Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chad Haber's Candidacy And Moral Quandaries

I am working with some young public forum and Lincoln-Douglas debaters at the South Dakota Debate Workshop being held on the South Dakota State University Campus in beautiful Brookings, South Dakota. I haven't had the time to check the news as much as I usually do because I've been giving a few lectures on debate basics,  cross-examination, and Kant's Categorical Imperative. Tomorrow the young'uns and I will discuss virtue ethics as they prepare to debate Resolved: Inaction in the face of injustice makes an individual morally culpable.

The astute reader may wonder what all of this has to do with Chad Haber's newly announced quixotic candidacy for South Dakota attorney general. Mr. Haber and Lee Stranahan are exploiting the suffering of children for political purposes.  The best analysis of Annette Bosworth's   campaign indicates that Bosworth and Haber basically view their Facebook friends and every other human as a means to financial gain not as an end unto himself or herself.

South Dakotans are, therefore, witnessing injustice and a violation of the categorical imperative.  Hence, one should question what moral duty one has to confront the injustice. One also has to question what one can do. Bosworth and Haber may have lost the necessary sense of shame that will allow them to change.

On a personal level I have a another quandary.  Do I tell the young'uns about this candidacy tomorrow and how it fits the resolution or do I say nothing because giving them the facts of Haber's candidacy will confirm their belief that politics is a circus and government is a joke?

Perhaps the best action one can perform under the circumstances is to pray for this particular circus act to be retired to the political oblivion it so richly deserves.

(Experimenting with new phone app. I apologize for formatting and other errors. I will correct later.)


M Larson said...

What are the topics you are working with?

Doesn't the Haber fit the Objectivist philosophy fairly well?

PP at the SDWC said...

I faced the same dilemma, as I personally was done with the circus.

But some things are just so insanely crazy, you have to revisit them.

Haber running against Jackley is one of them.

Violet said...

I don't WANT to watch the circus, but I just have to!

caheidelberger said...

I'd love to hear what the students have to say about current SD politics and how they would apply the LD value-criterion framework.

I also hope that the entire blogosphere will continue to ttake action against injustice, expose Haber and Bosworth's fraud, and protect those vulnerable retired out-of-state donors from further exploitation by Chad.

Lee Stranahan said...

In what possible way is calling attention to a truly horrible situation that has not been give nearly enough attention "exploiting children?"

Are you saying that Jackley's record isn't an appropriate area to criticize him on?

The exploitation was caused my Richard Mette and taken advantage of by Marty Jackley, whose actions were vicious, vindictive and lawless.

South Dakota is one of the most corrupt states in the union and Marty Jackley is it's Atty. General.

The Mette case is inexcusable, so don't duck the issue,

Kal Lis said...

I have only a couple of minutes so this will be quick and dirty.

Mike, I will be dealing with Objectivism as the week goes on. The Objectivists would, if I understand them correctly, contend that the egoism in question must be ethical. The ethical nature of the circus is, to put it politely, questionable.

Pat, look at my tag. You chose the word insane. I chose weird. It has to be talked about

Violet, I guess I too am voyeuristic.

Cory, I don't know if I can find all of the research I need. I have mentioned ignoring the problems on reservations. I hope some of them work that in to cases.

Mr. Stranahan, calling attention to a public officials record is always fair game. Running a campaign that has no chance of success on an issue that one has no intention of solving is not an act that promotes justice. Using children as an issue in such a campaign is not just because it tears open wounds and gives false hope without any chance of that hope to be realized.

Exposing corruption is something we should all do more. Haber's candidacy seems to be a publicity stunt not a struggle against those who abuse power or turn a blind eye toward suffering.

My morning lecture discussed that virtuous people act out of desire ad habit. Mr. Haber's habitual behavior does not give one confidence that he is acting with virtuous intent.