The Politicization of Morals: Why the Political Trenches in Washington are getting deeper and deeper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlePopular

Abstract

American democratic politics has always been messy. In fact, the political system was designed that way—to be a bit scrappy and quarrelsome when it comes to making new laws of the land. The institutional fragmentation that is codified in the constitution results in many avenues to make policy but just as many brakes to block it.
While the Founding Fathers certainly wanted checks and balances in their new nation, they also believed in honoring what the Declaration of Independence called “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.” The Founders believed that any person of good will and common sense will be reasonable enough to understand the justice of the American’s cause. But looking at Washington politics today, it feels like elected officials are preoccupied with ideology and have forgotten that compromise, based on a shared understanding of what is morally right, lies at the heart of the system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalElsevier Weekblad
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • American politics
  • Trump

Cite this

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AB - American democratic politics has always been messy. In fact, the political system was designed that way—to be a bit scrappy and quarrelsome when it comes to making new laws of the land. The institutional fragmentation that is codified in the constitution results in many avenues to make policy but just as many brakes to block it. While the Founding Fathers certainly wanted checks and balances in their new nation, they also believed in honoring what the Declaration of Independence called “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.” The Founders believed that any person of good will and common sense will be reasonable enough to understand the justice of the American’s cause. But looking at Washington politics today, it feels like elected officials are preoccupied with ideology and have forgotten that compromise, based on a shared understanding of what is morally right, lies at the heart of the system.

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