Skip to main content

One man's punishment is another man's abuse. Literally. Nobody admits to being an abuser, but punishing "them that deserve it" is widely practiced. Who "deserves" to be punished? Well, if one listens to the Cons' assertion that everybody is born evil, punishment and deprivation are the default conditions and the right to go on living has to be earned.

However, it's not necessary to be overt and posit an ideological rationalization. Abuse spawns resentment and then resentment turns around and punishes to even the score. It's a reverse cost/benefit situation in which the loss and deprivation are visited on strangers.
Abusers punish someone else because they can't retaliate against whoever beat them up. In a just society there'd be an intervention and abusers would not get away with their behavior from the get go.

A society which tolerates abuse is unjust.

So, what are we to make of citizens who are convinced that the sole function of public corporations is to be punitive? They have apparently taken the proposition that only agents of government may punish and substituted the belief that their sole function is to punish. They see the President as Disciplinarian-in-Chief. No wonder Obama strikes them as weak.

How to explain the difference between the use of force being restricted to governments and governments being restricted to using force?

Do flawed individuals, like Mark Sanford, get elected because citizens expect them to know punishment is not nice and to restrain themselves in meting it out?  Or, again like Sanford, do they just want to get the abusers out of town? Is that how we end up with a Capitol full of clowns?

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site