Morality Ethics President Bush Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

morality of the George Bush administration. The writer looks at classic texts to garner a sense of what political morality should be about and then holds the administration of Bush against the measurement to illustrate the lack of morality and the fact that it failed to promote the happiness of the United States people. In addition, the author explores the negative impact that was felt by other nations under the watchful lack of morality by the Bush administration.

According to the Two Treatises by Locke political power has no other purpose than for the greater good. He wrote that it was the right to make decisions and laws but that it was always and should only be for the greater good of the people that it served.

"Political power, then, I take to be a right of making laws, with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties for the regulating and preserving of property, and of employing the force of the community in the execution of such laws, and in the defense of the commonwealth from foreign injury, and all this only for the public good

This passage clearly indicates that the greater good is to be first and foremost in any political decision with regard to all things including the death of others. This can be applied to war, to domestic issues or to international issues that need to be handled. The importance of the greater good cannot be stressed enough when it comes to political morality and ethics

Political morality and ethics belong to those who are just and ethical. Experts since the beginning time have subscribed to this theory. Plato wrote in the Republic that if one man is as unjust as can be while the other is as just as can be and they are both allowed to go to the extreme, then and only then will the true ethical nature and moral nature of each man will appear

"Let him be the best of men, and let him be thought the worst; then he will have been put to the proof; and we shall see whether he will be affected by the fear of infamy and its consequences. And let him continue thus to the hour of death; being just and seeming to be unjust. When both have reached the uttermost extreme, the one of justice and the other of injustice, let judgment be given which of them is the happier of the two

The above illustrates the problem with the Bush administration. The administration showed itself to lack ethics and claim it had morality while using the American's fear of terrorism to promote Bush's private vendetta against his father's political enemies.

In Machiavelli's The Prince, he outlines the way a political figure gains power without his underlings or "subjects" being aware of it occurring.

"Nothing makes a prince so much esteemed as great enterprises and setting a fine example. We have in our time Ferdinand of Aragon, the present King of Spain. He can almost be called a new prince, because he has risen, by fame and glory, from being an insignificant king to be the foremost king in Christendom; and if you will consider his deeds you will find them all great and some of them extraordinary

. In the beginning of his reign he attacked Granada, and this enterprise was the foundation of his dominions. He did this quietly at first and without any fear of hindrance, for he held the minds of the barons of Castile occupied in thinking of the war and not anticipating any innovations; thus they did not perceive that by these means he was acquiring power and authority over them

. He was able with the money of the Church and of the people to sustain his armies, and by that long war to lay the foundation for the military skill which has since distinguished him. Further, always using religion as a plea, so as to undertake greater schemes, he devoted himself with a pious cruelty to driving out and clearing his kingdom of the Moors; nor could there be a more admirable example, nor one more rare. Under this same cloak he assailed Africa, he came down on Italy, he has finally attacked France; and thus his achievements and designs have always been great, and have kept the minds of his people in suspense and admiration and occupied with the issue of them. And his actions have arisen in such a way, one out of the other, that men have never been given time to work steadily against him

According to the doctrine written by him a political figure or in this case a prince is also respected when he declares himself fully to a party or a side.

'A prince is also respected when he is either a true friend or a downright enemy, that to say, when, without any reservation, he declares himself in favor of one party against the other; which course will always be more advantageous than standing neutral; because if two of your powerful neighbors come to blows, they are of such a character that, if one of them conquers, you have either to fear him or not. In either case it will always be more advantageous for you to declare yourself and to make war strenuously; because, in the first case, if you do not declare yourself, you will invariably fall a prey to the conqueror, to the pleasure and satisfaction of him who has been conquered, and you will have no reasons to offer, nor anything to protect or to shelter you

. Because he who conquers does not want doubtful friends who will not aid him in the time of trial; and he who loses will not harbor you because you did not willingly, sword in hand, court his fate

In no way however, does this writing support the lack of morality or ethics that was shown by the Bush administration.

"A prince ought also to show himself a patron of ability, and to honor the proficient in every art. At the same time he should encourage his citizens to practice their callings peaceably, both in commerce and agriculture, and in every other following, so that the one should not be deterred from improving his possessions for fear lest they be taken away from him or another from opening up trade for fear of taxes; but the prince ought to offer rewards to whoever wishes to do these things and designs in any way to honor his city or state."

This means or implies that the head should be able to honor those that support him. He must conduct himself with upstanding morals and ethics if he is to be respected by those he leads and makes decisions for.

The Bush administration lacked ethics and morals in many areas of the American life. Bush used the American public to promote war. He knew there was a chance of a terrorist attack before it happened and instead of warning the public, some experts believe he allowed it to happen with little regard to the outcome so that he could use the fear of terrorism to gain American support for his personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein.

Bush showed himself to be lacking ethics and morals in many of the decisions he made and that lack of ethics or morals created an atmosphere of unhappiness in the American public that elected him to office.

'For an evangelical Christian, George W. Bush does not seem to have a well-developed sense of sin -- at least as far as the nation is concerned. In his speech, President Bush expressed a far-reaching commitment to "liberty" and "the force of human freedom" in the world -- values that most Americans, religions or not, would readily affirm. The president has often rightly acknowledged that "freedom" is a gift from God, not the possession of any nation. But his remarkable speech announced that the role of deciding if, when, and where freedom will be defended belongs to the United States of America; America is on a religious mission to protect freedom, and George Bush is freedom's vicar

"In the Bush speech there was no acknowledgement of contradictions, double standards, or even limitations. The richest and most powerful nation in the world announced the right to define and defend freedom's cause. The only remaining superpower now claims the ability to be the arbiter of freedom around the world -- intervention in Iraq, for instance, but not in Rwanda

. Neoconservatives are tingling with excitement to see their expansionist view of U.S. power in the world so enshrined (and all dissenters removed from the Cabinet). But as Stephen Hayes of the neocon magazine The Weekly Standard said on NBC's Meet the Press, "I think you have to be practical about these things at the same time." Oh yes, "practical, and therein lies the rub. And the Bush administration will decide what practical means.

Will democratic reformers…

Sources Used in Document:


The Bush doctrine.(From The Editor)(Editorial)

Sojourners; 3/1/2005; Wallis, Jim


Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI); 3/20/2003

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