Scandals blemish public figures
Scandals have plagued the political world for centuries, affecting even the lives of prominent people like Richard Nixon and Thomas Jefferson. Yet senior Trevor York believes that politicians should live to a special moral standard, as they are in the public eye and should represent the country.
On June 17, 1972, five men broke into the offices of the Democratic National Committee on a mission to gather evidence and plant wire-taps in the phones of the offices. These men were found to have been connected with the then current president, Richard M. Nixon. This event, known as the Watergate Scandal, is forever a dark stain in the world of politics and is arguably the largest political scandal of the century.
Since then, the name of President Nixon has never been the same, and most people will always remember him as the president who blatantly broke the law for his own advances.
Scandals have ruined political figures for centuries, such as the Nixon-Watergate scandal. Even some of America's greatest leaders, such as Thomas Jefferson and Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), have all been involved in some sort of scandal. After years and years, the American public is very familiar with seeing their elected officials on TV with a corrupted personal live.
It is funny, however, that some scandals are more public than others, depending on the purpose. For instance, President Bill Clinton was caught in a scandal with a mistress and the story was rapidly spread throughout the media. Even more so, the American people called for Clintons impeachment as well. Yet when people find out that FDR, arguably one of America's most influential presidents, was in love with a woman that wasn't his wife, people choose to sweep that under the rug in order to preserve his reputation as a great leader.
But having affairs with slaves (Jefferson) is yesterday's news, and the premise of scandals has always been around. With that said, it is becoming a more public issue and it practically feels like there is a new politician on the news every day, claiming that they "didn't do it." It's an impossible task to find a truly honest politician in this world who wholeheartedly wants to be a public servant.
It is not that making poor choices in life affects the American people, but it is that the image of a public servant reflects the public. So, if our leaders are making horrible decisions in life, then what does that say about the constituents that they represent?
From an American citizen's perspective, I find it insulting that so many politicians have such a hard time displaying discipline in their lives. I do understand that no one is perfect and living a life that is constantly scrutinized by the media is exhausting, but, on the other hand, it's simply what they are elected to do.
"It is not that making poor choices in life affects the American people, but it is that the image of a public servant reflects the public. So, if our leaders are making horrible decisions in life then what does that say about the constituents that they represent?" --Trevor York, Columnist
Being a leader in the 21st century is hard and requires someone to have control over their lives. It may not be fair, but it is reality. So, as public servants, it is a politician's job to be a just representation of the people they represent.
The key idea here is that all leaders must acknowledge that, when they assume a position of power, they are signing over a right to their own private life; moreover, they are held to a higher standard than the "ordinary" person and must act accordingly.
More recently there have been major scandals involving Herman Cain and Silvio Berlusconi. Cain is a GOP candidate running for president who is being accused of sexual harassment that occurred over the past several years. Silvio Berlusconi is the current prime minister of Italy and, like Cain, he is being accused of sexual harassment charges. Politicians having horrible private lives is nothing new to this world. Yet the intense media speculation surrounding these figures is rather new.
True leaders must have control of their own lives before they even have the right to lead others. Now, I am not pointing the finger specifically at Herman Cain or Silvio Berlusconi. They are merely examples of the breed of politicians that have arisen in recent years. It would also be remiss of me to not mention that Cain accusations are just accusations and have not been proven. Yet this is irrelevant, people in positions of power should be beyond reproach.
America is in need of politicians with integrity, politicians whose actions mirror their words. I realize that some politicians have always been this way, unscrupulous and charming at the same time. America has had a history of these men, ranging from President Nixon to a modern politician such as Newt Gingrich. So some may ask, "If politics have always been tainted then why would we change now?"
This article is not a ground-breaking solution, but rather a proposition for American politicians. Although this country no doubt faces an economical crisis, such as over $14 trillion in debt. America seems to be struggling more and more with electing the right people to office. The problem is not blaming the republicans or the democrats but simply the politicians moral standards.
Maybe its time for someone to mix the game up. Not to sound hyperbolic, but maybe a large problem with America's debt crisis and more importantly, moral crisis, is the type of people that are being elected to lead this nation. Obviously, people cannot change overnight, so neither will this pattern change immediately.
Yet, I am proposing that a solution to America's illness may not be new legislation or different tax plans. The solution is much deeper, it lies in the character of those who propose legislation and create tax plans.