"Morality" kills bipartisanship

I use quotation marks for “morality” because there’s no agreement on what is or isn’t moral anymore these days.

With that said…

“Morality,” or whatever each side holds to be moral, is IMHO the 2nd-biggest factor killing bipartisanship in America these days (the No. 1 factor simply being Blue vs. Red tribalism.) The injection of morality into any debate kills off any hope of cooperation. Once one decides that 1) one’s side is moral, and 2) the opposing side is immoral, then compromise becomes impossible, because you cannot cooperate with evil.

This isn’t to say that America should ditch its sense of morality. But as long as morality is brought up in debates - and especially, when *intentionally *done so, as a wedge - any hope for Blue-Red cooperation is impossible. The only way there will ever be bipartisanship again is if both sides decide to leave morality out of the discussion, or move more towards each other’s view of what is moral and what isn’t.

Can you give some examples? It isn’t like legislating on abortion or racial discrimination was easy in the past.

I would think that it would be at most third, behind the red/blue tribalism you pointed out, and also behind self-selected media environments which allow each side to choose its own “facts”.

In any case, I’m not sure how one would get morality out of the equation. Each person should vote according to their morality. To do otherwise would be immoral. If someone really believes that killing a fetus is just as immoral as killing a new born, they should vote pro life. I personally don’t believe that and would try to argue against someone holding that view point, but if that’s their morality I recognize that they have to follow it.

I think for the most part, Morality as it is used in politics is an excuse. It’s THE excuse to condemn the other said as evil and you can’t compromise with evil.

This is a relatively new view. In my limited experience, the morality of politics of days past was such that everyone pretty much held (at least publicly) that our nation of laws was founded on a certain set of morals that stemmed from Christian values.

IN todays day, we all want to limit Christian influence to extremes and for that you have to create a new morality stemming from something else.

Taking the high ground and refusing to cooperate gets us where we are now. Being governed by a tyranny of the majority (if you have both Legislative and Presidential seats locked up)

We are going to have to go back to compromising or I sincerely fear for the future of our nation.

I don’t disagree, but the ⅗ Compromise is always what comes to mind as an example of what happens when Morally Not Wrong and Morally Wrong compromise: Morally Wrong in a Weird Way.

It is one thing to compromise on how much pie each should have, but it is quite another when one side takes possession of most of the pie then gets butthurt when the other side won’t share what is left.

But, ironically - or, perhaps befittingly - both sides claim that they are the one getting only 1/4 while the other side gets 3/4.

And their idea of a “fair balance” is something that would result in their opponent feeling like they are now getting only 1/8 while they get 7/8.

Why don’t you give us a real-world scenario that fits your OP? I would like to know what you mean by “compromise” and who you think isn’t compromising in that scenario.

It’s clear that at least a symptom of current political division in the US is it being more likely for one side to view the other as evil rather than mistaken, or rather than simply people who have reached a different conclusion using the available facts.

Beyond that though it seems harder to say how much is cause v effect, and as other posts have pointed out, it’s definitely not as simple as ‘let’s leave morality out of politics’. Which has not generally been the case in previous eras of more consensus oriented politics in the US, or other countries now which have more of a consensus. It isn’t that we had or they have a simple rule to not apply morality to politics, but rather simply…there was/is more consensus, about what are practical judgment calls within a generally accepted moral framework as opposed to what political views are morally beyond the pale.

We do get some threads here at SDMB! Morality. :smack: One side now endorses treason, racism, violence against journalists, holding U.S. and ally interests hostage to politicians’ personal greed, and sometimes even pedophilia. (Yes, many right-wingers are motivated by sincere belief in sanctities of life, marriage, guns etc., but these issues are just promoted to them by kleptocrats and lying media.)

Sorry. I’m not ready to jump on the “compromise” bandwagon.

The ⅗ “Compromise” is often misunderstood. Black slaves weren’t given ⅗ the voting power of white men. It was the whites, especially the slaveowners, who got that ⅗ of extra power, compared with Zero for their other chattel, like cattle. By strengthening that power, the larger that fraction, the worse it was for the blacks.

That was my point.

And then call him a snowflake for pointing that out.
But actually all through the history there *were *great debates (;)) on moral issues, problem was that then election year would roll by and you’d change it into campaigning on that your opponent was a man of low morals. As pointed out the 3/5 compromise was short of what the white southern establishment would have wanted, and after Reconstruction they then took advantage of that now the black population counted 100% for apportionment, and still kept them disanfranchised and opressed, and the rest of the country decided for eighty years that did not need further fixin’.

I would still like to see a real world example of what the OP is talking about. I am weary of threads that ask if we are in favor of some vague premise, only to have the OP claim that such approval means we then must support her/his view concerning a specific event.

You’d think that abortion, say, would be one of the moral issues that the OP is talking about. And yet, in 2009, when the Republicans in the Senate had a choice of opposing abortion or screwing over the Democrats, every last one of them, 40 out of 40, chose to screw over the Democrats. And nobody at all took them to task for it.

Today’s political problems are 100% due to blind tribalism. Morality ceased to be relevant at all a long time ago.

Yep. Democratic women subject to revenge porn? How dare she take naughty photos!

Republican President talking about Two Corinthians while engaging in a payoff and cover up of his affair with an adult actress? We need more Christians like him in office!

It’s not accurate to describe the scenario involving ‘Democratic women’ as daring to take a naughty photo! It’s daring to violate House rules on affairs with subordinates and being dumb enough to take a creepy photo with the evidence.

Christian values are a good thing. Christians in general are a good thing. Equating humans with the tendency to fuck up, with “Christian values” is the wrong place to lay blame. Blame the individual.

But isn’t this kind of the point in the OP. Once someone takes the high ‘moral’ ground, there is no debate to be had, no compromise to be reached because the other side is ‘immoral’

I disagree that the morals as entered into this question had anything to do with House regulations. Yes, some people paid more attention to House rules than the morality aspect of the matter. For those who focused on the morality, I think it was pure slut-shaming.

I think you’ve missed the point so completely that you looped back around the earth and actually made my point. Trump supporters will make any excuse to make him seem moral despite the vast amount of evidence that he’s a horrible person by any measure – Christian values, atheist values, Satanist values, Kantian values, etc. because such people are on a team that they believe is always morally right, and the other side morally wrong. As the other poster said, the root here is 100% tribalism and making attacks on others; it isn’t actually about one’s view on morality at all.

Which is why I said Morality as it is used in political battles, is simply an excuse dismiss the other side but it IS used.

It seems to me the problem isn’t morality as such. Many of the most important political issues are, and have always been, moral issues. “All men are created equal” and “the power of a just ruler is derived from the consent of the governed” are moral positions. Would America be better off without those principles? Would America be better off if nobody had advocated for abolition, or desegregation, or gay rights?

I see the issue as fake morality - forcing a non-moral issue into a moral framework in order to drive a wedge between your supporters and “their” supporters. Issues like the border wall or assault weapon bans - both completely useless for what they’re allegedly for, both only exist so that the parties can say “Look! The other team wants a bad thing!”

In other words, the problem isn’t morality - morality is just another symptom of exreme partisanship. What to do about it? Beats the hell out of me. Once a party starts blocking bills supported by the majority of Congress and the majority of the populace just because the other party wants it more, how do you deescalate from that?