the center.
Addendum 3: What many of us want, first and foremost, is a wall. This will stop illegal immigration. Once that is done, and only when it is done, we can have a national conversation to decide what to do with the illegal aliens who are already here. Wall first, then talk.
What is meant by "intrinsically desirable"? To say that something is intrinsically desirable is to say that it is desirable, taken just for itself, viewed abstractly, and in particular, viewed without respect to any consequences its existence will or may produce. For instance, we should not say that having an appendectomy is intrinsically desirable. Doubtless having one is a good thing, if one has appendicitis. But it is desirable, not just for itself, but because of its consequences, in the preservation of the patient's life and avoidance of pain. Or, owning a hi-fi set is hardly intrinsically desirable. The point of owning such a set lies in its consequences: the production of sounds more similar to actual musical performances.
We can put this in another way. If anything is desirable, it is so because of the kind of thing it is, because of the properties it has or relations within which it stands. Now, some of the properties that make a thing desirable do not involve anything beyond the thing or event or state of affairs said to be desirable; they are what they are independently of the remainder of the world, in the sense that it would be logically possible for the rest of the world to be different, but for them to remain the same. (The property of causing some future event is not one of these.) Such properties we can call intrinsic, and we can say that something—an event, state of affairs, or thing—is intrinsically desirable if it is desirable in view of its intrinsic properties alone.
The term "instrumentally desirable" contrasts with "intrinsically desirable." To be instrumentally desirable is to be desirable on account of actual or expectable effects; so that an appendectomy is instrumentally desirable in view of what it will bring about. Presumably, something is instrumentally desirable only because the expected results, immediate or remote, are intrinsically desirable.
Something can be both intrinsically and instrumentally desirable at once. Consider a child who is swinging, in a rapturous state of enjoyment. We shall probably think that being in this state of mind (and perhaps body) is worthwhile for itself alone. To be in a state of rapturous enjoyment of the experience of swinging is for one's state of mind to have an intrinsic property, on account of which the child's experience is desirable. So we shall say that the child's experience is of intrinsic worth. But his experience is perhaps instrumentally desirable as well, for it may help to make him a more relaxed, better-adjusted person in the future.
(Richard B. Brandt, Ethical Theory: The Problems of Normative and Critical Ethics, Prentice-Hall Philosophy Series, ed. Arthur E. Murphy [Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1959], 302-3 [italics in original])
Re “Health Details Remain Paltry for Nominees” (front page, Aug. 23):
While the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton insist that the candidates are in perfect health, it is clear to anyone who has lived into his or her seventh decade, or who has spent time around older adults, that the truth does not quite comport with such declarations.
This disdain for health transparency is mitigated somewhat by the fact that a specific individual is constitutionally mandated to succeed Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton if November’s victor experiences an acute health crisis while in office. That is not the case at the Supreme Court.
Not only is there no cohort of federal judges standing by if a justice should die or become mentally incapacitated, but confirming a successor seems to become more difficult with each subsequent vacancy.
Each year, high-level federal officials are required by law to disclose a number of specifics about their personal finances, stock transactions and privately funded travel. Releasing basic facts about one’s health should also be a yearly requirement for these officeholders.
This prescription is most apt for the members of the Supreme Court, who are now serving longer than ever and, with paralysis in the political branches, are deciding myriad issues that have a broad effect on our own fleeting existence.
Executive Director, Fix the Court
Note from KBJ: Bad analogy. The Supreme Court can function with fewer than nine members. Also, nothing the Court does is urgent. Much of what a president does is urgent.
Democrats are trying to win their third consecutive presidential election. How often has a party won at least three consecutive presidential elections? The answer is seven:
The American people don't like dynasties. Even if Donald Trump weren't a much better candidate than Hillary Clinton, he would have an edge. It's time to throw Democrats out of power for at least four years (and preferably eight).
I had a good month abike: 18 rides in 31 days; 591.8 miles pedaled; an average of 19.0 miles per day. Today's 34.2-mile ride was enjoyable, though it was exceedingly humid. The heat index was 100º when I left the house and 97º when I returned. I've now pedaled 4,194.2 miles in 2016. My goal is to break my all-time mileage record of 6,205.9 miles, set in 1990.
[T]he range of alternatives students should be invited to consider, though not limitless, needs to be wide. Liberal-arts education is not catechism class. Students should not simply be presented with officially approved views—even if they are the right views. I want my own students to consider seriously a range of possibilities, including some—Marxism, for example—that I think are not only unsound but also reprehensible, and whose record in human affairs is a record of death and abomination. I certainly want them to hear the profound arguments advanced against Marxism by people like Friedrich Hayek, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and John Paul II, but I also want them to understand how it was that Marxism could have attracted the allegiance of many intelligent and even morally serious (if seriously misguided) people. I want them to know the arguments Marx and his most intelligent disciples made. In fact, I want them to consider these arguments fairly on their merits. The task of the liberal-arts teacher, as I envisage it, is not to tell students what to think; it is to teach them to think . . . carefully, critically, and for themselves.
Deroy Murdock doesn't understand the Never Trumpers, such as his National Review colleague Jonah Goldberg (but including William Kristol, George Will, Stephen Hayes, and Bret Stephens). They're pure and unsullied, unlike Donald Trump. They have rock-solid conservative credentials, unlike Trump. They're sophisticated, unlike Trump. They're well read, unlike Trump. The Never Trumpers are elitists, plain and simple. They despise ordinary, everyday, hard-working Americans. They want the votes of these people, to be sure, but that's all. What these idiots don't understand is that the only alternative to Trump is Hillary Clinton, who will destroy everything they value. The way I see it, even if you hate everything about Trump, including his policies, you should support him (by, among other things, voting for him) because he is all that stands between us and another Warren Court.
Re “Blacks Beg to Differ With Trump’s Depiction” (news article, Aug. 25):
When Donald Trump told African-Americans that our schools “are no good,” we “have no jobs” and we are in danger of being shot, a group of golfing buddies and I were waiting for a table at a restaurant in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. Doctors, lawyers and bankers, we sat at the bar and looked at the TV and we just laughed.
I do not claim to speak for African-Americans as a whole, but Mr. Trump has no idea what he is talking about. Mr. Trump would do well to avoid painting blacks, Hispanics or any other group with a broad brush. Just as Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel is far removed from the Mexican criminals whom Mr. Trump often highlights, most African-Americans are not dodging bullets every day and praying that our children survive failing schools.
ROLAND NICHOLSON Jr.
Oak Bluffs, Mass.
Note from KBJ: It's good that Roland Nicholson Jr doesn't "claim to speak for African-Americans as a whole," because he most certainly doesn't. Perhaps he should talk to Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, officials of the NAACP, officials of the Urban League, and members of Black Lives Matter, who have been claiming for years that blacks are oppressed, victimized, bullied, impoverished, and sick. Donald Trump is simply pointing out what everyone (except Roland Nicholson Jr) knows.