Washington State’s I-517 failed yesterday. Did demonization help assure its defeat?
In the state’s Voters’ Pamphlet, the second item against the measure was “I-517 benefits Tim Eyman” because, it was alleged, the measure would allow Eyman to “double his output and increase his profits.”
Eyman is a great guy, but to insiders in the Evergreen State he’s the Devil Incarnate. He keeps on promoting initiatives that would limit the state’s seemingly unlimited taxing and spending propensities.
So, of course, he’s demonized, though the idea that I-517 would’ve benefited his professional operation more than everyday citizens just entering the process is absurd.
But speaking of absurd, and of demonization, you can’t get more of either than Harry Belafonte. The august old singer spoke in a New York church in favor of Democrat mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. Identifying David and Charles Koch as “the Koch brothers,” he went off on a tear, objecting to their spending money on causes Belafonte doesn’t approve of:
Already we have lost 14 states in this union to the most corrupt group of citizens I’ve ever known. They make up the heart and the thinking in the minds of those who would belong to the Ku Klux Klan. They are white supremacists. They are men of evil.
What possible warrant there could be for the “white supremacist” charge? None was offered. Chalk it up to partisan hysteria, hyperbole. But, truth is, the Kochs aren’t devils, nor are other wealthy individuals who fund causes, whether we like their politics or not.
The ad hominem — ad diabolos? — fixation in politics continues to plague debate, making otherwise intelligent people seem like fools.
Unfortunately, it too often works.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.