In a democracy, or a republic like ours ,the people ultimately responsible for shaping policy are the voters. Though we votes for them very indirectly, many political arguments revolve around what the right policy should be. One of the primary factors is what choice is morally right to make.
There’s a strategy that is at the base of lot of moral policy reasoning the I want to argue against. This is the strategy of looking at the question as if it were a question of your personal behavior and voting for America to act as it would be right for you to act. I.e. If it would be right for you to turn the other cheek then it is right for America to turn the other cheek.
But you are not making decisions for just yourself when voting. Think how we would judge an absolute king who decided what must be right for his people based upon what was right for himself without ever getting to know his subjects. The citizens of a democratic state are collectively sovereign over it. When we exercise the sovereign franchise we also have the responsibilities of a sovereign for his people’s welfare.
Thus we need to think not just about what risks we are willing to run and what sacrifices we are willing to make but also what risks and sacrifices we are willing to impose on others. We don’t just have to realize the others have different opinions and different viewpoints from ours. We have to really take their opinions seriously because the decision being made is on their behalf as well as our own.
We stand as trustees for rights and property of others. We have a responsibility to act for their good, even if we would not bother to pursue that good on our own behalf. Giving your own money away is a good in many situations where giving someone else’s money to the same cause is much more problematic. Sacrificing some else’s dignity is the same situation where sacrificing your own dignity would be self confident and above the situation. We need to be conscious of the sider responsibility we have as voters than we have in ordinary life. The authority that has been entrusted to us is precious, and we need to have due reverence for it’s awesome responsibility.