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Friday, March 1, 2024

Morality and politics

The attempt to impose moral values upon political decisions has reach its apogee, and nadir during the Bush administration. But it has long been the case that one group claims to have the high moral ground and is therefore justified in telling the rest of us how to live and love. It is time to stop.

The attempt to impose moral values upon political decisions has reach its apogee, and nadir during the Bush administration. But it has long been the case that one group claims to have the high moral ground and is therefore justified in telling the rest of us how to live and love. It is time to stop.

Of course the classic morality legislation failure was Prohibition, but attempts to enforce religious, philosophical and lifestyle mores has found its way into nearly every aspect of legislation. Our tax code is heavily laden with “moral” decisions, from special tax benefits to married persons to the imposition of higher taxes on the wealthy than on the poor. The criminal code is essentially a “code of moral conduct” by which those with power have decided for the rest of us what they will tolerate.

All of this, however, flies in the face of our nation’s foundations – among which are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The imposition of “moral values” is most obvious in the efforts of the religious extremists amongst us but it is not at all limited to them. From the right we have governmental policies that prohibit reproductive planning and condom distribution as a way of stemming the spread of AIDS so that their favorite “abstinence only” programs can be crammed down the throat of the world.

This campaign’s most obvious current expression is the right wing’s opposition to marriage between people of the same gender on the grounds that it would “offend God.”
The attempt to impose what one side sees as “moral values” always is divisive, counterproductive and unsuccessful. The behavior that is objected to may be suppressed, but usually finds expression in another way.

The “war on drugs” is a prime example of laws aimed at eradicating drug usage have instead given rise to one of the largest industries in the world, the criminal drug empire.

Way back in the 19th century our Supreme Court approved legislation that was founded upon one definition of “morality” or another as being within the scope of our Constitution. That was one of the most unfortunate decisions ever made.

Legislation should never be based upon a “moral” basis. It should be based solely upon a need found in the welfare of the people that is within the powers granted by the Constitution. For example, laws against murder and other such crimes need no basis in morality for there is a far more practical basis – the right of people to life.

If we removed any power of the government to legislate morality, we would see a drastic cutback in the power of a few to dictate the lives of the many. Almost all laws respecting sexual activity – prostitution, pornography, sodomy, etc. would disappear. Those laws that remain would have to find a justification in some other factual basis, and most would fail the test.

The debate over gay marriage would simply disappear. The issue of reproductive rights and abortion would likewise recede from the high-pitched fervor they have received for several decades, fatefully tainting the political process along the way.

Politicians, of course, clearly have no ground upon which to stand as moral authorities. Over the years we have seen that the emperor has no clothes – often quite literally – as to moral high ground. Likewise, those who proclaim with greatest energy the need for “moral values” have found to be among the grossest violators of those same values.

So what is this really all about, this press for “morality?” Power, guilt and hatred for the human condition. People who want to control the behavior of others simply need to quit. Work on yourself. Let me work on me. As a matter of fact, I think I am doing quite well and from what I can tell, better than many of those who preach the loudest.

Get the government out of morality altogether. All of it. No war on sex, or any of its attributes and consequences. No war on drugs. No more efforts to shape the world to fit your “message from God” or whatever you base your views upon. I am happy that you have been given a guideline for behavior, but since it was given to you
I conclude it was meant for you, not me.

I am quite content to live by “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” as a way to live life. I am not always able to live to that standard, but I try very hard. I recommend it to you, but would not think it appropriate to impose it upon you.

So keep your morality to yourself. Please. I am busy enjoying life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

14 thoughts on “Morality and politics”

  1. I’d love to see the best of chb comments in one place maybe on cd and offer it for a small fee i just read the disc mojo review and think the software would be prefect to make the CD

  2. I’ve been concerned that we have two carrier groups plus all of the other support ships in the Middle-east, and now we find out the USS Nimitz Strike Group entered the Persian Gulf on Wednesday. Even though the Nimitz was scheduled to relieve the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Pentagon refuses to state when the Eisenhower will return home. This is the largest naval presence in the Gulf since the beginning of the Irag War. Why now? LINK

    It seems to me that everything is in place for an attack against Iran – even though President Bush has stated he would rather settle the Iranian situation via diplomacy rather than force (sic). I am no Iran fan, and while I do believe there are serious issues with Tehran that eventually have to be addressed – the mere idea or thought of Bush attempting to bumble our country through another war seems like a far greater threat to America than Al Quada.

  3. The Plan for a New American Century was written by neocons who many now sit in positions of power. The plan to invade the middle east, to greatly build up military hardware, and to instill greater control over americans only needed an event like a new pearl harbor to win support of the people. Well folks, they provided that event on 911 and as planned proceeded to do all those evil things they outlined.

    The media is the major player in enabling this silent takeover of America by keeping the sheeple in the dark about what has actually been going on. What is happening to America right now has been done before in history, Germany was the last example of the takeover through misinformation designed to fool the populace.

  4. I agree, it is changing, slowly but surely; However, as you mentioned, there are still two carrier groups in the Middle-east – not to mention the compliment of support ships and minesweepers from the US and UK. To hold all of these vessels and crews “on the ready” in the Persian Gulf has to be expensive, and there has to be ( or should be) a solid military reason for their deployment(s). Keep in mind these deployments are US and UK forces combined, so whatever is going on has the tacit approval of the British government. (And Israel of course…)

    How many Americans are aware of the changes Bush has made to the Marital Law Doctrine via “administrative” changes? Even more important than that question is “why” such significant changes, and do those changes have anything to do with the “internment camps” that are being built in Alaska and in various locations throughout the United States by FEMA? Who are they for, and what is the reason for their construction at this juncture in our history?

    I hope that change comes about fast enough to head-off the catastrophe which awaits us if Bush somehow pulls-off a false-flag attack – and if there is an incident in an extremely crowded international waterway, I’m hoping that Congress will be able to control the war mongers long enough for our intelligence corps to delve into the situation and figure out if it was an unprovoked attack with malice, an accidental launch – or one that was planned and meant to escalate the hostilities into a full-scale war.

    With the Bush administration’s record of deception and downright lies, they should never be trusted or allowed to begin hostilities with ANY nation without Congressional approval – and even then, there will be no guarantee that the “Decider” and his cabal of Neo-conservatives and fundamentalist Christians haven’t again betrayed the people of America.


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