Moral Relativism of Georgia Republicans

”. . . as for the truth, it seems like we just pick a theory it's the one that justifies our daily lives. . .” —“Deconstruction” -Emily Saliers, Indigo Girls

Business is good

Business brings jobs. Jobs get people homes and food and all the others things we need. Jobs keep the economy alive and the economy keeps everybody alive. I may be doing things that are bad for working people, but compared to how it would be if they didn't have jobs, whatever they have now is better.

So doing what is good for employers is doing what is good for workers. If we don't do what is good for employers, they will go to other cities, other states, or other countries. So when we give tax breaks to businesses, even if it means underfunding our schools, it will be better than if we lost the business. When we undermine or outlaw the freedom of workers to organize and bargain collectively, it's good, because workers rights are bad for business. When we provide an underfunded, understaffed, and insufficient state run safety net for our people, it's good because private businesses will do that better and be better for the economy and for everyone, if Democrats would just get out of the way and let us privatize everything.

Elected leaders are upright, Christian, family men

So as Republicans in my state of Georgia continue their efforts to curtail the freedoms of workers and promote employer and investor interests, they see themselves as bastions of morality. Good family men. Responsible business owners. God fearing, honest, men (I really think my State rep. is, even not knowing him personally). Believers in individual liberty. Representing what is best for everyone in their constituencies.

Christian, white, family men

Did I mention they they are almost all men? 6 in 7 of them. Did I mention that they are all white? At least 99% of them? All of them representing my area are white men, despite at least a 25% minority population and 50% female population. And very few are, or ever were, working class or in service professions.

Righteous as they hurt us

So as they deny the rights of women and doctors to decide what is best for the lives of pregnant mothers, while making it legal for guns to be carried almost anywhere by almost anyone, and making our children and teachers do active shooter training the way we used to do tornado and fire drills, they know that they are good, principled people. I'm sure a few of them are unprincipled con men, I'm sure some are pragmatically self-serving, but I think many of them are friendly, honest, good neighbors who just want to make the state better. They care about workers. They just care more about making business easier and more profitable.

moral proxies

In their moral relativism, they have made business success a proxy for human thriving. They have made adherence to Christian and constitutional edicts a proxy for public morality and caring for people. They have imagined a world where it could be worse. They've seen things broken—American jobs moving overseas, financial industry abuses crushing our local economies, poverty raising crime and drug use, good-old-boys government corruption exploiting the people of Georgia—and decided to fix it using the same tools that broke it. And every broken thing clawed back is a victory of their principles. A sign of their righteousness.

What their laws say is right

They see people killed by guns and think more guns are the answer.

They see women aborting babies and decide the solution is outlawing abortion, not making the world safe for women to have and raise babies. That would be overstepping the role of government, to make women physically safe, help them be economically stable, make them equal to men in family law, and give them a numerically significant place in decision making bodies.

We have one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the country, and the US is pretty bad compared to other rich countries. Yet Republicans try to address it with studies and recommendations that don't match the biggest, well documented causes—racism in health care, poverty, and lack of access to quality healthcare increase maternal mortality in Georgia. But it's not the place of government to fix these things.

Individual racists are the problem, not racist systems. Poverty is a problem of not working, and Republicans are doing everything they can to make jobs available in Georgia. The government shouldn't do healthcare. It should be employers that cover healthcare, so that taxes will be low and employers can have one more lever on their employees. That's what makes Georgia attractive to businesses, what brings jobs, and what is good for all Georgia.

Unrecognized moral relativism

So they act with the attitude that Democrats are disconnected from the hard, fiscal realities of economic success. They let their supporters keep believing that workers rights, maternal rights, and minority rights are the whining of fragile snowflakes, or even contrary to Christian or constitutional morality. Their moral relativism successfully masquerades and righteousness, especially to themselves.