May 12, 2014 · by Robert Christian · in Blog
The Initiative on Catholic Social Thought in Public Life recently held an event titled Moral Dilemmas of Partisanship: Ethical Obligations and Limitations for Political Partisans. The event featured a number of political actors who have not always toed the party line in their respective parties. They discussed the challenges they have faced in a hyper-partisan and polarized DC climate.
One theme ran through the entire evening’s discussions: the role of money in fueling conformity to the interests and desires of the elites who have the capacity to shape electoral outcomes through campaign contributions. As Congressman Walter Jones put it, “The biggest problem in Washington is money!”
The current system fosters plutocracy—government of, by, and for the rich. It undermines democracy and authentic participation. It places men and women of integrity who are sincere about serving the public in difficult ethical binds, forced to choose between their personal interests and deeply held convictions. In each party, it fosters litmus tests (on abortion for Democrats and economics for Republicans) that seek to eliminate those who value the common good over these positions, which are rooted in libertarianism and radical individualism. Continue reading “Money vs. the Common Good: The Battle for American Democracy”