What Part of “No!” Don’t You Understand??: Morality at Center of Mid-Term Election by Elizabeth Fresee

As my late and dearly missed Professor, Dr. Otto Maduro, put it, “One mile from the courthouse, it’s complicated. One hundred feet from the courthouse, it’s not.” In that spirit, with just a couple of weeks until Nov 6, I submit that the mid-term election of 2018 is a referendum on morality – not a particular moral issue, but the entire principle of moral limits as a crucial element in a functional society. We are answering the question “Is morality itself still a thing?” Vote Republican, you are answering “No;” vote Democrat, you are answering “Yes.”

I must first clarify what I mean by “morality.” For some, it is about a traditional, hierarchical social order. The Almighty Father lays down the law and “No!” here means “No, you may not do anything I forbid, according to my will, regardless of your needs, including walking away from my authority and demands.” For most others, myself included, morality is about egalitarian, mutual concern for the well-being of all and a social contract obligating members of society to: a) not be mean jerks to one another and b) ensure those in need are basically cared for. “No!” here means “No, you may not trespass upon the integrity of others, nor may you walk away from your responsibility to them.” While many world religions have elements of the former version of morality, even the patriarchs generally have some obligation to social responsibility. The real heart of religiosity, though, is the mutual social contract, aka “The Golden Rule.” Continue reading “What Part of “No!” Don’t You Understand??: Morality at Center of Mid-Term Election by Elizabeth Fresee”

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