A case for moral politics

When it comes to public policy, often there is a misunderstanding about what drives people to come to the polls. I think that the main reason it is so easy for the right to deceive so many people is that they intrinsically understand the psychology of their side. They also understand that morality trumps fact-based policy making. The ability to tell a good story, to sell your moral vision to your constituents, is the primary motivation for getting your side to turn out. The current Democratic Party in the United States gave up creating a moral vision and decided to simply play a game of attrition hoping that the demographic changes would keep them safe from having to show their cowardice. The right wing coalitions will always have support from big money and their ideas will never be truly tested in a free market, because money means these idea will always have platform. No matter how evil, callous, objectively wrong, and destructive their ideas are, they cannot be defeated through rational argument. The left must be willing to offer a moral vision and argue not just from platitudes and rational arguments. The left must also recognize that the Republican Party in the United States are not responsible and are not simply the esteemed opposition. I understand that the parties may have more in common then is shown in public, in fact I think that is objectively true. However, we need a true opposition to them or else things will never get better. Policy is important and I want a leader with great policy ideas and the ability to talk to people about them effectively. However, let us not delude ourselves into thinking that working people actually have time to pay attention to lengthy academic policy arguments when they are working multiple jobs. That is why moral clarity and idealism is what we need. Scoff all you like, dear reader, but regardless of what you think of Trump, he inspired his base more than most Republicans ever could. The right has been hammering their moral vision for years and years. It doesn’t matter how silly I find it or you find it. The base of the right wing is motivated by that vision.

I believe that Capitalism is immoral and that is because it traps people into working jobs they hate simply to survive. It champions selfishness and egotism and discourages cooperation. I do not think competition is unhealthy. However, when your life is on the line, is that really the same as competing in a sport. A more just world with different parameters is something we should all strive for. Morality trumps rational policy debate in America. I hate to say it, but I do believe it is true. Both sides get off on their own moral superiority. We need to do better.

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