The Briefcase: Transparency, Wikileaks, and Listener Feedback

Photo Credit:  UKNGroup  Flickr via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: UKNGroup Flickr via Compfight cc

We discuss Noah Dyer - candidate for governor in Arizona - who posted a VERY transparent statement on his sex life on his website.

Is total transparency something we want? Wikileaks certainly does. We discuss the trove of documents allegedly showing the CIA's cyber hacking capacity and technologies. We also discuss Assange's belief that total transparency is the goal. 

We follow up on some feedback from our Book Club discussion with Brynn who shared: I have tried SO.  HARD.  since the election to "reach across the aisle" and talk to people like this.  But now, 120 days later, I am done.  Do I condone physical or verbal aggression towards these people?  Of course not.  But if they are not willing to see that their views are truly HATEFUL then I don't know what else I can do.  At this point I say we just press on without them if they aren't willing to abandon Radical Christian Extremism, embrace public education and accept facts as truth.  Because there HAS to be some kind of line in the sand.  We cannot keep making excuses for them or analyzing them like we're anthropologists forever.  WE (all rational people of any political leaning) have to take a collective stand and tell them NO.  

We also discussed our listener Chiara's argument that maybe we do want the President to fail. Chiara wrote us, " I was thinking about how, on the latest episode, you said that you aren't rooting for Trump to fail because you have respect for the office of the president. That's actually something I've been thinking about a lot too...but for me, I'm starting to think that I AM rooting for him to fail...but for the same reason: because I respect the office of the presidency. The truth is, if Trump succeeds, it will inevitably send the message that it is entirely okay for the American people to elect a president who is racist, sexist, bigoted, possibly engaged in illegal activities, and not at all knowledgeable about government or world affairs. If Trump succeeds, people will see that if such a person is elected, everything will be fine. And I don't think that's okay. So I don't want that message to be sent, lest he get re-elected (or we end up with a similar president in the future). It's the same as with President Obama, at least if we're going entirely on identity. Even though I didn't agree with all of his policies, his successful presidency demonstrated that a black, feminist community organizer/constitutional lawyer could do the job relatively well. And I believe that is a great thing, and fundamental to his legacy."

We also shared Amanda's thoughts on educated v. expert. "I wonder whether, when we're talking about the value of ideas, we shouldn't put a premium on expertise rather than education alone. They very often come hand in hand, but this leaves the door open for more people, allows more of us into the conversation. It allows both the economics professor and the lifelong welfare recipient to be heard because in different ways, they're both experts. When it comes to crafting policy, things get more complicated (this way of looking at expertise won't be of much use when it come, to dealing with global warming, for example), but I think it provides an okay framework for dealing with certain types of emotional arguments. 

 Of course, this doesn't shed much light on the discussions a lot of us are having right now, where it seems like individuals really want their feelings to have the same value as facts. Balancing knowledge and emotion is difficult for most of us as individuals, let alone as a nation."

Our Tuesday show will be discussing the Republican's Obamacare Replacement Plan so don't miss it!