Unprincipled Righteousness, Inconsistent Thought, & Double Standards

I’m really liking these comparisons.

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Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

The one thing that always irks me is inconsistency. So many people don’t think how they set up double standards in their own thinking, thus causing dissociation between different parts of their experience. The only way to avoid self-serving and self-deluding rationalizations is with self-awareness.

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Our politics shouldn’t be about defending our small group interest, whether views of pro-gun-rights or prochoice (or whatever else), by attacking everyone else who disagrees or who is a member of a different political party, race, ethnicity, etc.

In a large nation like this, we all share the responsibility of governance, to ensure it is both good and just. Our government is supposed to be of the people, that is to say all the people, not just some of the people. What we apply to other Americans we need to apply to ourselves. And what we apply to ourselves we need to apply to other Americans.

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This last one is about anti-government types, the radical right-libertarians and their allies. It points to the problem of any ideology (left or right) being brought to its radical extreme, as can often be seen in political rhetoric.

It is one thing to be critical of government as one criticizes anything (corporations, churches, etc) when they deserve criticism. But it is a whole other matter to dismiss government or dismiss any other social institution. There are real world consequences to nice sounding rhetoric. It isn’t or shouldn’t be just about winning elections. What matters is making a better society where easily avoidable catastrophes don’t happen, catastrophes such as the poisoned water in West Virginia.

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Combined together, the messages above make a greater point.

Maybe we should base our opinions on principles, not partisanship (or any other form of groupthink). Maybe we should feel the same moral outrage when a principle is ignored or betrayed in one situation as we feel in another. Moral outrage without principle is blind. Principle without moral outrage is impotent. Both can be dangerous.

These are directed at the right, but the same applies to us all. Certainly, Democrats have no lack of inconsistency as well.

It is human to occasionally fall into inconsistency, but it is also in our nature to care about bettering ourselves and also bettering our communities. Each of us eventually comes to a point where we are forced to chose between maintaining our self-serving rationalizations or taking our principles seriously.


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