The Basic Values Needed for Our Politics

Five of the most important Western ethical thinkers.

Five of the most important Western ethical thinkers.
From top, left to right; bottom, left to right:

Socrates (Wikimedia Commons / Eric Gaba (Sting));
Aristotle
(Wikimedia Commons / Eric Gaba (Sting));
Jesus of Nazareth (Wikimedia Commons / Andreas Wahra);
St. Thomas Aquinas (Wikimedia Commons / Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei.)
Immanuel Kant (Wikimedia Commons / By Unknown – Source: Eric Gerlach first upload , Public Domain)

In my last post,  Values, Reality, and Politics, I developed a picture of our increasingly brutal political conflicts as being fights over differing value hierarchies. On closer inspection, each contending structure defines the very heart of the ethics and derived morality of their adherents. One absolutely remarkable observation is the differences between the ethics of progressives and neoliberals (aka conservatives) are not so much with their most fundamental values, but with lower level derived values.

In this picture of ethical evolvements, each level of values requires some prerequisites to acquire those values or ends. Those prerequisites then become valuable themselves as means to achieve the ends of the higher level values. They are therefore derived values one level below the values needing them to be realized. One basic value is security of the community from outside threats, and to achieve national security armed forces are needed. Everything required to produce those armed forces then become derived values to obtain the higher level value of communal security. Yet in my discussion of the hierarchy of values, I left out the most important piece.

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Obama’s Seizure of Legislative Power

President Obama negotiating with congressional leaders in November 2012 during the fiscal cliff debate

President Obama negotiating with congressional leaders in November 2012 during the fiscal cliff debate
Wikimedia Commons / Voice of America

This is a story about how the Democratic Party became a lot less democratic. Once the Democratic Party lost control of the legislative branch of government with the loss of the House of Representatives to the Republicans in 2010, President Obama increasingly gave up on cooperating with Congress to obtain consensual government. Instead, Obama decided to seize some legislative power in an effort to become an American El Jefe.

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Progressives’ Hypocrisy Is Showing

Anti-Trump riot in Portland, Oregon following President-elect Trump’s election
Screenshot from a CNN broadcast

To this very day,  progressives are not just demonstrating to protest Donald Trump’s election, but rioting and destroying private property as well to make their point. Do you feel any more persuaded? Whatever happened to the insistence, so much urged by the progressive media recently, that the loser — who they thought would inevitably be Trump — should acquiesce to the peaceful transfer of power to the winner? Is that position now “nonoperative”? How long can we expect for this guerrilla warfare to continue?      Continue Reading…

Can This Election Season Get Any More Amazing?

Oh, No! Not again!

Oh, No! Not Again!
Screen shot from a Fox News broadcast

Are we living in the real world, or are we living in some fictional world straight from the imagination of some novelist? No House of Cards drama could possibly compete with the surreal unreality that is Campaign 2016. As is often said about many more plausible happenings, you can not possibly make this up!  Continue Reading…

Is the U.S. Becoming a Banana Republic?

Screen Shot of James Comey swearing-in at House Oversight Committee meeting on why he did not recommend seeking an indictment for Hillary Clinton on July 7, 2016.

Screen Shot of James Comey swearing-in at House Judiciary Committee meeting on why he did not recommend seeking an indictment for Hillary Clinton on July 7, 2016.

James Comey has sullied his reputation. That seems to be the opinion of a growing number of people taking a closer look at aspects of the FBI’s investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal. Even more troubling is the thought that James Comey’s actions presage a decay of the United States into a mere banana republic. Continue Reading…

Hillary and The Donald: What a Choice!

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Which to Choose?                                Photo Credits: CNN.com and CNN.com

The choices we have for president, while both incredibly unappetizing, are beginning to offer a more interesting choice. As a conservative Republican, I would normally favor the Republican nominee, but this time around I have had tremendous reservations about Trump. Continue Reading…

This Smells to High Heaven!

Garbage

Garbage In, Garbage out: Who can bear the smell!
Image Credit: Flickr.com/soundfromwayout

Well, FBI Director James Comey finally came out and announced today the FBI would not recommend to the Justice Department that it seek a criminal indictment of Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified material. Before I write another word concerning what I think about this charade, let me offer the video below with James Comey’s full press conference.      Continue Reading…

Are We No Longer a Nation of Laws?

Contemplation of Justice

Contemplation of Justice     Image Credit: Flickr.com/dbking

American Exceptionalism is an ideology based on the concept we rule ourselves through our government representatives, and that government is strictly limited to the powers listed for it in the Constitution. Implicit in the idea is the notion that all are equal before the law, that we are a nation ruled by laws, and not by men. This distinction is now threatened by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.  Continue Reading…

The Noose Tightens on Hillary Clinton

Cells in Alcatraz

Justice awaits!      Photo Credit: Flickr.com/S Baker

Neither the Democratic electorate nor most of the media have shown much interest in Hillary Clinton’s legal troubles so far, but recent developments with the FBI investigation of her make it hard to believe that anyone will be able to ignore them for much longer.    Continue Reading…

The Corruption of the Democratic Party

William Magear "Boss" Tweed

William Magear “Boss” Tweed          Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons (PD-US-unpublished)

William Magear “Boss” Tweed (April 3, 1823 – April 12, 1878) was a notorious Democratic politician of the 19th century who was the “Boss” of the equally notorious Tammany Hall gang from 1858 until his imprisonment for graft and corruption in 1872.      Continue Reading…

Do Progressives Want a Police State?

Many progressives seem to yearn for a police state. Although I can not believe that all progressives desire a fascist state, even a small fraction of authoritarian-leaning Leftists is very, very scary. Certainly, by now it can not be much of a surprise to anyone paying any attention that progressives are intolerant of any opinions, views, world-views, or ideologies that do not agree with their own. Continue Reading…

The Ferguson Effect

Last week  some news outlets took note of a big crime wave that began in Baltimore after six Baltimore police officers were indicted for the murder of Freddie Gray [See here and here and here and here].  A number of these outlets also noted that this situation is  not isolated to Baltimore, but can be found in cities across the country, and they have given the phenomenon the sobriquet of “the Ferguson Effect”.

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