Bad Faith Equivalences

The net end result of Republican political and policy bad faith is going to be worsened border control and public health crises.

By Anatole d’Ecotopia

We recently considered the false and misleading equivalence of declaring the U.S. majoritarian parties “the same” on the narrow basis of both parties’ willingness to exercise U.S. military force. Even though this is a false equivalence, it is one made in good faith — made on the basis of a moral objection to any exercise of U.S. military force. It is now time to consider another false equivalence — this time, made in the absolute absence of any good faith whatever.

The bad faith equivalence in question is declaring the border crossing crisis the Biden administration is attempting to repair as “no different” from the racist policies of the previous administration that caused the crisis in the first place, or — worse yet — using this bad faith false equivalence as a means of deflecting criticism of an even greater exercise of bad faith that will eventually lead to an even greater crisis.

Let us be clear: Neither Joe Biden nor Barack Obama ever caged children as a matter of U.S. policy. That the enclosures so used by the previous administration were constructed during the Obama administration is yet another bad-faith false equivalence, promulgated by a morally failed political party that has decided that bad faith and fear are its only tools of public policy.

The even worse exercise of deflection and bad faith: Texas governor Greg Abbot attempting to proactively blame the victims of this crisis for the spike in Coronavirus infection rates that will inevitably result from the irresponsible premature lifting of pandemic control measures carried out by Governor Abbot with absolute disregard for either science or the recommendation of his advisors.

The net end result of Republican political and policy bad faith is going to be worsened border control and public health crises, blame for which will then be placed upon those struggling to deal with these crises in good faith. The complete lack of objective evidence in support of this scapegoating will be of no more consequence to the Republican base than the complete lack of any evidence supporting the big lie of a “stolen” election currently being used as rationale for the worst systematic effort at voter suppression in decades. All that matters to the Republican base is the ratification of their prejudices. All that matters to Republican leadership is power. Truth, along with Justice and the American way, is a concern best left to comic books and other mythologies.

Meanwhile, those of us who live and suffer in the real world will only suffer more. And those among us who promote conspiratory mythologies and bad faith equivalence… will have only themselves to blame.


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