Well, I think I’m picking a fight I really don’t want to have, but I am looking for open, intellectual discussion and a differing viewpoint, so please keep it civil, as will I.
The simple question is this: How can an ethical person with good values support unethical behavior AND still be a good person? At what point are you own values compromised as you bend yourself into a pretzel to defend the unethical behaviors of your affiliated party members?
An example: An older colleague of mine defended Trump after the Charlottesville debacle by saying “racists ARE good people.” From where I’m standing, he just defended racism, which causes me to wonder about his own sense of ethics.
I have been spending a lot of time lately contemplating the Ethics and Values of the GOP in general. I don’t think I need to preface this with the widely-reported, innumerable scandals related to the GOP over the last few years. I think it’s safe to say the veil of “what Republicans are willing to admit is right or wrong” has somewhat dropped with Trump, considering you have to morally equivocate his behavior daily anew to support him.
I myself changed my life-long affiliation from Republican to Independent just before the midterms. Admittedly, I haven’t voted R in years but never had a stable address to switch party affiliations until recently.
Part of the reason for this dissertation and request for viewpoints is the ongoing struggle I am having with my parents. They support Trump whole-cloth, to the point if you don’t support him BLINDLY no matter what he says or does, you’re one of the bad guys. A great example is how in their eyes McCain went from “God’s greatest hope for America” to “LIBERAL TRAITOR” simply by voicing that perhaps some of Trump’s unethical behavior is…unethical.
I know my parents are good people and can cite a wide array of evidence as such. But they are older (mid-to-late 70s) and mostly house-bound with no “friends” or others to bounce ideas off of–and they only watch Fox News. So that means they are constantly smoldering over what someone is NOT letting Trump do, smoldering over what the libs are doing, smoldering over how people they will never meet–who will never affect them in any way–are living their own life.
We’ve (see: I’ve) established a moratorium on talking politics. Our relationship is tenuous already–their age means they need me to be around and their volatility on every political subject (which keeps them seething just below screaming pretty much all the time) means we simply can’t afford to talk about politics–my differing point of view will likely not be tolerated and will surely throw my dad’s blood pressure through the roof. The man pulled the car over and threw me out when I asserted that the Founding Fathers were Deists.
But they still say enough about politics that I know they will excuse everything Trump does, and often what their excuse is. In fact, he is the New “God’s best plan to save America.” When I point out his OVERWHELMING immorality, they just wave it off and say “God spoke through the mouth of an ass.”
The idea is if they can just excuse every un-Christian thing Trump does, somehow, the goodly Christian Republicans will save America behind the scenes. This of course doesn’t account for all of the other immorality running amok throughout the Right, all the way down to local politics where a REP was recently caught trading drugs and money for gay sex with a teenage boy.
Now–far be it from me to judge a political party by the worst examples available–which is why I have been pondering the entire core value/ethic identity of Republicanism. And I’m struggling.
Part of the problem is too many of their principles fly in the face of themselves.
Some examples (while trying to avoid Straw-Men):
They complain incessantly at how much a Democrat President spends on travel, while the last 3 republican presidents have gone on far, far more personal vacations at greater expense.
They complain about Dem’s running up the deficit, except it’s the Reps who always run it up (just look at it going now) after the Dems bring it down.
They say the are pro-life, but are against Planned Parenthood–an institution designed to help young women make informed decisions about having children. They oppose healthcare for pregnant women. They oppose funding for teachers for after the child is born. So when you peel it all away, it would appear the concern about pro-life is more about control over the female’s ability to make decisions rather than simply “WE VALUE LIFE.” None of this includes the GOP’s stance on gun control and the death sentence.
They oppose gay marriage because they so value the sanctity of marriage, yet have no issues with divorce or adultery.
Believe me–we can do this with the Democrats after. Remember I am an indy. I didn’t vote for HRC.
But I’m struggling to find the moral high-ground the Right keeps touting. And there seems to be a disproportionate amount of scandal involving the GOP as of late.
Am I thinking about it wrong? Can you support totally immoral behavior and still have a well-calibrated moral compass?