Sometimes I don't write at length about something because it upsets me to even think about it.
I can tweet, and I can post links to Facebook, but when I sit down and try to organize a set of original thoughts into a persuasive or at least coherent whole, my heart goes into my mouth and I sit dumbly at the keyboard.
I place my hands in the home position. I put them back in my lap.
I lapse out of prose.
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So, if I detach myself long enough to think in a way that feels, to me, like clarity
(and I should acknowledge that it is a mark of high privilege that today's politics can be for me a thought experiment instead of a trauma)
I can observe that the principle of double effect is always at work,
and that it damns those who would do harm to children and families
in order to seek a particular end
(an end of any kind; even an indubitably desirable one)
by means of doing that harm and thereby instilling the fear of that harm;
likewise does it damn those who would, somehow, reason that
doing harm to children and families
is a mere side effect
of an act meant to achieve a good that is in no way proportional to the harm done.
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Are we consequentialists? The law can be consequentialist; it is not a religious teacher, after all.
But when the lawyers wish to use religion and metaphysical morality to justify the law,
the law had better have learned its catechism.
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The next thing that I observe comes from a detractor:
"If it's wrong as you say to separate families
[unnecessarily; that's what I say; and it usually is unnecessary]
at the border
because it harms children,
then it would also be wrong
to incarcerate a great deal of other people
for doing --
You have said so.