5 questions

I am asking this not to start some sort of stupid argument, but to truly understand:

Why exactly do most liberal or left-leaning Democrats have a problem with what Bush does on a day to day basis?

What I mean is, why is there so much invective and hate towards the guy?

According to them it’s because of the war in Iraq, the civil liberties at home, etc. But even if all the bad stuff they say about him is true, which I only concede for the sake of this discussion, why do they care?

They’re the same group of people who do not want any morality legislated, and the law is not based upon anything other than the decrees of elected individuals.

So, here is my list of questions, and I truly ask this to try and understand:

  1. If morality can’t be legislated, and morality shouldn’t have a place in politics, why do Democrats harbor animosity towards Bush? (Ostensibly it’s for the war, but if morality has no place in politics, the war’s morality [including any war-crimes/deaths/etc] has no place in the discussion. Then if that all has no place, why get angry with someone over a simple policy decision?)
  2. If you’re angry because American soldiers are dying, why are you angry? In the eyes of the federal government, all human beings are nothing but movable meat, and since human life has no absolute value (after all, your value of human life is directly related to morality, and morality has no place in politics), why get angry over movable meat becoming less movable?
  3. If you’re angry about civil liberties being lost, why are you angry? According to the rules set above (that morality has no place in politics), laws and rights and liberties have no basis other than what the government deigns to give, and can be revoked at any time. To say that human beings have innate rights is to not only invoke metaphysics, but also morality, which, again, has no place in politics. So why get angry if your current rights change from one set, to a different, and morally equivalent set?
  4. If you’re angry over oil prices, why are you angry? No one said you were entitled to oil prices being a certain level, and the greed of any given corporation has no relevance in a political discussion, why are you angry?
  5. If you’re angry over Bush promoting his religion in office, why are you angry? When you state that morality should not have a place in politics, you’re either stating that there is a higher standard by which the law and politics are judged (which is awfully close to morality), or you’re stating your personal preference. If it’s your personal preference, and you would never impose your preferences on someone else, why are you angry?

Okay, that’s my 5 questions that I am really dying to know. This is not aimed at anyone who does believe morality has a part of politics, but rather to the far left, who think that any morality in politics is bad.

It just seems that even by invoking the phrase "Legality should not be part of politics" implies a certain morality which is intrinsically part of politics.

But perhaps there is an aspect of the argument I am missing, and hence, I am curious to the answers 🙂

5 comments to “5 questions”

  1. Ryan Miglavs

    The notable response is that all of your questions completely hinge on one argument: that liberals/leftists/Bush-dislikers/me/whatever claim morality shouldn't or can't be legislated.

    It turns out very few of the thoughtful people I know make such a claim. I certainly don't. And I've been against almost every single action Bush has taken while in office. For me, to be quite honest. it's BECAUSE of the morality. Bush gives tax breaks to the wealthy and the corporate while increasing taxes and cutting programs for the poor and the weak. He sends other people's children into war while he dodged service himself. He claims we're fighting for freedom while authorizing imprisonment and torture. He cuts countless regulations that are meant to ensure that we're good stewards of this planet.

    No, for me, it's that Bush's actions are almost always immoral. I think it's time for someone to turn the tables (and I mean that in the Biblical sense).


  2. Nate Cavanaugh

    Ryan, that is actually a great response. I actually disagree with you, but at least we can argue with a common foundation.

    For the sake of a good discussion, my next post will actually respond to each of your points one by one, using Christian morality as the basis.

    Now, I would disagree however, that a lot of liberals don't ask for morality to be kept out of politics. This almost always gets said as soon as any of these topics come up: abortion, prayer in schools, gay marriage, intelligent design being taught in public schools, etc.

    My whole main point that I was going for is that the left generally doesn't want morality legislated until they have something they want to impose on everyone else, then it's moral this and moral that.

    Which I am all fine with, but let's at least try and codify it. But the whole anti-religion slant that the left is on is actually quite contradictory to many of their other ideological claims.

  3. Ryan Miglavs

    Hm. It's true I've heard that particular statement come up, though not terribly often with my activist friends (this is the sort of argument we've realized doesn't come across as consistent or intelligent).

    We usually speak in terms of keeping _religion_ and politics separated. I'd like to give my liberal companions who spout "no moral legislation" stuff the benefit of the doubt and say they must _mean_ religion, but I'm not sure they've all thought it through.

    Anyway, I look forward to your response, and continued discussion.


  4. Jakobson


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