Democrats Need a Conscience to Close Morality Gap with Republicans

good and evil

There’s a morality gap between Democrats and Republicans with the Democrats lagging far behind. The Republican National Convention rules committee will consider a conscience clause allowing committed delegates to change their vote on the convention’s first ballot. This could unseat the morally challenged presumed nominee Donald Trump. Democrats have no such clause to deal with the flagrant lack of morality displayed by nominee Hillary Clinton during her time as Untied States Senator and Secretary of State. (Image: Alex Gorzen)

Donald Trump received 14 million votes in Republican primaries translating to more than 1500 delegates pledged to vote for him on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention.   The delegate total is 250 more than required for nomination. Trump wins, right? Maybe not.

Utah convention delegate Kendall Unruh is proposing a change in convention rules to allow delegates to change their pledged votes if that vote violates their conscience, “the guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior” that constitutes morality. Her version of the rule change is clear:

“If any such delegate notifies the secretary of his or her intent to cast a vote of conscience, whether personal or religious, each such delegate shall be unbound and unconstrained by these rules on any given vote, including the first ballot.” BallotPedia, June 20

Unruh’s proposal would be fairly meaningless were it not for the following comments by Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Republican National Convention. On Meet the Press Sunday, Ryan opened the gates for a serious dump Trump strategy.

CHUCK TODD: Do you think it is that members in the House Republican conference [should] follow [their] conscience? If you don’t want to support him, don’t do it —

PAUL RYAN: Oh, absolutely. The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that’s contrary to their conscience. Of course I wouldn’t do that. Look, believe me, Chuck. I get that this a very strange situation. [Trump is] a very unique nominee. But I feel as a responsibility institutionally as the speaker of the House that I should not be leading some chasm in the middle of our party. Because you know what I know that’ll do? That’ll definitely knock us out of the White House. NBC News, June 17

Ryan tries to come off as even handed and “not to be leading some chasm in the middle of our party.” That’s nonsense. The chasm is about releasing delegates from their pledge to represent the expressed will of voters in their respective states. That’s unprecedented in modern history for a first ballot in either party convention.  Ryan endorsed the technical means of denying Trump the votes he supposedly earned by winning all of those primaries.

The Varieties of Conscience Experience

Did Paul Ryan have some sort of conscience experience when he realized that Trump violated his deep-seated morality? Could it be Trump’s total disregard for the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Maybe it’s Trump’s racist comments about Muslims and Mexicans that piqued the Speaker’s conscience? Is there something Ryan knows that we don’t (e.g., Trump paid hardly any taxes, bribed segments of the press, has a love child in every state)?

What’s changed since Ryan initially offered to sit down and work with Trump as the presumed nominee?

Donald Trump Is Down-Ballot Republicans’ Biggest Risk, June 17

There’s a real chance that Trump, with a 70% disapproval rating, could drag down Republican incumbents in a Congress with an 80% plus disapproval rate. We’re shifting from the morality of conscience to the morality of convenience.

At least the Republicans are framing issues in terms of conscience and morality.

I’m with her and she’s not him – The Democrats are far worse

It’s one thing for Democrats to claim that Trump is blatantly immoral.  It’s entirely another to prop up Hillary Clinton as moral simply because she’s not Donald Trump. This is mindless and insulting to those of us who have to hear and read such garbage.

Are Clinton supporters unaware that as Secretary of State she’s largely responsible for the horrors of the Libyan and Syrian civil wars?

Do they know that she wants to proclaim a no fly zone over Syria as though there’s no Russian air force presence that’s been bombing jihadists including ISIS for nearly a year?

Are they ignorant to the fact that Clinton knew or should have known that the Iraq invasion was a fraud yet she voted to support it despite that knowledge?

Are Clinton backers unwilling to learn about the vast corruption represented by the Clinton Foundation and the conspicuous and frequent violations of Federal law on cyber security when she was Secretary of State?

Apparently the I’m with her crowd hasn’t asked any of these questions.  Like the Republicans, they’re prisoners of their self-interest just like the Republicans but lack the public relations facade to cover it up.

This is what we’ve been served up for the most important election since 1932.

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  • diogenes

    The Democratic Party, and the Republican Party, are both, by design and function, traitors operating to betray Americans and American democracy to their ‘donors,’ the oligarchy of the 0.1%, the 160,000 families among 320 million of us who own 28% of America, concentrated in controlling interests in key central institutions of economy, commerce, finance, industry, culture and government and who maintain their symbolic headquarters on Wall Street. Our great-grandparents — their traitorous rule goes back that far — called the god — the devil — they worship and serve Mammon. Call it what you like, they are traitors and hanging is too good for them. The best thing they can do for America is GO TO HELL. The best thing Americans can do for ourselves is pull the plug on their treason and start acting like citizens and compel OUR government to act in the interest of the “general welfare” as OUR constitution puts it, instead of in the interest of these one-in-a-thousand PARASITE PREDATORS and their regime over murderous greed. Writers like Michael Collins are servants of this filthy system and his “moralizing” plea is delusional hypocrisy and nothing more. It merits contempt.

    • “If people like Michael Collins are ignorant of it, that’s their ignorance.” Just to correct the record, agree with the notion that we’re in an oligarchy, that wealth is appropriated through a rigged economy, etc. etc. In fact, I’ve been writing about this for years.
      and here’s a ton of articles on class warfare etc. The article is based on the irony that either party would have a conscience, etc.

      • diogenes

        The article’s premise still plays along with the premise and assumption of the “Two Party System,” pretending, however “ironically,” that it can be improved or fixed, when the Two Party system (and Parties themselves, as Washington pointed out) is itself the problem. Irony is the resource of people who accept and collaborate in their own oppression. America needs straight talk, and the Two Party hoax is one subject on which we need it bad. There is NO HOPE WHATSOEVER for democracy in this country as long as the parties stand between the people and what is supposed to be OUR ELECTED GOVERNMENT. I urge you to read my essay, posted elsewhere on this site, The Distribution of Wealth In America. I think you will find it extremely informative and provocative of thought and action. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  • Brockland A.T.

    … Why would abrogating the original contract with the respective party electorates (even worse than it already has been) – just because the results are unsatisfactory to the elites – be considered a moral act when fraudulent behavior, however legal, is immoral?

    The GOP primaries chose Trump. It wasn’t possible to cheat such a landslide victory under the existing GOP rules, originally designed to prevent another Ron Paul.

    The Democrats screwed Bernie to an unknown degree, but many nonetheless knowingly and willfully selected Hilary. Screwing Bernie could not come without widespread collusion, and Hilary followers know darn well what she’s done and approve because that’s what partisan groupies do – qualities surely reflected in persons selected to be delegates.

    … What’s stopping all the GOP and Democrat delegates answering to their true conscience and voting Trump or Hilary, respectively, in greater numbers than they normally would?

    The elites’ moral relativism has left the rational universe.

    • “The elites’ moral relativism has left the rational universe.” Very well said.

  • hyperbola

    How boring the tiny, racist, corrupt, abusive, foreign sect has made even “independent” media in America. Even those who pretend to write “intellectual” essays are now preconditioned to think in the “window” prescribed by the sect.

    Hillary is a product of planned propaganda and corruption by the sect. The sect also controls the GOP and this “pontificating” sounds like propaganda for similar corruption in the GOP.

    • Who constitutes the “foreign sect” and where does that sect originate. I thought I agreed with this and reflexively hit thumb up and then it occurred to me that you may be referring to me. Oh well.

      • Brockland A.T.

        Your article declares a morality gap between the Democrats and Republicans, and the Democrats need a conscience to bridge it.

        A few commentators who are regular readers of Washingtons Blog might prefer both amoral organs of sheer social dysfunction incarnate to… just go away. Democratic partisans would tune you out on principle because no matter what the GOP does, Democrats are morally superior on principle and trying to shame them into matching the GOP is disingenuous.

        Implying that the GOP has a conscience and the Democrats can get one, recognizable to the morally sane as conscience, is perhaps not the soundest postulate upon which to base an article.

        Many here are far better informed than myself and may have harsher perspectives, but … you’re in all seriousness framing asocial-antisocial GOP mechanations as expressions of conscience and morality when such things are not frameable as such save in the gross violation.

        Morality is very simple; in the simplistic language of “don’t’s”, don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t bully, and don’t murder.

        Ethics are those clear actions applying the above stated moral principles consistently in pragmatic practice, to not do those wrong things, and not let them happen to yourself or others as best as possible.

        These elements form the basis of conscience, that mix of knowledge, experience and intuition behind decision making and action taking. They are principles that cannot be far abstracted from their original raw form without being abstracted to death just as surely as a GMO-filled, additive-laden, heavily processed Monsanto MRE past its best-before date and prepared in a microwave, is doornail-dead and closer to being a semi-organic toxin than food.

        Talk about ‘conscience experience’ sounds a lot like moral relativism trying to skirt the habitable zone of genuine human conscience. For example, my support for Trump over Hilary is based on the understanding that he’s likely the lesser evil than Hilary, and not a denial of eithers’ stunning lack of human decency and potential for harm. The rational end, is to buy time for peaceful political reforms that will allow better candidate selection in the future, such as proportional representation in national elections.

        Neither the Republicans or Democrats appear to be salvageable political movements at this time. The ideas needed to reinvigorate American politics are too easily filtered out and suppressed for the benefit of capricious ruling elites and their amoral prerogatives.

  • Kansas_Voter

    Why are we voting for delegates anyway? Why don’t we elect our President using the popular vote? We use for literally every single other elected office in America, so why is it different for President?

  • Joe_HTH

    LOL! Republicans have no morality. They’ve proven that with their continued defense of Trump and their defense of Bill O’Reilly and Roy Moore, a pedophile. Your article is insipid at best.