The Necessity of the Law

I’m editing a coworker’s paper, and came across this quote:

“While politics is about power, an ethical framework can be seen as a ‘counterbalance’ to power, or at leat as a way to mitigate some of the potentially negative impacts of power.”

(Source: Cathy Gibson, 2009).

Mostly, I’m throwing this up here for the sake of storing it somewhere, but it really synthesizes some of the vaguely politicky thoughts that have been stewing in the back of my head. Namely, this is why the Right cares about issues like Gay marriage and abortion and the sexual exploits of politicians and whatnot–it represents a decay, perceived or real, in the mitigating force keeping those in power in check. And it’s why presidents like Bush, love him or hate him, could get re-elected: again, real or perceived, as a proclaimed Christian, many who voted for him perceived him as being guided by an internal counterbalance to the power–the human conscience.

It’s the entire purpose of the law: it’s not solely about keeping society in order, but it provides a structure by which leaders can help society maintain this order without losing control or, more frequently, gaining absolute control. Without moral absolutes, what is there to stop those in power from seizing it? Indeed, without moral absolutes, what does it even matter?