Monday, January 14, 2019

Third Rail Issues  

In politics, certain issues like abortion, the death penalty, gun control, and Social Security benefits have often been referred to as third rail issues. That is, most politicians try to stay clear of them, since they can pack the same 650 volt wallop (to their careers) as touching the third rail on a train track. My contention is that in most circles all political subjects are “third-rail” issues. Think about the old adage “Never discuss politics or religion in polite circles.” The assumption is that we can’t be civilized or polite when discussing these subjects, and most of the time that’s true. But does it have to be? People get very emotional and passionate about their religious and political beliefs, and they should. They are a reflection of our living philosophy. But does that mean that we can’t have a rational and polite discussion about politics or religion?

Some people claim that they are not political, but, as Aristotle says, “By his very nature, Man is a political animal.” (That includes women, too.) For more about Aristotle and philosophy, visit this web page: The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

When you meet a supposed a-political person, ask her whether or not we should continue tax-payer funded public schools, or should all schools be privatized, so that only those who could afford to attend would be educated? Anyone who has a brain has to have an opinion on this. I could name dozens of questions like this one, which can start a debate (I hope a civil one)



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