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The Prisoner's Dilemma and Politics

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The Daily Wire: Should Republicans Dump Moore Over Sexual Abuse Allegations?


"And so the question stands: what would someone of your party need to do in order for you to put your political priorities aside in favor of standing against the immoral behavior of that candidate?

The biggest problem here is that we have a prisoner’s dilemma: if only one side is willing to abide by a standard, the other side wins. Imagine Teddy Kennedy running against Roy Moore, and they’re both hit with scandals. Now imagine the Republicans pull Moore but the Democrats leave Kennedy. A garbage person still occupies the seat, but the Republicans have forfeited. And it’s easy enough to use the lesser-of-two evils logic to justify pretty much anything.

Until people on all sides of the political aisle are willing to throw out candidates who act evilly, we’re likely to see the moral quality of candidates continue to decline. Opportunists on both sides will bash their opponents for sticking with nasty human beings, then go back to doing the same with their own allies. And the country gets worse and worse. Unless, that is, one party holds to a standard, and the American people reward that party for upholding that standard. Then everyone in every party would have an incentive to stand up for decent behavior. In the end, it’s not about what the parties are willing to tolerate. It’s about what the American people won’t. And right now, Americans seem willing to tolerate just about anything." - Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire

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