Muftic: Politics often trumps logic, reason
October 8, 2015
There are some public policy positions being promoted by a variety of politicians that just do not seem logical. Often good politics trump reason, especially when it invigorates the juices of their political bases. Take the examples of the failed attempt in Congress to block the Iran nuclear deal and some freedom of religion arguments advanced by the GOP.
The logical element of the Iran deal is that it will keep war from happening immediately, and maybe even in a distant future, though much can change in a decade for better or for worse. On the other hand, failure to pass the deal would have freed all other participants to drop any sanctions and they had made that clear they would do so. Clearly sanctions by one country, the U.S., would not be effective in changing Iran's behavior any more than they were against Cuba. Sanctions by the larger international community were the only leverage against Iran.
Iran could develop nuclear weapons in a few months. Past cyber attacks, assassinations of scientists, and bombing runs caused only temporary setbacks. With the deal, violations of sanctions will trigger automatic reinstatement of international sanctions and military action is still an option. There will be constant monitoring of nuclear sites capable of nuclear weapons production and supply lines, with some level of inspections lasting past the 10-year period.
Opponents to the deal ginned up fear, not reason. Their argument: Iran's government had bad policies toward its people and was untrustworthy. The deal does not rely on trust or love. Inspections are regarded by the international community as the most stringent ever imposed on any country. Unable to refute that, the opponents just ignored or distorted the inspection protocols in their multi- million dollar ad campaign full of misleading statements and instead, scared the public into opposing the deal.
In preparation for the 2016 elections, a fear mongering ad is running against Colorado Democratic Senate incumbent, Michael Bennet claiming he will be responsible for a nuclear holocaust caused by his vote in favor of the Iran deal. This ad, with multi-lingual countdown by children, is similar to the one Democrats used effectively against GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964 who had indicated a willingness to use nukes. It depicted a child counting daisy petals followed by a nuclear blast. Bennet has a reasoned case to make the Iran deal would immediately make a nuclear war less likely.
Also illogical is the GOP's freedom of religion argument that same sex marriage destroys religious freedom. Same sex marriage is contrary to religious beliefs held by many who would like government to force others to uphold their views and step on others' rights. In 2014 the Supreme Court ruled same sex couples must be allowed to marry nationwide regardless if state laws permit marriage only by heterosexual couples. The ruling was particularly pertinent to officials issuing marriage licenses.
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A county clerk was jailed when she refused to issue licenses to same sex couples because it violated her religious beliefs. She has always been free to resign or run for another office, and she is still protected by the Constitution to continue her crusade elsewhere. Noticed: The ruling did not prevent heterosexual marriage.
For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com, especially the July 19, 2015 posting "The GOP comes out swinging against the Iran deal …
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