Let’s play a simple(?) game “Morality v. Reality | An Alternative View | Diana Diamond | Palo Alto Online |

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Let’s play a simple(?) game “Morality v. Reality

Uploaded: Oct 13, 2022
Setting: your living room:
Question: How flexible are you in your political thinking?

I’d like you to play a game today – first, alone, then with a friend or two. There are no winners, just a process of determining what your voter values are.

Herschel Walker, the Republican candidate for a Georgia Senate seat, is accruing a lot of GOP support, despite his (ahem) peccadillos. He has made many contradictory comments, lied, campaigned on being anti-abortion no matter what. BUT he has four children whom he has never raised nor supported (despite his wealth), and now is accused of paying two women to have an abortion for a pregnancy he caused. A bit of hypocrisy here, I would suggest. And BTW, on Monday he declared he had never played football for the NFL. A fanciful claim, at best.

Yet many Republicans continue to support him, because they say they say if he loses the Senate is in jeopardy of becoming a Democratic Senate. The Republicans say they want the GOP to win the Senate, that is the only issue, and hence their seemingly undying support.

If you are a Democrat, describe how do you feel about Walker. And the same question for Republicans, will you support him no matter what?

I assume the Dems are saying he is a terrible man and they could not vote for him ever, and say they don’t understand how a Republican can vote for “that man.”

If you are a Republican, you say the party is most important, and although I (do, don’t) like him, I want the GOP in control of the Senate. So, I will support him because “we need this Republican senator from Georgia.”

Democrats squirm when they hear that answer, wondering what kind of values GOPers really have, when you can support an unstable, quirky guy to be a senator for the next six years! Having GOP Senate is most important; you are deciding that winning elections trumps any ethical concerns you may have.

Okay. Write your answer on a piece of paper.

And because this is a game, I will now do a complete turn-around and emphatically declare that Walker is a true-blue Democrat. His real leanings have always been to the left. So, Republicans, will you still vote for him?

Political analysts have declared that Walker’s seat is the most important vote, because if he wins as a Democrat, that will guarantee that the Dems will continue to control the Senate.

As Dems say that, GOP jaws are dropping open, and we hear murmurs of see, your values are the same as ours. Victory in the Senate is most important.

Walker is now garnering support from lots of Democrats. Suddenly some ask, wwhere are their moral values?

Dems respond Democratic control of the Senate is critical, so, of course, they will vote for Walker. And then they suddenly realize that now the Dems are supporting Walker fo0r the very same reason Republican are. Party control is their preeminent concern, more than moral concerns. Nothing matters more than winning.

Write you answer down now, Dems and GOPers, would you now vote for Walker. And why?

Next level of the game: All sorts of wise men and women have warned us that if Walker is elected on ether ticket, that could lead to the end of democracy in our country. Think of people like Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Joe McCarthy, etc., and their influence once each was elected.

How can we lose democracy? Well, think again of Donald Trump. If he is re-elected in 2024, most of us realize he wants to control the country in his inimical autocratic way. And that he isn’t bothered at all by taking away voters’ rights to cast a ballot, or allowing only the GOP electors to determine the outcome of an election, e.g., when Trump has admittedly asked Brad Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Secretary of State to find 11,780 votes to change the Democratic win in Georgia.

So Dems and GOPers, where does democracy enter into your voting decisions? If
Walker wins and he coalesces enough of the Senate and Supreme Court to allow the disappearance of democracy, will you still vote for your party and forget about the morality of you vote? How much do you care about democracy?

Ask yourself – and think about Shakespeare’s admonition in “Hamlet,” “To thine own self be true.” You may be surprised by your own answer.

Note: I played this game with myself and then with others. We were surprised at our own thinking sense of morality v. reality.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of Barron Park,
on Oct 13, 2022 at 3:10 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Your question is faulty because it starts as a Yes/No question of morality on whether you would vote for Walker but the biggest factor in your offered choice is between 2 (or more) candidates. His opponent is Warnock has many "flaws", making your question of weighing the negatives and voting for the "least worse". And Warnock has the Senate seat because he beat a Republican who was openly corrupt and reportedly campaigned badly. I know too little about Georgia politics to make a hypothetical choice.

Posted by Lynette Jackson, a resident of Community Center,
on Oct 13, 2022 at 3:28 pm

Lynette Jackson is a registered user.

"Walker is now garnering support from lots of Democrats. Suddenly some ask, where are their moral values?"

^ It's called politics as the Democrats have no more moral values than the Republicans.

It is all about controlling both houses of Congress to promote a party line agenda even if it means being duplitious.

Case in point...the now deposed liberal Clare McCaskill (D-Missouri) initiated the novel strategy of promoting extreme right-wing Republican opponents to ensure that she would appear more palatable to independent voters.

The scheme worked during her second term re-election campaign but backfired badly when she ran for re-election against Trump loyalist and challenger Josh Hawley-R who easily ran her out of office the third time around.

In many voting districts around the country Democrat political funds are being used to ostensibly promote hardcore right-wing Republican candidates with the hopes that voters will view them overly extremist.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't...ask Clare McCaskill.

Posted by Harold Lassiter, a resident of Barron Park,
on Oct 13, 2022 at 4:09 pm

Harold Lassiter is a registered user.

The 'Party of Lincoln' is now the 'Party of Trump' and the deposed Clare McCaskill (D-MO) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) have been rendered immaterial in terms of any viable fiture political aspirations or relevance.

As far as 'morality' goes, neither party can rightfully wear that crown or pledge a sincere allegiance to such an ephemeral ideal.

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Oct 13, 2022 at 5:26 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

The question has to be "do we expect our leaders to be moral and beyond reproach or do we expect them to be good leaders"? Do we actually have to like the leader in order to support him or her? Can a good leader have poor moral values?

Personally, I prefer a good leader regardless of the likeability of the leader. Many good leaders have had suspect morals. JFK and various others were known to have mistresses, some even living in the White House!

When I choose a leader I want someone who can lead and make the difficult decisions that take the country where it needs to go. I am choosing a government leader, not a moral leader. If I want a moral leader I will stay away from politicians.

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one.

Posted by Cedric, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Oct 13, 2022 at 5:52 pm

Cedric is a registered user.

> Question: How flexible are you in your political thinking?

Question: How flexible is your retirement portfolio?
Question: How flexible are your unemployment checks?
Question: How flexible are your food and heating bills?

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Oct 13, 2022 at 6:45 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Successful leaders prioritize their moral compass.

Posted by Carrie Liscomb, a resident of Downtown North,
on Oct 14, 2022 at 6:39 am

Carrie Liscomb is a registered user.

A truly moral leader would be one that fully adheres to the 10 Commandments as mandated by God.

Recent POTUS violators include Bill Clinton and Donald Trump...party affiliation is irrelevant and immaterial.

With 453 House members and 100 U.S. Senators, the number of 10 Commandments violators rises even higher.

Various religious leaders have also been known to be violators of the 10 Commandments including civil rights leader MLK and countless television evangelists.

The point here is that no one is perfect.

Chicanery and hypocracy are venerable trademarks of American politics.

Posted by Bob Yount, a resident of Barron Park,
on Oct 14, 2022 at 7:02 am

Bob Yount is a registered user.

All I seek in American leaders are those with a strong distaste for Islamic terrorism and despotic Communist regimes.

Everything else is debatable.

Posted by Lucille Waters, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Oct 14, 2022 at 8:03 am

Lucille Waters is a registered user.

Morality issues briefly aside, I don't think we will ever see an openly gay or transgender POTUS in the near future because American voters as a whole are not ready to accept such transgressions.

On the other hand, celebrity candidates tend to attract public attention and often create heightened voter interest regardless of their intelligence, morals, or political platform.

If Kanye West (aka Ye) or Snoop Dog were to toss their hats in the political ring, they would definitely receive added media exposure and a sizable number of votes. Donald Trump in 2016 is a prime example.

Dullards and dark horses need not apply.

In addition to possessing strong leadership qualities, having a sharp and witty demeanor also helps.

Both Trump and Biden lack those characteristics.

And don't even mention Kamala Harris as a potential POTUS as she lacks both dynamic leadership qualities and a colorful persona (aka charisma).

Posted by DianaDiamond, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 14, 2022 at 11:47 am

DianaDiamond is a registered user.

I think the thrust of my game was not realized in most of the above comments. For example, Dug Moran, you said, "Your question is faulty because it starts as a Yes/No question of morality on whether you would vote for Walker but the biggest factor in your offered choice is between 2 (or more) candidates." I INTENDED THIS BLOG AS A GAME AS TO HOW WE THINK AND REASON ABOUT YOUR VOTING CHOICES. And to other responders, I I was NOT looking for which candidates you would vote for (hence, only two candidates offered) nor was this a poll of any sort about who you would vote for in November. I probably should have said the candidate was Tweedledum. I was asking you why you are changing to support him (because of his change of party, or consideration of how you would vote if democracy was at issue. I was also talking about where morals come into play when you cast a vote for a person. If the candidate flies, cheats, etc., would that enter into your decision to vote for that person? If so, why; if not, why not?) --Diana

Posted by Ryan Prescott, a resident of Stanford,
on Oct 14, 2022 at 1:17 pm

Ryan Prescott is a registered user.

"I was asking you why you are changing to support him (because of his change of party, or consideration of how you would vote if democracy was at issue."

^ Herschel Walker did not change his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat.

He is running as a Republican.

Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Oct 14, 2022 at 1:36 pm

Alan is a registered user.

Pragmatism when voting for a candidate should come into play - within limits. You should vote for someone who will run the government in a way consistent with your ideas. You can't expect to get someone who is perfect, and their ability to advance "the cause" is generally more important that the fine points of their personal behavior. (Consider Churchill with his drinking, versus Hitler's temperance - who was the better leader?) That said - if their personal flaws are bad enough, it will have an impact on their governing; and it will have an impact on the reputation of your political cause. Sometimes, the pragmatic response is to reject a candidate due to their personal flaws. I still believe the Republican's support of Trump will end up having profound negative consequences for the long-term health of the party, even though he energizes many on their side, and he did get them a conservative supreme court like they wanted.

Posted by John Donegan, a resident of another community,
on Oct 15, 2022 at 9:33 am

John Donegan is a registered user.

Voting requires pragmatism, which is of course the ability and willingness to select the "least bad" option. Character, competence and platform are all weighed.

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Oct 15, 2022 at 10:33 am

Bystander is a registered user.

It is interesting to see what is happening in the UK. There was uproar about Boris Johnson's pandemic lockdown parties when the public were unable to even visit dying relatives, and various other "terrible behaviors". He was forced to resign. Now they have another who is floundering in public opinion and outrage but this time on policies. How long will she last is a very valid question?

The point being, politics are never about who is the most likeable or even moral politician. It is always about what policy does to the common people. Be careful who you vote for. Do you vote because you like their moral standing, or because you think they will be a good leader making good policy decisions that will affect everyone.

Do you want a moral role model? Or do you want someone who will lead well?

Posted by Jack Peterson, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Oct 15, 2022 at 10:39 am

Jack Peterson is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Online Name, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Oct 15, 2022 at 10:58 am

Online Name is a registered user.

@Jack Peterson, thanks for the laugh showing the hypocrisy, double standard and judgmental stereotypes while saying we shouldn't judge but should ditch all logic.

On the broader issue, the GOP and the Democrats are playing by two different sets of rules. The Democrats force out pranksters like Al Franken while ignoring the multiple sexual assaults and affairs of "their" guys like Trump, Kavanaugh, Walker....

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Oct 15, 2022 at 11:11 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

I want someone who will lead well with a moral compass. It's not asking too much. Politicians aren't librarians, but there are those who are decent human beings. Nobody is asking someone to be a "morale leader." We're asking that you maintain a sense of decency.

Voters vote for politicians they like, and those who share their views. It's common sense.

Posted by Sherry Livingston, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Oct 15, 2022 at 11:56 am

Sherry Livingston is a registered user.

If philanderers such as JFK, MLK, and even the likes of Bill Clinton can be thought of as effective and influential leaders, then no moral compass is required.

The Republicans have fewer reported incidents of this nature because they are more conservative and willing to accept the downfalls of a miserable and unfulfilling marital relationship.

There are exceptions of course like Newt Gingrich and Matt Gaentz but nothing along the lines of the Kennedys (JFK, RFK, and younger brother Edward).

The Kennedys along with Bill Clinton are a black mark when it comes to common decency and moral stature.

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Oct 15, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

A moral compass is a tool that helps people make ethical decisions. Not everyone thinks of JFK, MLK or Bill Clinton as effective leaders. All three were troubled men.

As a moderate Independent I vote for the person, not the party. I've equally voted for Republicans and Democrats through the years. So, yes I'm flexible in my political thinking, unless it's a politician I have a scornful disdain for. Newsom and Trump come to mind.

I'm saddened by those who don't think character counts. Character is the most important attribute for any person, politician or otherwise.

Posted by Terrence Young, a resident of Los Altos,
on Oct 16, 2022 at 9:14 am

Terrence Young is a registered user.

In addition to a moral compass, mental acuity is another important electoral consideration.

The ongoing string of Biden gaffes clearly indicates that something has gone awry with the man's cognitive abilities and perhaps Congress should pass a new law setting the maximum age limit for being a president at 70 years or less.

Age limits should also be established for members of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court...anyone over 80 should be required (or forced) to retire.

While some elder proponents will say that with older age comes wisdom, in many instances all it triggers is senility and forgetfulness.

Posted by I+miss+my+small+town+feel, a resident of another community,
on Oct 16, 2022 at 9:29 am

I+miss+my+small+town+feel is a registered user.

We need a third party of moderates, perhaps led by Tulsi Gabbard. She's had a lot to say recently on Twitter.

Posted by Online Name, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Oct 17, 2022 at 9:47 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Re the "liberal media" we hear so much about, I'd appreciate a pointer to that when hedge funds have bought up hundreds of newspapers, when big conservative companies like Sinclair control tv stations across the country and dictate content from HQ and when Fox and its cousins OAN, Breitbart etc. are thriving.

Posted by jhskrh, a resident of Community Center,
on Oct 17, 2022 at 1:37 pm

jhskrh is a registered user.

The thought of a dullard like Herschel Walker, being in the United States Sentate for a 6 year term is frightening. Herschel Walker's campaign staff reportedly believes he's a pathological liar, which would explain why he gets along so well with Trump. Walker lied to his own campaign staff when they asked him about rumors of children that he fathered and hid from the public. Despite his denial, Turned out that Walker had three children that were previously unknown to the public, this after he spent years speaking out against absentee fathers. And then there is the incident with the fake Sheriff's badge which is insisted was legit....games aside, he has no business running for any public office.

Posted by Jamie Brooks, a resident of Barron Park,
on Oct 17, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Jamie Brooks is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Henrietta Johnson, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Oct 18, 2022 at 7:28 am

Henrietta Johnson is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Arnold Jensen, a resident of Barron Park,
on Oct 18, 2022 at 9:33 am

Arnold Jensen is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Petra Mathews, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Oct 18, 2022 at 11:49 am

Petra Mathews is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Ryan Ferrell, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Oct 18, 2022 at 12:08 pm

Ryan Ferrell is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Masaad Hussein, a resident of another community,
on Oct 18, 2022 at 1:17 pm

Masaad Hussein is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Gale Thompson, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Oct 18, 2022 at 2:18 pm

Gale Thompson is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by vmshadle, a resident of Meadow Park,
on Oct 19, 2022 at 2:49 pm

vmshadle is a registered user.

"Millennial and future Gen Z voters might change this voter perspective later down the road because they are being indoctrinated in school and through the liberal media that LGBT lifestyles are an acceptable way of life."

Excuse me, Rachel Voorhies, we don't have "lifestyles" or "way[s] of life," we have lives. "Lifestyles" imply exercising completely discretionary choices, such as whether one carries a Gucci purse or not or whether one lives on a houseboat instead of on land.

In contrast, sexual orientation is hardwired. You are presumably heterosexual. I am not. Period.

As a fellow citizen and taxpayer, I object to your implication that I am somehow morally inferior to you.

Furthermore, I find it disappointing that I have to point this out for the 4,000th time in the 45 years since I figured this out about my own existence. Which, by the way, is up for neither discussion nor debate.

Posted by Ceci Morales, a resident of Mountain View,
on Oct 21, 2022 at 8:21 am

Ceci Morales is a registered user.

Morality is best defined as virtuous conduct that differentiates right from wrong.

The problem is that the definition and concept of right and wrong is oftentimes debatable and based on one's individual perspectives and personal beliefs.

Morality is also an ideal and as we all know, various ideals can be difficult to practice and carry out because of one's vested interests...self-serving interests that often conflict with ideal thoughts and behavior.

Politics are the last place to have any false or ideal expectations of morality.

Posted by John Donegan, a resident of another community,
on Oct 21, 2022 at 8:34 am

John Donegan is a registered user.

Pragmatism is the ability to choose the "least bad" choice. Most of us pinch our noses in the voting booth.

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