I know I’ve been posting a lot about politics lately, but that’s the season we’re in.
After a weekend of hearing arguments about why the delegations from Michigan and Florida should or should not be seated at the Democratic National Convention in August, I’m left with one lesson, and that’s that we should not confuse arguments of principle with arguments of politics.
It’s an argument of principle whether we should provide health insurance to every American, whether or not they can afford it. It’s an argument of principle whether the United States should hold people without charges in secret prisons overseas. Whether or not to seat delegates from Michigan and Florida is not such an issue.
The states in question moved up their primaries because they wanted more prominence in the Presidential nomination process. The DNC stripped them of their delegates because that’s the only power it has in controlling when states hold their primaries. Barack Obama took his name off the ballot in Michigan to increase his chances of winning Iowa. Hillary Clinton signed on to the DNC threat to not seat Michigan and Florida before those primaries were moved up. Hillary Clinton later compared not seating the Florida delegation to the election crisis in Zimbabwe.
My point is that throughout this process, all of the people involved did what best suited their political interests at the time. It’s unsurprising, given their profession. Not only do I hate to see voters falling for these arguments, but I hate to admit that I made this mistake myself a few months ago. There is no moral issue here, no election being stolen, no real argument in favor of justice and fairness, just two camps trying to work the process to get the nomination.
Throughout the rest of this crazy election year, we’re going to see plenty more arguments from politicians that try to get us emotional about political issues so that we see them as moral issues. I’m going to try not to fall for it (again), and I hope other people don’t as well. Once the general election starts in earnest, there will be plenty of issues of principle to argue about. The country will be better off if we stick to those.