The Ethics of Politics

One of my favorite Zen teachers, Judy Roitman, has written a column about ethics in politics. It’s well worth reading. Here’s a bit:

It’s no secret that I lean fairly far to the left. But left and right should not be about ethics. Values, unavoidably; technique, sure. We can disagree about the best way to deliver health care; we can disagree on exactly which health care should be delivered. But I hope we would all agree that a gunshot victim shouldn’t be turned away from the emergency room because she can’t afford it.

I hope this, but these days I doubt it. Too many people are concerned primarily with keeping what they’ve got and keeping what they’ve got away from other people. That just plain doesn’t work.

I remember when my son was a toddler and went over to another kid’s house on a play date. Every time my son would reach for a toy the other kid would grab it and sit on it. Soon the kid was sitting on a really big pile of toys. He had his toys, all right, but he couldn’t play with them. Too many of us are like that kid sitting on his toys.

There’s more. I’m particularly taken with her news about yet another horrible law being considered in Arizona. What frightens me is that too often we’re willing to do horrible things to other human beings in the name of “good” — a topic that should be another post, or a whole book, of its own. (Thanks to Nancy Jane Moore for getting me thinking about this.)

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One Response to The Ethics of Politics

  1. I suspect most people would agree that the gunshot victim should be treated. But if that person lacked insurance, many would have no problem in taking the person’s home to pay the medical bills — that occurs right now in most states in the U.S.

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