posted on May, 24 2005 @ 10:43 AM
A good question. Growing up outside of the US, I was surprised after moving back to see what a huge moral issue politicians have to make of
everything. Instead of debating issues on the merits, whether its healthcare, birth control, defense, free trade, or whatever, politicians in the US
debate the morality of those issues. They presume that their job is to be the moral guardians and/or representatives of the people. It's patronizing,
elitist, and in many cases deprives the individual of their own ability to make choices based on their own moral beliefs.
I think it stems from America's origins as a religious country- the first settlers were devoutly religious, for the most part, and today this
fundamentalist character still exists throughout the US heartland, and it sprouts in a new form in the neoconservative movement, which places a high
value on morals in politics. Morality gets the people riled up, particularly if there's some religious aspect involved. So, many politicians are
elected into office due to moral, instead of practical, reasons. I think we'd get a whole lot accomplished if we didn't turn the house of congress
into a shouting match on moral issues, but that's the nature of politics in the U.S. It would be nice to be able to show the people a different way
of government, where the politicians are limited to actual governance of the country, instead of assuming the role of moral shepherds, but I don't
see any way of it happening.
[edit on 24-5-2005 by koji_K]