Separate politics and morals

February 1, 2018 Opinion

We need have no doubts as to where President Trump stands on the matter of abortion. In person, he congratulated participants of the 45th annual March for Life on celebrating life, friendship, love, and the potential of thousands of future Americans.

Trump has set records as being the highest-ranking official to address the March for Life, surpassing the previous year’s Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence, by way of introduction, referred to Trump as “the most pro-life president in American history.” Readers can decide themselves the historical accuracy of such a statement.

The Trump administration has also taken several steps in protecting anti-abortion beliefs. The Department of Health and Human Services has created a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division; this ideally allows health workers to refuse to participate in abortions or to treat transgender patients based on moral or religious grounds.

Many social conservatives are presumably overjoyed to have the head of state firmly behind their movement; others, however, have their reservations concerning the issue.

There exist many stereotypes about the kinds of U.S. citizens based on their political beliefs, and they’ve been decades in the making. People often associate the Republican party with religion and pro-life policies, and the Democrats with secular approaches and strong pro-choice policies.

These seem to make sense at first; a Republican politician who happens to be against abortion will likely promote laws that reduce its practice. It is reasonable to consider this when discussing politics. Yet matters of abortion, religion, and war also carry moral weight, and that is a dangerous thing in politics.

When we tie certain moral beliefs to certain political parties, we’re also making moral judgments about the people in those parties. It’s become so intertwined that we feel comfortable deciding who is and is not a “good person” based on political beliefs alone.

When we make moral calls based on someone else’s political party, we are shutting down any kind of political discourse: one party is morally right and the other morally wrong, and there’s no changing that.

People who pertain to one party are moral, their opposite party immoral, and vice versa.

As long as Americans have this attitude towards politics, as long as they intertwine moral matters with politics, there is no sitting down and actually discussing politicians’ merits with someone who believes differently.

In fact, mixing morals and politics, and being unable to talk about the concepts, likely resulted in the current recent administration in the first place.

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