Evaluation Of The Morality Of Political Campaign Approaches In Terms Of William Galston And Immanuel Kant Concepts
Political agendas often include tactics with questionable ethical standings. The ethical spectrum has been difficult to interpret and enforce throughout history and remains so. William Galston refers to acceptable tactics as “hardball” in “The Obligation to Play Political Hardball. ” Immanuel Kant, a philosopher, defines strict formulations such as The Universal Law and Humanity to regulate what is considered ethical. With both Galston and Kant’s straightforward principles, it can become simpler to judge the morality of political campaign approaches.
In the historical case presented by Kent in “Humbuggery in Every Campaign, ” an unnamed mayoral candidate swayed his speech to appeal to the crowd in order to receive more votes. The candidate is personally opposed to the anti-vivisection movement considering it to be working against scientific advancements, while the audience was strongly anti-vivisectionists. In his speech, he promises to look into the issues of animal testing and act where he seemed fit. Although this can be seen as lying, it is technically ethical according to both Galston and Kant. Galston explains that this candidate is working for a “team win. ” The candidate himself explains that he did not do it for himself, rather for everyone who is in support of him already. It is a natural obligation for candidates to maximize their chances of winning. This “humbuggery” was crucial in the mayoral candidate’s campaign in order for him to gain responsibility for representing his supporters. This can become clarified through Galston’s thoughts on the case of Democrat Michael Dukakis. Dukakis failed in morality because he was ineffective in his campaign by refusing to defend himself against Bush for the presidential bid in 1988. Because the mayoral candidate presented by Kent effectively used his campaign with humbuggery, Galston considers his actions ethical. Kant would agree with Galston in that the candidate’s actions were ethical.
According to Kant’s second formulation, Humanity, the mayoral candidate treated his supporters as ends, not means. Because of his ability to skew away from his own personal beliefs, he was able to prove to his supporters that he is willing to win for their sake. “But if I am defeated I am not the only sufferer. It means the defeat of my running mates. It means the loss of control of my party. It means disappointment and loss to the men who have financed my campaign and put up the money to make my fight. It means a blow to the hundreds who have worked and fought for me and to thousands who have some sort of stake in my success… Was I not justified, under the circumstances?”. Kant’s second formulation significantly proves the morality of the candidate because he acted in support of those who support him. The 1, 500 votes of the anti-vivisectionists may or may not have greatly affected the end result of the campaign, but the willingness to put himself out in order to back the contributors to his campaign is supported as ethical by Kant.
In the more current case presented by an anonymous writer in The New York Times article “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration, ” internal senior officials admit to working against presidential actions. The senior officials claim to not be “pro-left, ” rather only taking just precautions to preserve the health of the states. Because their actions are only putting the country first, both Galston and Kant define the situation as ethical. Galston would call the acts of the social officials against the presidential decisions as hardball because it is inevitable for the sake of the majority. If actions entail for a team win, then again, it is an obligation of the politicians. Although this is not as simple as a candidate swaying votes for themselves, there are clear benefits to society due to their protective actions such as prevention of President Trump’s “reckless decisions. ” It is possible to portray their moves as dirty ball due to their persistence of continuing until he is out of office and mention of acting on the 25th amendment to completely rid of the opponent, it is ultimately hardball because it is for the greater good and is vital to the security of the nation. “It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t. ”
In describing the president as a child, officials have pushed the idea that their actions are preventing those which are detrimental to the nation and all its people. Senior officials preventing major incidents otherwise inflicted by the president are politically ethical according to Galston’s ideas of hardball. Kant’s first formulation, The Universal Law, explains that if it is okay for everyone in the society to act in a similar way without the society failing, then it is a moral action. In the case of Trump’s administrative team working against him for the sake of society’s prosperity, Kant would qualify the actions as ethical. Because of the president’s amorality, the internal senior officials acting as blockades for rash, poor, and reckless decisions is preventative of societal failure. This is far different than most campaign discrepancies, for it is for the betterment of society, whereas most cases are simply neutral in that they cause no improvement or failure to the nation. Further, this succeeds Kant’s first formulation and is more than ethical, this is necessary.
Because of Galston and Kant’s interpretations of the judgment of morality and ethical behavior, it is simpler to prove what political practices, such as swaying votes and preventing detrimental major decisions, are acceptable and which are not. In both the historical and current situations, the acts were ethical.
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