Should a Politician’s Moral Character Preclude Them from Candidacy?

by on September 27th, 2010
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COMMENTARY | In light of the recent campaign suspension by Herman Cain, one has to wave their moral compass toward the situation to see how they lean. Should the moral character of a presidential candidate sway citizens’ vote? And does a candidate’s past indiscretions relate to his ability to lead the country?

For me, the answer is yes. Although I truly believe in an individual’s right to privacy, I do believe someone’s sexual transgressions do make the individual morally wrong and an unacceptable candidate for President.

As citizens of the United States of America, we have to have complete faith in our system – faith in the office, to lead us through hard times and keep the system fair and just. But if a presidential candidate cannot even keep his own life fair and just, how can we expect him to do it for us? We put our trust in this individual, as does his wife. If a political candidate cannot keep his word to the women he has married under the eye of God, who’s to say he will remain honest and truthful to the nation. He turned his eye on his wife, someone who is close to him. As a nation, we are not close to him. He does not have to see us every day. If a political leader can hurt his wife so willingly, he has no trust from his country.

If a political candidate just got a divorce with no affair, I think the candidate would be better off. At the very least he could hold his head high and admit to his mistakes. But an affair is a mistake you admit to only after you get caught. And that makes the political candidate a dark and shady figure.

Unfortunately, I do not think my opinion resonates with the American public. We live in a day and age where affairs and cheating on your spouse is an everyday affair. It’s no longer a taboo issue. In fact, for some celebrity reality stars, they thrive on affairs because of the attention it brings them. This makes the public start to feel like extramarital affairs are okay. It’s not as shameful as it once was.

I am surprised Herman Cain suspended his candidacy. But he did the right thing. He stood up tall, and though he never admitted to the affair, he stated it was taking too much of a toll on his family. Of course, this now allows Cain to play a key supporter to his former Republican rivals. And Cain’s endorsement will come with a high price tag.

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