There is a thing that’s hard to understand for people who have and live by principles: Other people don’t.
This issue has long troubled me when dealing with others who stake out positions of convenience on many different issues, and who switch those positions based upon the relative advantage that they can achieve.
For a long time, I thought, geez, many of these people sound and appear intelligent, so the only possible explanation for their behavior is malevolence. I am, without a doubt, certain that such is the case for many of these individuals.
There is another group, though. These are people who never had the advantage of having their father sit down and explain that, as one becomes a man, it is important to have a moral foundation. To discover for oneself a number of precepts about behavior and belief to accept as a moral code. That these concepts can’t be fluid, or transient, must be internally consistent. Specifically, that to the extent they are capable of conflicting, they are emotions, not guides for moral action. These concepts are called principles.
I can’t imagine how unanchored a life without consistent moral principle would be; bouncing from one power grab, to another pursuit of affection; but I do see it in action. Oftentimes, it’s not malice, it’s ignorance, and it’s universally sad. Presumably it could be learned, though at some point one’s life is probably irretrievably lost.
This brings us to the state of affairs in this country. The President is one of these unanchored persons. All he’s ever known is the pursuit of the next accomplishment, never the accomplishment of the current task. He has no principles, only power and its pursuit. He demonstrates this on almost every issue of substance, but none moreso than his namesake law, wherein he could not suffer the personal embarrassment and power-blow of admitting he couldn’t roll the law out on time. The Republicans were demanding the law be delayed, and the President needed it to be delayed, but he could not recognize that the right thing to do was delay it, because doing so made him ‘feel’ weak.
And the Senate. The chamber of ‘unlimited debate’ has now limited debate to base majoritarianism: not its function. This done by the same group that howled in mortal injury when those it is subjugating suggested the same tactic 8 years ago; and complained about by the group that had once considered doing the same thing.
Our country is not run by persons of principle, and therefore it cannot generate legislation, governance, or action of principle. Let’s translate that: Our governance is is immoral, no matter your moral code. It is internally corrupt because of its participants, who are internally corrupt. The few who do stand on principle, such as Rand Paul, or Senator Ted Cruz, are viewed as whackadoos by the anchorless, rudderless, unprincipled vermin with whom they serve.
I for one do not foresee a change in this situation any time during my life. And I will not be put upon by men of no moral character