Burger King Progressivism

If you’ve taken any classes on critical race or gender theory, and exercised independent thought for at least one hour, you’ve discovered that for many issues, the ideology of mainstream progressives can be used to argue both sides of a debate and reach opposite conclusions.  That’s right, you can Have it Your Way.  It’s the Burger King model of progressivism.

So here’s my plan, I’m going to routinely read through popular websites that deal with race and gender issues, and keep an eye out in the news, and when an appropriate story comes up, I’ll demonstrate how progressive thought allows you to reach two irreconcilable positions.

And today we’re starting with the Dangerous Quadriplegic Doctrine.

Lowering the Bar has a story about an inmate seeking compassionate release from prison, which requires (among other things) a showing that the prisoner is not a threat to public safety.  Steven Martinez is a quadriplegic, but was able bodied at the time of his conviction.  He is sentenced to 157 years to life for a pretty awful crime.  He drove his car into two women, pinning one of them beneath the car.  He then punched her in the face, breaking her nose, and tossed her in the back seat and drove off.  Once at a secluded location, he did God knows what to warrant a conviction for rape, forcible oral copulation, and rape with a foreign object.  In his third year of imprisonment, he was stabbed by another inmate, resulting in his current condition.  The Board of Parole Hearings refused to recommend him for compassionate release.

In justifying its refusal, the Board pointed to 4 instances (over the last 38 years) in which a violent crime was committed by a quadriplegic.  Attorneys for Martinez argued that these instances prove the point; they became news stories because violence by quadriplegics is extremely rare.

So here’s the question, should being quadriplegic warrant a release from prison?

Progressive Reasoning 1: Fairness requires looking at each individual and his unique circumstances.  When most people say they want to treat everyone “equally” what they really mean is they want to treat everyone as if they are able bodied, middle class, straight, white males.  It is not equality when standards are set up that favor one group and other groups are just told to deal with it.  The only fair and just outcome is to recognize the inherent ablism in our prison system and grant Martinez a compassionate release.

Progressive Reasoning 2: Fairness requires recognizing that if a person is disabled, paraplegic even, they are still human beings with important capabilities, rights, and responsibilities.  To presume, almost as a matter of law, that a quadriplegic is incapable of action, in this case violent action, is to strip them of any standing as moral agents in our society.  We are essentially saying if you are disabled, then you are biologically human, but not a person in any meaningful legal sense.  The only fair and just outcome is to treat Martinez with the full moral agency of any other person and require him to serve his full sentence.

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4 Responses to “Burger King Progressivism”

  1. bl2y (no relation) Says:

    For reasons I can’t explain I want to have Martinez strung up and take whacks at him as if he were a pinata. Is that wrong? Not like he’d lift a finger to stop me…

  2. bl1y Says:

    A pinata? That’s racist and ignorant.

  3. Rose Says:

    and genius.

  4. bl1y Says:

    Oh, yeah, definitely.

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