Thursday, January 21, 2016

Right/left or right/wrong?

The RINO label is becoming an intellectual shortcut. A substitute for rational analysis.

Some political issues aren't about right and left, but right and wrong. I don't mean morally wrong, but just mistaken. 

Take support for Libyan intervention (to topple Gaddafi). That's not a right/left issue, but a right/wrong issue. A misjudgment. I'd say the Iraq war was a miscalculation. But that doesn't make Bush 43 a RINO. 

Is illegal immigration issue a right/left issue? Why not view that as a right/wrong issue? 

The social issues are both right/wrong and right/left. But there are a number of domestic and foreign policy issues that we can't pigeonhole into right/left categories, and that's a distraction. Instead, we should discuss them in terms of whether they are good or bad, wise or foolish. 

Not every political issue is a moral issue. Sometimes these are prudential issues. And it can be difficult for shortsighted creatures like ourselves to come down on the correct side of some prudential issues, because the consequences are too complex and unpredictable. 

An addiction to labels short-circuits intelligent evaluation of the issues and options. Labels can be useful, but that should be the end-result, and not the starting-point, of our assessment. 

1 comment:

  1. "Not every political issue is a moral issue."

    Amen. But in today's climate, every political is cast as a moral issue. If you disagree with , you are assumed to be either a racist, a woman hater, a bigot, an ageist, or any number of other pejoratives...