Moral relativism has taken control in this country. Moral relativism is anti-American, to say nothing of being immoral and unethical, because American principles are based on a transcendent truth that might doesn’t make right and that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. In practical terms, this has allowed the country to attract the best and brightest from all corners of the Earth and attract ethical public servants who provide the infrastructure of the society in which we live. Think the United States military, the State Department, the many agencies that protect our water, air, legal system, health and the weakest among us. Absolutely far from perfect, but in the arc of history, there has never been a country quite like ours. Mature adults realize there is no such thing as perfection, that compromise is not a dirty word — rather it is an act of respect for those with whom we may disagree, and that it is so much easier to tear down, criticize and cast aspersions than it is to build bridges.
I think the rampant moral relativism now present within key and vast American institutions is ushering in the final days of what was a great republic. The institution of the media is comprised, in part, of cable news networks. As the degradation of journalism at these networks largely began at Fox, save a Chris Wallace, the crass commercialism hyping “breaking news” was hatched by CNN. The result is that cable news networks make their money by creating an echo chamber, which is the antithesis of true journalism. But it’s awfully good at producing big profit as it destroys a foundation of democracy. It also allows the lazy thinking of disparaging all media as the dreaded “mainstream media” when one’s political biases aren’t reinforced.
Editorially, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. But read the actual news their superb journalists produce each and every day. It’s remarkably consistent and fact-filled.
Instead of watching CNN, Fox or MSNBC, watch the PBS Newshour. Frankly, those who watch Hannity or Maddow to get their news have no idea what journalism is. It is not there to make you feel secure and safe in your world; it is there to provide facts that many times can make us uncomfortable. Facts — i.e. truth — are not morally relative, they are the foundation of morals. Deal with it.
Meanwhile, in Washington, moral relativism is the hallmark of the petulant child in the White House and his enabling senate majority leader. With the latter, he was spewing his moral relativism well before this past presidential election. This small man stoked the racists in his obsession to make Obama a one-term president. He totally desecrated the process for selecting a supreme court justice. And he is now going to make a sham of the impeachment hearing in the Senate. He is supposed to be the fair arbiter of these proceedings. But instead he has already stated his verdict before the first day of hearings even begins.
Then, of course, there is the bankruptcy expert himself, the very personification of moral relativism. By his endless lies that fly in the face of reality, he has fueled the tribal wars. He knows he has followers who are simply ignorant and will believe what he wants them to believe, do what he wants them to do. Every political following has these ignorant true believers. He also knows he has the faux evangelicals who somehow missed class that day when the moral imperative of the the end not justifying the means was taught. And then, remarkably, he still has the vast majority of other Republicans backing him.
For someone who has always been an independent voter, the moral relativism of the unwavering Republican support of such a transparently unprincipled individual is the most dispiriting. They see a man who, out of self interest, sides with Russia over our country’s national security experts. They see a man who mocks the military and its code of honor by pardoning war criminals. They see a man who makes fun of a disability. They see a man who has been a sexual harasser, if not abuser, simply because he could get away with it. Anyone who dares to disagree with him he bullies and ridicules. Any moral lesson we want to impart to our children and children’s children is torn to shreds by his example. And, still, the Republicans remain with him, except for the George Wills and John Kasichs of the world.
When viewing history, we always wonder how amoral and hateful individuals who attained power could have done so. Certainly, we say to ourselves, the people of these countries must have seen what horrible human beings their leaders were. No. They. Didn’t. Why not? Out of self interest, the only motivation possible with moral relativism. Quite the legacy today for what was once the Party of Lincoln.