1. Nordstrom has every right to stop selling items that don’t sell well.
  2. Vladimir Putin is a vicious thug. He is in every respect America’s moral inferior.
  3. Yes, racism is still a real problem in America.
  4. Donald Trump actually did lose the popular vote.
  5. But voter fraud is indeed very real – not “nonexistent,” despite what so many in the media say with willful disregard for the truth.
  6. It was perfectly sensible both as law and policy for critics to say, as U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions said and as the Supreme Court confirmed, that the Voting Rights Act unfairly and unconstitutionally singled out certain states and locales for extra, vexatious administrative burdens.
  7. The original Violence Against Women Act was flawed in ways that had nothing to do with protecting women from violence.
  8. Racism, while very real (see # 3)  is not nearly as much of a problem in America as the Left and paid agitators say it is.
  9. It is extremely worrisome to read reports of a petulant president lashing out at allies such as Mexico, France, and especially Australia.
  10. It is unseemly for a president even to joke about “ruining the career” of a state legislator who disagrees with him on the proper boundaries for civil liberties.
  11. It is worse than unseemly for a president to poisonously attack the impartiality of a judge or judges, and to politicize court cases, even before a case has been decided. This rule applies whether the judge is Mexican, or is thought to be liberal… or, for that matter, if what’s at stake is one’s signature piece of health care legislation. (Yes, in other words, Barack Obama did it too, and he too was wrong.)
  12. There are indeed such things as alternative facts. But something that is false is not an alternative fact.
  13. If a president’s top aide accidentally conflates terrorist arrests with a separate terrorist “massacre” – and yes, there are enough such massacres that it is hard to keep track of them – and then admits she misspoke, then it is beyond asinine for multiple, major news outlets still to be obsessing about it with front-page stories a half a week later. Not all mistakes are malevolent, fergoshsakes.
  14. Just because not all complaints about the media are valid, and just because it is wrong for a president to give a tone of trying to throttle the press as an institution, this does not mean that the media as a whole is an honest or trustworthy institution.
  15. Yes, the establishment media leans way, way to the political left. And yes, it is prone to pack journalism of the most mindless sort. And yes, its double standards that favor the left are astonishingly blatant. And yes, its overall disdain for faith, for tradition, for traditional morality, and for “middle America” is obvious, obdurate, and obnoxious.
  16. Just because the media collectively exhibits all those flaws listed above, this does not mean that it is fair to disparage all members of the media or to lie when the media actually publishes the facts.
  17. By the way, facts do exist. Some things are not matters of opinion.
  18. There is not a very significant “pay gap” for women when adjusted for relevant factors such as years worked, hours worked, actual duties, and the like.
  19. All lives matter.
  20. The reason blacks make up a disproportionate share of the prison population is that blacks commit a disproportionate share of crimes.
  21. The absolute fact that blacks for years have committed a disproportionate share of crimes proves nothing about an individual black person’s propensity to commit crimes, nor does it mean that anything innate in blacks as a race is responsible for disproportionate criminality, nor does it excuse police profiling based on race alone.
  22. Police profiling based on multiple factors – such as style of dress, body language (and eye contact of lack thereof), and other behavior – is a valuable tool that in itself infringes on nobody’s rights, as long as police procedures related to the profiling are respectful, sensible, and of course lawful.
  23. Even though Coretta Scott King was admirable and well-intentioned, she also could be wrong. Even though U.S. Rep. John Lewis merits admiration as a civil rights hero, he can be wrong and is not necessarily a saint.
  24. Hey, college kids: People have a right to have different opinions than you do. You have no right to be “protected” from those opinions. If you need a stuffed animal to hold and Play-Doh to massage because you don’t like election results, you’re pathe… er, you’re way too fragile for the adult world. And if you go beyond peaceful protest into interfering with the rights or property of others, or into violence, you should be arrested, charged, convicted, and heavily punished.
  25. If you don’t like # 24, grow up.
  26. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is a major hypocrite.
  27. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warner is a massive hypocrite and a smear artist.
  28. Donald Trump is a smear artist. (See: Rafael Cruz, Heidi Cruz, Michelle Fields, the “Mexican judge,” residents of northern New Jersey, Ben Carson the “child molester,” and others too numerous to list.)
  29. Trump is absolutely right that we should build a wall.
  30. Trump was absolutely right when he insisted while campaigning that “we don’t do enough winning anymore.”
  31. Trump is dead wrong about trade in general, and about NAFTA in particular. NAFTA has been a huge net plus for the U.S. economy, for the economy of North America as a whole, for geopolitical stability – and for keeping illegal immigration lower than it otherwise would have been.
  32. Nonetheless, Trump is right that the United States does experience some trade disadvantages that are correctable, and that blue-collar workers disproportionately suffer from those disadvantages.
  33. Trump is wrong that the way to improve our trading posture is by “getting tough” on foreign trading partners. Instead, the way to improve the situation is by reforming our tax code, massively streamlining regulations, and outcompeting – not punishing – foreign rivals.
  34. Trump was hardly unique in identifying laborers as a too-oft-ignored voting bloc with honest, legitimate concerns. Plenty of analysts recognized that reality, and so did a significant number of politicians. …Nonetheless, far too few politicians, or business leaders, or establishment media outlets, recognized the reality and acted accordingly to help. And because those with the most power were among the least interested in Middle America, Middle America did, broadly speaking, get rooked.
  35. Therefore, even though Trump’s act of giving voice to these forgotten Americans indicated no particular genius or particularly acute sensibility, it is still to Trump’s credit that he focused heavily on this reality and stuck to his guns.

The list could go on (and on, and on). For each opinion or fact above, an essay (or at least a mini-essay) could be written. All of them could be done respectfully. (Well, except for the assertions that Schumer and Warren are hypocrites. But the facts there are so numerous and obvious, and the harm caused by their hypocrisy so manifest, that a lack of respect can’t help but exist.)

The list is almost evenly divided between statements anathema to some on the right and to ones anathema to some on the left. But, watch the comments that come below: Many will be furious, disrespectful, and full of name-calling without any actual arguments. Many will be so blinded by any apparent “attack” on their team that they lash out while refusing to recognize the central point here: Both sides are prone to shibboleths, both sides prone to yelling down opposing opinions (or even facts) – and, therefore, that rather than getting furious, we should consider assertions thoughtfully, on their merits, and be willing either to reconsider our own thoughts or to try to persuade people that our viewpoint is correct, by using right reason.

Maybe one or more of this column’s assertions are wrong (factually) or wrongheaded (not well reasoned). If so, bring on the respectful discussion. But leave the insults behind.

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