Period of a moral conscience

Just like all disparities in life, polarity within political party affiliation is usually attributed to opinion or preference. As it goes, the Republicans lack heart and the Democrats lack logic. But could it be something more? Could it be said that people who agree with Republican platform issues lack not only heart, but also crucial qualities that contribute to an ethically sound human being? According to some philosophers, it might be true that Democrats and liberals are actually more morally aware than their Republican counterparts.

Specifically pertaining to social and economic policies, constituents of the Republican Party support some very questionable axioms. For example, they support the idea of “defending [traditional] marriage against an activist judiciary,” and are absolutely determined to “repeal Obamacare.” So much so that in 2013, Republican speaker of the house John Boehner allowed the entire government to shut down in order to postpone passage of the president’s healthcare bill.

While these theories seem justified to some and heinous to others, they are morally deficient under moral theory. According to the idea of utilitarianism, which states that we ought to do whatever we can to maximize happiness among the maximum amount of people, these practices are outright unethical. In theory, causing suffering directly through measures such as the restriction of marriage equality or freedom of choice concerning abortion is morally wrong.

Not only is it ethically deplorable to directly contribute to the suffering of other human beings, but it is also equally wrong to indirectly allow it. For example, supporting the repeal of a bill that would entitle many to healthcare resources they would otherwise be denied is ethically wrong. Supporting laissez-faire economic policies in which one person may be allowed to gain insurmountable wealth and influence over millions of citizens or even government officials is ethically wrong. Essentially, being a republican is ethically wrong.

Utilitarianism is not the only ethical theory that indicates the immorality of conforming to a republican point of view. Kantian ethics rest on the principle of humanity, which states that we are morally required to treat each individual as equally and intrinsically valuable and to make decisions in respect to the absolute and equal importance of each and every human life. According to Aristotelian virtue ethics, the morally sound or “virtuous” individual possesses qualities like integrity, bravery, temperance and generosity. Concerning generosity specifically in relation to wealth, Aristotle indicates that it is not permissible to merely avoid taking from others, but to succeed in giving as well. It is abundantly evident that since the beginning of social and philosophical theory, the foundations upon which the modern Republican Party rests are logically and inherently unethical, immoral and wrong.

Those who identify with Republican ideals may disagree with these statements, but on what grounds? That selfishness and perpetuation of suffering across multiple facets of life is simply easier for those who have the autonomy and ability to make an impactful choice? That living a life devoid of a moral conscience leads to greater measures of superficial success? While being a Republican may entail all of these things, the consequences are merely internal. Every individual has the right to believe and act upon those beliefs any way they choose. Choose as you will — and remember that whatever you do decide, the other side will always consider you inferior.

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