Free «Public and Ordinary Morality in Political Decisions» Essay Sample


Public morality refers to the acceptable codes of conduct that relate to the handling of the general society. This means that political leaders should make decisions that put into consideration the public. The public could refer to the citizens of the country or those from another country basing on the point of action. Ordinary morality is the code of conduct that guides personal decisions. An individual in a leadership position must ensure that he preserves the acceptable codes of conduct in the process of making decisions. The actions of the National Salvation Committee and President Bush’s persuasion of the public before the invasion on Iraq could illustrate the lack of public and ordinary morality among leaders and their advisors. The National Salvation Committee’s actions led to the brutal murder of the Ceaucescu’s after a hurried prosecution. The persuasion of the public by President Bush’s administration before the invasion of Iraq also resulted in massive destruction of property and loss of lives. The government convinced Americans to accept that the attacks with the pretence that they were being done in the best of their interests.

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This essay explicates public and ordinary morality of the leaders in both situations.

In both instances, the leaders were fast at making decisions that raised various moral questions. Public morality questions emanated from both the Romanian Revolution Committee and President Bush’s persuasion of citizens before the attack on Iraq in 2002. Hadley (2009) asserts that the National Salvation Committee ordered for the trial and prosecution of the Ceaucescu’s. The trial was conducted for a remarkably short duration of only two hours and the criminals executed. This was a wrong decision by the president of the National Salvation Committee.  This was in contravention of the rights of the third party hence going against public morality. According to Siani-Davies (2007) it is always expected that individuals would be treated fairly according to the law and not in the interests of the leaders. The accepted codes of conduct relating to dealing with individuals opposed to the regime were not put into consideration especially in the case of the former dictator.

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In the same way President Bush’s regime decided to persuade its citizens to support America’s invasion into Iraq in 2002. The leaders asserted that the invasion was vital because it would ensure public safety against Iraq. According to Olmsted (2011) the US cited reasons such as Saddam had engaged in continuous repression in Iraq that led to massive deaths.In addition, it was asserted that Saddam had harbored Abu Nidal who was an anti-Israeli terrorist and paid large sums of money to Palestinian suicide bombers. Bush’s government also asserted that Saddam Hussein controlled the world’s largest oil reserves which, would have helped him cause instability in the Middle East. Lastly, they claimed that Saddam had breached the UN’s “Oil for Food” program that was a humanitarian measure to ensure individuals get access to foodstuffs.  Dyzenhaus, Moreau, & Ripstein (2007), intimate that the acceptable codes of conduct relating to dealing with others in the society were not put into consideration.

From a critical perspective, the decision by the National Salvation Committee to prosecute and execute the former dictator was unjustified. They went against the morally accepted principles that assert that an individual should be given a chance to launch a defense in his own case. The former dictator should have been given a chance to defend himself despite the fact that he had committed offences against humanity. According to Dyzenhaus, Moreau, & Ripstein (2007) their decisions and actions are immoral because they do not respect the position of others in the society. They want to be perceived as being on the right track even as they unfairly kill other individuals. Ad bodies to the public was unfair because it indicates how they rejoice at the death of other people. Siani-Davies (2007) reports that the Committee did not consider the aftermath of its actions.

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The persuasion of the US citizens by the government before the invasion of Iraq in 2002 is morally unacceptable. Olmsted (2011) intimates that the Bush administration convinced its citizens to support the move through the use of unacceptable means. The leaders immorally employed tricks in some instances by claiming that they wanted to ensure that citizens were safe from attacks. The decision to invade the entire country was not morally justified; they would have gone ahead and arrested the Iraq president alone without causing harm to other citizens. Many lives were brought to an end, and many individuals in Iraq were tortured while they were innocent. From a critical point of view, the torture of innocent individuals is not morally upright because as it is indicative of abuse of power among these leaders. They use their powers to damage property and kill innocent souls. The soldiers who had been sent to lead the attacks in Iraq used unethical means of seeking information. They forced their way into Iraq on mere false allegations.

The presidents in both cases committed moral wrongs. They did not follow the acceptable principles that provide for dealing with the cases in the society. They decided to proceed with their courses of action without considering the aftermath of their actions. For instance, the leader of the National Salvation Committee did not give the former dictator time to defend himself in the case. He ordered for a two hour case that resulted in the ultimate execution of the former dictator. This was morally wrong; the case could have taken more time so that enough facts relating to the inhumane actions the dictator carried out are brought to light. In the case of the United States, the president and his advisors were morally wrong. They went ahead and launched the attacks in Iraq even after the United Nations had ordered for an investigation before the attacks. According to Hadley (2009), soldiers tortured innocent citizens with the pretence that they were gathering vital information to assist in the arrest of the dictatorial president. They did not respect the voice of the people nd close allies. For instance, the US did not follow the citizens’ opinion that the facts were not substantial to launch an attack.  The president could have simply ordered for the search and arrest of the suspected offenders instead of going ahead to destroy property and terminate lives of innocent citizens. They were not justified in ordering for such actions. This is because there is a law that is supposed to govern every action in the entire world. They went against the morally accepted procedures, to cause immense suffering to the affected parties.

In conclusion, the leaders in both these cases made their decisions extremely fast without following the procedures put in place. These decisions raised moral questions that have not yet been answered to date. Actions that relate to the entire public are guarded by the codes of conduct referred to us public morality. The leaders went against public morality by subjecting citizens to immense sufferings. This is evidenced by the excessive loss of lives and injuries caused to innocent individuals. The killings of the dictators under unclear circumstances without following the appropriate laws also raise questions relating to public morality. From a critical morality, the leaders are individually immoral in their actions. They order actions that they know would result in the suffering of individuals. They do not care about how their soldiers disrespect the rights of others by torturing them without feelings of humanity. The presidents and their advisors were morally wrong in their actions. They immorally lead to the suffering f innocent citizens who did not have any idea of how to defend themselves. They do not follow the set laws, to ensure that order is maintained in the society. The laws and procedures were enacted, to ensure that all actions are morally taken. Therefore, the leaders were not justified in their actions.

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