Is Your Politics One of Principles or Pettiness?

Politics brings out the worst of people; it doesn’t have to

Douglas Giles, PhD
5 min readNov 14, 2023

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(Source: Piqsels)

Pandemics, wars, and elections. Events elicit responses from people, as well they should. It is good when people are aware of what’s going on in the world, and it is good for people to be involved in responding to events. But involvement in current affairs and politics can be more harmful than good. We see that frequently.

It’s human nature to be self-centered. It’s common for people to be lazy thinkers, to prefer simplistic dismissals of current events over the engaging with constructive answers. My purposes here are to acknowledge how people are and to suggest how people can be.

A Right to Criticize but Not to Be a Jerk

Politics is about people — all the people, not just the rich politicos and lobbyists. Everyone should have the freedom to be involved in politics and political decision making. Of course, but too often forgotten, freedom comes with responsibility.

Being able to criticize political leaders and their decisions is crucial to a just society. Everyone has the right and even a duty to speak out against what they see as wrong. But if truth and justice mean anything, and I think they do, then critical comments have to…

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Douglas Giles, PhD

Philosopher by trade & temperament, professor for 21 years, bringing philosophy out of its ivory tower and into everyday life. https://linktr.ee/dgilesphd