Thursday, October 15, 2015

Does Character Really Matter Any More?

"It is better to be alone than in bad company." 

~George Washington

You don't have to look far to find examples of men behaving badly in the political arena--and it's not new.  What's different today is the lack of shame.  These men, once caught, lie about it first.  Then they act like it isn't any big deal--it doesn't have anything to do with their ability to do their job as your elected official.  It wasn't that many years ago, that a Bob Filner or an Anthony Weiner would have been shunned, forced to resign, and their careers would be over.  But these days, that just isn't the case.  Once caught, they don't even seem embarrassed by their conduct.  In fact, there are those that defend them with excuses like these:

He didn't do anything illegal.
This is often the excuse made by supporters of these perverts.  Is that our new standard of conduct?  Anything goes unless it's against the law?

It's a matter between him and his wife.
So you think that somebody who engages in this kind of activity exercises good judgment, and believe this isn't indicative of their ability to lead?  You think somebody that repeatedly lies will make a fine mayor?   Apparently, honesty and integrity are not longer admired in politics.

It's a personal matter, and his private life has nothing to do with his ability to do the job.
Okay.  That's fine.  If you think a 48-year-old mayor that sends pictures of his privates to 22-year-old girls he's never met is appropriate, then vote for him.  Or a 70-year-old man that can't keep his hands to himself, and asks his female employees to work without panties is okay with you, then vote for him.  Maybe this disturbing conduct doesn't impact his ability to do his job.

But would you feel the same way if he was a school bus driver?  Or a police officer?  Or your doctor?  I'm sure you wouldn't have a problem if it was your kids third grade teacher--would you? 

I believe character does matter.  I still look for it in the people I work with, in the people I trust to work for me, and in those I vote for.  I require honesty and integrity--I don't care how smart they are, what their party affiliation is, or how good they are at their job--if they don't possess character, I've little use for them.  And you'll never find me making excuses for the bad conduct of those in which I've mistakenly placed my trust.

I think we need to get back to having standards of decency in our society.  I think a lot of people are.  Americans used to know the difference between right and wrong, and it wasn't the same standard used to determine if something is legal or illegal. 

Societies collapse when they lose sight of the principles that made them great to begin with.  And America was founded on principles, too.  And those principles seem to matter less and less to many Americans as time goes on.

~Todd E. Creason

Todd E. Creason is an author and novelist whose work includes the award-winning non-fiction historical series Famous American Freemasons and the novels One Last Shot (2011) and A Shot After Midnight (2012). He's currently working on the third novel Shot to Hell which will be released in Spring 2014.

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