Politics: The Battlefield of Morality

How can anyone vote for Donald Trump?
How can anyone support the Democratic Party?

Anyone confused by how it’s come to this?

When you look at some of the fundamentals of human nature and society, it really isn’t any wonder that we’re here today, staring at the biggest stand-off in awhile.

Politics is simply the manifestation of a much broader and more important battle over morality. Whatever is deemed morally correct by the majority of the population usually gets the satisfaction of being translated into law. Therefore, we see the constant tug-of-war over which set of moral beliefs wins. How many do you have pulling for your side? Better rally the troops.

In ancient times when two groups needed to duke it out, each side would send in a champion to fight on their behalf. This saved thousands of lives and settled numerous disputes. I feel like our presidential election has become, in large part, a similar way of settling our disagreements. One champion wins one election, another champion wins another. If we’re the losers, better luck next time. Right?

Except, the stakes seem to be so much higher each time. Efforts seem to have exponentially increased to push the masses one way or another. Why? Why have things gotten so intense? 

Because the moral divide between the two main ideologies ruling this country have been pulling further and further apart to where we’re now so strained, we’re reaching a breaking point. 

We need to answer these two questions:

How can anyone vote for Donald Trump?

And

How can anyone support the Democratic Party? (Because, let’s be honest, this election has less to do with Joe Biden.)

To answer either question I’m going to have to back up and engage in a moral discussion. This moral discussion, however, will come from the side we are trying to understand. If we have been enjoying the luxury of only validating our own moral perspective, this should be a good exercise. 

How can anyone vote for Donald Trump?

Over the years the moral debates that have surfaced have gradually put conservative values in second place. 

We see this in the question over sexual morality. Television and movies at one point wouldn’t even show a married couple occupying the same bed. Now pre-marital sex is no big deal, assumed even, as long as those involved are consenting adults (or teens with no more than three years between them). Abstinence was once the reliable premarital birth control. Sex Ed now fills young minds with ways to engage in protected sex, as long as they are not transmitting sexual diseases. Divorce once difficult and condemned, is now remedied with co-habitation and “irreconcilable differences”. 

Same-sex couples who once engaged in different lifestyle choices are now receiving the same legal status as a man and wife. The L and the G are now joined by an ever growing number of letters and identities which question the understood male and female variety of our species. Legislation is overturned at the courts. The constant moving target of “acceptability” seems to be slowly excluding those who are not on board with the edits and changes. 

On the moral question of life, abortion rights are argued as a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body. A fetus is a mass of cells with no feelings and no rights. This view is simply unacceptable. Watching this debate deteriorate into haggling over body parts, it is clear that the battle for the right to life is far from over.

On the battlefield of these moral debates, we find religion at its center. Can religion maintain its Constitutional protections in the face of so many changes? Does religion find itself on the chopping block of outdated and conflicting ideas? The fear is real as conservatives consider the slow and eroding changes that have already taken place.

The rest of the moral issues converge on these, adding more momentum to the sense that liberty is tied to morality, and both are in the crosshairs. 

In walks Donald Trump, unafraid to be crass and better at the immoral game than the enemy. He is large and unbeatable, dishing out sweet revenge on those who have constantly sent volley after volley of immorality into pop culture, public education, and the home. Why wouldn’t someone vote for the person who can best defeat the growing mammoth of government control and legislating from the bench? The fact that he is immoral almost makes him perfect for the task. And above all, whether he lives them or not, it matters that he fights for conservative values.

Whether or not Donald Trump is defeated, this issue will remain as long as morality is up for debate.

How can anyone support the Democratic Party?

Since the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, it is clear that not everyone was included as deserving those unalienable rights to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. While the Democratic Party has endured several makeovers, it is now the standard that calls all who fight for the rights of those who have been excluded (implicitly or explicitly) from those sanctioned rights. 

Each step of progress has taken tremendous effort and enormous sacrifice. On the battlefield lay the Brown Family, Jane Roe, Harvey Milk and Marsha Johnson, Steven Engel, and Alice Paul. Each victory opened another door to let in those oppressed and marginalized by the majority of society. There are more battles to fight and more needed victories to win. 

Standing high and casting a shadow on the happiness of so many others is the mammoth of institutional religion. It hides behind the notions of “love” while denying love. It claims religious freedom while stripping the liberties and freedoms from others. In the name of God, people justify bigotry, hate, and discrimination. Do they really believe in this God? Or is it simply the pedestal to stand on to keep others down? 

Religious notions have been the root cause of self-destructive thoughts and public rejection. It perpetuates shame and leaves people homeless and alone. The conservative offers tithes to the Church, but begrudges the taxes needed for education, healthcare, and social programs. They worship capitalism and industry, picking as their new god a businessman who represents the core beliefs that have contributed to so much suffering and misery in this world. 

For those who care at all for the liberty and happiness of others, people must come together under the Democratic banner to defeat Donald Trump.

Whether or not they are victorious, this fight will remain as long as others create stumbling blocks for progress.

What can we do?

It is worthless to debate who has the moral upper hand. We have come to this point because one group or another believes they are defending and upholding the right set of moral values. The current tactics include shaming, unfriending, and bewilderment. We try to kill our enemies with “kindness” and feed each other information that only validates one side. We continue to see casualties of our friends and relatives and lament that there is nothing we can do. 

Stop. 

Stop unfriending, stop preaching, stop trying to make the other person “see”. Stop discrediting, stop tearing down, stop excusing behavior. 

Until we come together and negotiate terms that leave both sides feeling satisfied, we will continue to see new Goliaths emerge, one bigger and uglier than the last.

The key to winning the moral question is simple. It starts with a small stone. Do you cast it or use it to build something together?

4 comments

  1. Thinking of politics as legislated morality was an interesting starting point for this blog post. You’re right, Emily, in saying that morality is at stake.

    As I read through the examples that you provided as Americans support one or the other major political party in our country, it struck me that, as conservative values have given way to more ‘inclusion’ of other lifestyles and philosophies, how those same conservative values (and the people who hold onto them) might become the new minority…..marginalized and trampled…..and worthy of the Democratic Party’s help to champion our rights !

    Wouldn’t that be weird ?

    If the Democratic party is truly for the downtrodded and abused, then maybe they should take a long look at the possible human debris they are creating now. Would they possibly defend those same conservatives in the future ??

    As to what to do after the election results are announced, I’m confident that, no matter who wins the Presidential office, I can continue being engaged in my local town/county/state politics. I can continue to read/watch the news and become involved as I see fit. I can continue to write/email/call my Congressperson to be aware of issues I think are important and let them know my preferences for their law-making votes.

    As an American, I know the value of being a good sport. This trait has been practiced since pre-school. And this isn’t just noticeable at sporting events. This applies to every aspect of our lives. We can be good sports. We can be involved. We can let our voices be heard…..without violence, sneering, jeering, or meanness. There truly is “life after the election” and we can move on with other things.

    Thank you, Emily, for sharing this perspective. I’m looking forward to maintaining my inner balance, as the election comes and goes, with all the good things that are already a part of my life.

    Like

    • Wonderful comments and good questions. I love that you focus on what we can do and what we can control. I also love the example you set of getting involved and letting your voice be heard.

      As to the questions regarding the Democratic Party and those who feel most connected to it, we’ll have to see if conservative values ever make it to their list. As it stands, I’m sure they feel their list is pretty long and to be honest, I’m sure they feel the list only exists because of conservative values. So, until the bad guy becomes the guy who needs saving, you might be stuck for a while. And quite honestly, I believe it is for this reason that many people are casting their vote to give the current president another term. He will fight for conservative values. Those voting to remove him are a mixture of people, but at the heart of their campaign is the feeling that he and conservative values continue to threaten the things they stand for. So, as long as everyone continues to feel threatened, we’ll just see more of the same.

      But you’re right! There are things we can do to help people feel less threathened and hopefully eventually willing to work together.

      Like

    • This is a wonderful article! It’s nice to have uplifting words to provide balance for the other stuff out there! 🙂

      Like

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