Political debate is everywhere. There’s no escaping it. Whether it’s in the media, at work, in social settings, on social media, at church, or in the home, you’re never far away from people engaged in political discussion. Which is not a bad thing, people should be interested in politics. Paraphrasing Trotsky, “you may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.” It’s natural and good for people to be aware of what’s going on in the world around them, and for people to be engaged in intellectual debate. Oftentimes though, many of us witnessing the debates around us can’t help but shake our heads. Most of the debates we observe lack in intellectuality, and many have a tendency to miss the point entirely.
The following are the “Top 10 Moronic Political Debates”:
(10) Gay Cakes & Arby’s Cops
Many on the left became enraged when a bakery refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Similarly, those on the right became enraged when an Arby’s employee refused to serve a cop. Both sides advocated boycotts, and both lobbied for fines to be placed on the businesses as well as for those businesses to be forced to serve their respective beloved groups.
Both sides miss the point. The quick leap to the desired use of governmental force by both is appalling. Boycott is fine, but use of force because something upset you? These businesses are private property, and even though it might upset some people, private businesses have the right to serve or not serve whoever they want. If one bakery wants to forgo the income from making a cake for a gay wedding, there are any number of other bakeries who would be happy to have the additional income. If Arby’s doesn’t want to serve cops and forgo that income, there are other restaurants who will gladly trade their food for cops’ dollars.
On the one side, you have those who say that all vaccines are not only good but necessary. On the other hand, you have those who say that many vaccines are potentially dangerous and might even be a prime cause of all kinds of diseases including Alzheimer’s and autism. The one side will call the other “science deniers” while other side will liken vaccine pushers to the mafia. Both sides have studies, facts, and statistics that they will hold up in defense of their respective position.
Yet both sides miss the point. The real question to be debated from a political standpoint is the use of government as a means to achieve either side’s ends. It is improper and immoral for a government to force a particular chemical into a person’s body. Just the same, it is improper and immoral for a government to restrict access to a chemical that a person may desire. If both sides would agree that government must be left out of the debate, then a real scientific debate about the benefits or detriments of vaccines can replace the existing emotional argument that currently exists.
(8) Women in Combat
Radical feminists searching for inequality wherever it can possibly be found are quick to espouse that “women can do anything a man can do” and thus should be serving in front line military units alongside their male counterparts. Those on the other side including the men on the front lines and their (male and female) superiors argue back either that women in fact cannot do all the same things a man can do physically and thus shouldn’t be placed alongside men in combat roles because they’ll “slow the team down”, or that their presence in infantry forces would be a dangerous distraction that would make a bad situation worse.
Both sides miss the point. Instead of asking whether or not women should be fighting in wars alongside men, the question that must be asked is whether the US should be sending anyone (regardless of sex) overseas to fight in offensive, fruitless, unwinnable, illegal wars.
(7) Gay Marriage
Gay marriage is a right, and anyone who opposes it – for any reason – is a bigot. Gay marriage is an abomination, those who support it are going to burn in Hell, and institutionalizing gay marriage will lead to bestiality. Goodness gracious. It’s hard to find another political debate that contains more bloviation from either side.
Both sides miss the point. Instead of arguing as to whether or not gay marriage is right or wrong, whether it is disgusting or courageous, the question that must be asked is why in the world does government need to be involved in marriage in the first place. Marriage is simply a contract between two consenting individuals. There’s no need for free people to need to beg permission to marry from a government in the form of a marriage license. Supporters of gay marriage shouldn’t use the force of government to make private churches perform gay wedding ceremonies, and opponents of gay marriage shouldn’t use the force of government to prevent free consenting adults from entering into a voluntary contract.
(6) Refugees & Immigrants
One side says that immigrants are coming to “steal our jobs” and be lazy welfare recipients, and that refugees are at worst coming to “kill us all” as undercover agents of terrorism or at best are coming to be lazy welfare recipients like the immigrants. The other side applauds the arrival of both groups of people and in some cases encourage the government to bring in or allow greater numbers of these people to the US. One side is called bigots for their views, while the other side is called stupid and economically ignorant.
Both sides fail to see or point out the bigger picture. The immigration argument leaves out the role that the war on drugs has played in making their home countries unfit to live in and often ignores the fact that to immigrate legally is oftentimes financially impossible and bureaucratically arduous. The refugee argument ignores the pretext of how refugees have come to be in the first place – that western militaristic intervention in the region along with western infusion of arms, weapons, training, and equipment has been the primary cause of the chaos that the refugees are desperately fleeing. Those who want less immigration should focus on ending the war on drugs. Those who welcome immigration should focus on streamlining the process associated with legal immigration. Both sides of the refugee debate need to focus on ending the western interventions throughout the world and especially the Middle East.