When it comes to politics, ethics, and morals, I bet a lot of people don’t think of the views of the younger members of society (partially because many can’t vote yet). Growing up, though, I always heard that one day my generation would rule the world. Looking at my high school class there are few of us who are actually willing to put ourselves into the government to take on this task. When I decided this might be a good field for me, I started trying to figure out what my views were and how our government could and should change. My first road block was the difference between morals and ethics. Some may say they are the same but after a couple debates/ conversations with my dad, I figured out what they mean for me. Then came the idea of these two concepts in our government, but I will get into that later.
To start off, I am going to define the difference between morals and ethics which I understand don’t mean the same thing for everyone. My view is that morals are applied to the individual, while ethics are really what are socially acceptable. Morals are taught by parents, so I am against stealing because my parents taught me that it is wrong, however, someone who doesn’t have the same upbringing may not have the same kind of principle as me. Ethics are another story; as teenagers we really don’t deal with ethical problems. Sure we deal with gossip, peer pressure, backstabbing, and petty acts of mental terrorism, but these really are not ethical in the conventional sense. How are these different from a work place dilemma or a job threatening act that is not accepted as the norm? In teen life, this is common place; we deal with peer pressure all the time even if it is just our friends convincing us to go play ultimate Frisbee. Teenagers manipulate each other to get their way and though this may be seen as unethical, in high school society it is perfectly acceptable.
Now moving towards the political realm, maybe the reason teenagers aren’t interested in politics is not only due to the inability to vote but to the fact we don’t deal with ethical problems and politics deal mainly in this. When looking at government, there is a gray line that separates morals and ethics and this can be seen in the people running our country. Take President Nixon, what he did with Watergate was ethically wrong in the idea that he deliberately broke the law and in this case it was also immoral. Or President Clinton who had an affair which was immoral of him and then lied under oath making it an ethical issue. So what would be something purely ethical? Well, promises made by those either in government or going into government that they have no way of keeping, whether they thought they could or not, is an example of this. This is not immoral of them because there really is no question of their personality or how they were raised involved, but is it ethical for them to promise one thing and either do another or make promises they can’t keep?