I’d like to contrast two interesting statements about emotion. One is the above (from a left-wing policy wonk).

The other is from a guy I respect, Glenn Reynolds:

Resort to theatrical efforts at emotional blackmail is an admission that you have no intellectual arguments.

True as that is, it certainly does not stop emotional blackmail, nor attempts to use emotion in general.

Especially by a plethora of public policy people, who recently went on record in favor of what’s traditionally been considered unprofessional conduct in medicine, as well as something so many lefties claim to be against.

Judgmental statements and deliberate attempts to shame people

Here’s what the policy wonk (a “bioethicist”) said.

…public health officials shouldn’t shy away from tough anti-obesity efforts, said Callahan, the bioethicist. Callahan caused a public stir this week with a paper that called for a more aggressive public health campaign that tries to shame and stigmatize overeaters the way past public health campaigns have shamed and stigmatized smokers.

National obesity rates are essentially static, and public health campaigns that gently try to educate people about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating just aren’t working, Callahan argued. We need to get obese people to change their behavior. If they are angry or hurt by it, so be it, he said.

“Emotions are what really count in this world,” he said.

To a Faceboook discussion of similar emotional claptrap in an article titled Experts Argue Caring for Smokers, the Obese May Be Too Costly: ‘Why Not Just Let These Health Sinners Die?’ I added this:

“The same argument could be made about AIDS. But the same people who are advocating cruelty to the obese and to smokers would condemn cruelty to AIDS victims.”

If emotions are what really count, then the explanation becomes as simple as who the public policy people like, and who they don’t like. They hate smokers and the obese, so saying they should simply be allowed to die for their sins is just fine.

You would almost think we are being ruled by highly emotional, mean-spirited, judgmental bigots.

Precisely what they said would happen if Romney had been elected.