Wednesday, May 23, 2018

MS-13 "animals"

i) Last week, Trump generated a keruffle by calling MS-13 gang members "animals". The media waxed indignant. This plays into Trump's hands. He says things normal people think, the media freaks out, which reinforces popular impression that the media is hopelessly out of touch with normal people. 

ii) Some critics object that calling MS-13 animals dehumanizes the gang members. However, the figurative use of animals in reference to humans imputes bestial traits to some humans. A moral analogy. It doesn't imply that they are actually subhuman, but that they kill without compunction, like savage animals. 

iii) It is, of course true, that humans are moral agents in a way that animals are not. Behavior that's immoral in humans is amoral in animals. That, however, is the point of the comparison. Some humans are so morally callous that they've become like animals in that regard. They have no conscience. 

iv) Of course, there's still a difference. Animals, however vicious, aren't sadistic, whereas MS-13 goes out of its way to be cruel. But that's pedantically parsing an offhand comment. 

v) Scripture uses animal metaphors or similes for humans. These may be metaphors with positive connotations (e.g. dove, lion), ambiguous connotations (e.g. sheep), or pejorative connotations (e.g. wolf, dog, snake, pig, cow).

vi) The reaction is ironic because we live in a time when progressives regard pets as people. When animals enjoy protections denied to babies. When evolutionary theory says humans are animals. So once again we witness the reflexive intellectual schizophrenia of so many pundits. 


  1. Interestingly, one of the MS-13 gang members, Joel Martinez, is nicknamed "Animal". Presumably either gang members gave Martinez the nickname "Animal" or he gave it to himself.

    As far as the left is concerned, gang members and Muslim terrorists who take pride in torturing, murdering, decapitating, and worse, innocent people are not "animals", whereas Republicans are "animals" or worse (e.g. Harry Reid calling Trump a "Frankenstein monster", Bill Maher calling Republicans "treasonous rats", various liberals calling Ted Cruz a weasel).

  2. The Bible uses a stronger term than "animals," which is "beast(s)." Trump would have had biblical precedent if he had used this latter term.

  3. As many have pointed out, the irony is that the left is full of people who literally dehumanize the unborn, calling them non-persons, to justify killing them outright. I guess back when the MS-13 gang members were innocent unborn babies, *before* they started doing all these horrible things, *then* it was okay to call them non-persons.