I have a basic philosophy: values and principles ought to ground our political views and party allegiances. I don’t vote for Republican candidates just because I identify as a Republican and that’s just what Republicans do. No, the reason I tend to vote for Republicans is that they, more often than not, represent the values and principles that I hold dear.
Indeed, if a Republican candidate failed to uphold conservative values and principles—for instance, if a Republican decided that he supports something like abortion—I would not vote for such a person because they wouldn’t be representing what I believe in. It’s a very simple philosophy.
The beautiful thing about being principled is that it enables me to avoid being a raging hypocrite. When someone on the Right says or does something stupid or immoral, which would be contrary to my values, I get to criticize them. I don’t feel pressured to defend the indefensible just because someone is on my “team.” I don’t care about political “teams,” especially when it comes to politicians.
The only reason I would consider anyone to be on my “team” is if they align with my values and principles, not just because they say they’re a Republican. My team is the “stand-for-what-is-true-and-morally-right” team. If you are standing for what’s true and morally right, I’m happy to stand beside you.
For example, while I support President Trump, I don’t feel like I need to hold back from criticizing him when I believe it’s necessary to do so. When he’s being unfairly criticized, which happens pretty much every day, I’ll defend him, of course. But when he’s being fairly criticized for doing or saying something dumb, immoral, or contrary to conservatism, I’m not going to compromise my values and principles to defend him just because he’s a Republican.
Imagine if more people lived according to moral values and principles rather than what their political team determines. America would be a much better place, wouldn’t it?
In this better America, you would have more leaders consistently standing up for what’s right because they wouldn’t have the cover of a political label to protect them from what would be the just consequences of going against those true and moral values and principles. You would have fewer corrupt and evil people in power because, again, they wouldn’t have the cover of a political label—everyone, regardless of their party, would rightly condemn such a person and seek their removal from power.
I have many moral and philosophical differences with Democrats, which is why I don’t ever vote for Democrat politicians. But, believe it or not, there are still a few core values that we share as humans.
For example, I know that most Democrats are not vile anti-Semites. Folks on the Right and Left are generally strongly opposed to racism and anti-Semitism, thankfully. I truly believe that.
The problem I have is that many Democrats are not consistently upholding these values. They are perfectly willing to criticize any perceived racism or anti-Semitism on the Right, but they ignore and dismiss it on the Left. Why? Because it’s against Democrat rules to criticize Democrats.
Indeed, this is why many on the Left defend people like Ilhan Omar and Louis Farrakhan—because they are on team Democrat! Think about it. If someone on the Right spewed the exact same anti-Semitic rhetoric that we consistently hear from Omar and Farrakhan, Democrats would rightly rush to condemn it. And all decent and principled people on the Right would be standing right along with them to condemn anyone who utters such vile hatred.
While the Right and Left might not have much in common, perhaps some unity could occur in this country if we all simply tried harder to be consistent in what we do have in common. If we stood firm on our shared values and consistently held accountable those who oppose those values, regardless of their political party, we would be much stronger and united in at least some ways.
This, of course, wouldn’t solve all the division in America since many of our differences are in regard to core values. But at least it would minimize the vast amounts of hypocrisy and empty partisan hackery. Hopefully we can all at least share and uphold that value—let’s stop being hypocrites!