BP week of 11/27/16: Trump and the policy on Cuba

Fidel Castro has recently passed away at 90 years of age. He was the ruler of Cuba, until he relinquished his control to his brother in 2006. Trump had made promises of undoing the process of normalizing relations with Cuba during his campaign, but that was before Castro died. Should he consider changing his policy on this, or should he show integrity and stay his course?

This issue involves the philosophical concepts of integrity, the state of nature, the concept of utility, kantian categorical imperatives and kantian duty. In this case, his integrity to telling the truth could be compromised if he shifts his stance on this issue, after making promises on the campaign trail. That being said, as the leader of the United States, would it not be his duty to adjust his strategies for running the country based upon how the world situation changes?

This is where the issue arises, and in two ways. First is in the McFall standard of integrity, that it is constant. Here, he would be making conditional promises instead of just telling the truth. that does not demonstrate integrity. This issue is also demonstrating a flaw of Deontology: when categorical imperatives require a person to do two opposite actions. The categorical imperative not to lie is now coming into conflict with another categorical imperative: the imperative to be as good a leader as possible. Should he adapt to the situation or stick to his promise?

My two cents on this would be that he should adapt to new information relevant to running the country. If Castro’s death is relevant to how Trump should run the country, then he should adapt. It would be monumentally disastrous if leadership positions were unable to adjust to the changing circumstances of the world – it would make selecting a leader a self-defeating purpose, as their leadership would eventually become too flawed to maintain order, and if all countries collapsed, that’d be bad, that’d be a state of nature.




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