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The Blue & Gray Press | February 23, 2018

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Social Issues Should Not be on the Forefront of the Presidential Debate

By JAMES MOORE

One of the many issues with our current political system is the use of social issues as political tools. These issues simply should not be the centerpiece of an election when there are far more severe problems facing the U.S. If social issues were given a little bit less emphasis, I believe that politics and our elections would run more smoothly.

Many political ads use social issues to provoke fear in the viewer. A wise politician would be willing to give his view on topical social issues, but promise during their campaign they would not attempt to change current arrangements in regards to issues such as the legalization of gay marriage or funding of Planned Parenthood, two major topics of interest in our current election.

Of course, it is almost impossible to trust government leaders these days. I think it would be easier for voters to view their candidates in a more objective way if they look at how the candidates will actually manage the country.

If you vote based on a candidate’s opinion on social issues, you could also be voting for someone who is going to ruin the country at the same time. What does a candidate’s stance on gay marriage or abortion really have to do with how effective they are going to be in the White House? It shouldn’t have any effect.

Unfortunately, politicians rarely plan to do nothing when it comes to addressing social issues. Making laws about such things is really quite a waste of time when there are more severe problems facing the U.S. I don’t mean to downplay these issues, and I believe that they are important, but I don’t think many people would say that they take priority over foreign policy or the state of the economy. I do believe that some voters try to put these issues aside when they vote, but I also think that a lot of people latch onto social issues because they are much easier to understand than more complex issues, such as the economy.

I will also concede, that as a white, heterosexual male, I’m not terribly affected by social issues. It just seems to me that these issues can serve to confuse and mislead people and are only a distraction when compared to other, more pressing, problems.

I don’t think politicians should work on any legislation that has to do with social issues at the moment given, the current condition of our country. It would make more sense to focus on the economic and foreign policy issues our country is facing.

Comments

  1. Female Student

    If you think “managing the country” doesn’t include allowing two people in love to get married or helping women gain access to important and necessary health care, you are looking through the rose-colored glasses of your immense privilege. In this election I, and other members of groups who are deemed of less political influence, have the option to vote for someone who cares about issues that directly affect our personal lives. Just because this isn’t a problem for you doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be of vast significance to other voters. Publish this article again when all candidates agree that women’s health is as important as men’s health (and therefore unmentioned in debates) and when anyone in a partnership can receive the governmental and social benefits that heterosexual couples do.

  2. Social Voter

    This country will be much better off when its citizens understand that social issues are about human rights, not just political talking points. Millions of people vote on social issues because it affects them more than anything else. You would too, if your privilege did not get in the way first.

  3. Bob

    “I don’t think politicians should work on any legislation that has to do with social issues at the moment given.” Neither do most people. But the fact of the matter is that politicians do. And those “social issues” affect economics. For example, easy access to abortion and contraception increases the economic standing of women (since the brunt of child care falls on her shoulders more often then not, which is why the majority of those in poverty world wide are women and children). Furthermore, these “social issue” laws that politicians love to push, have a direct effect on real people in our country. When politicians hold flat-out moronic opinions that women can’t get pregnant from rape (and more then one has that opinion) or that a women’s life is never in danger due to pregnancy (because medical science now has Godlike life giving properties), they pass laws that say that women never need abortions. So when, let’s say, a young girl needs chemo. She won’t get it, because it’ll hurt the baby (see: Dominican Republic).

    These issues aren’t a large deal to you now, because you are a white heterosexual male. But you know what, one day, you might be married. And your wife might get pregnant with a chronic condition. Do you really want to wait until her organs start to fail (and therefore her life is TRULY at risk) to terminate a pregnancy, or are you going to want to have the ability to make that choice (whatever choice you both decide) before her life is threatened? Those “social issues” turn into legislation that can actually affect the human rights and lives of others. They’re not just silly fluff. And they are not any less complex then other “more important” (to you) issues.

    And just to reiterate, many of these social issues ARE economic issues. Unwanted pregnancies lead to higher drop out rates in schools, which leads to poverty. Gay couples don’t get military spouse benefits (because they can’t get married). What happens if a gay man gets killed in Afghanistan, leaving his partner to pay for their house, raise their kids (and all the added costs of that), alone? That’s an economic issue. And our foreign policy should be highly focused on human rights (it isn’t, but it should be). Which is why we shouldn’t allow the global gag rule to be reinstated (not educating women about family planning keeps them in poverty: an economic issue).

    All these issues are interconnected. The idea that these are “easier to understand” is the opinion of someone who doesn’t understand them.