Does a president need to lead by example? Will a president’s behavior affect people’s behavior? Can we, with clear consciousness, support an amoral politician?
Democracy is based on participation. But if the president lacks morals, values and principles, people become cynical, lose trust in the system, and democracy falls.
Can we trust a president who we know is not honest? A dishonest president corrodes people’s trust in government. And distrust of our government destroys the democratic system based on people’s participation.
A president needs to have the common good in mind when making decisions. For example, when deciding immigration issues, common decency and empathy should be a compass. A person who is capable of taking children away from parents, without feeling compassion, has no moral compass.
Why are we teaching our kids good morals if they know that someone who does not have good morals was elected president? Can we teach kids to be honest, respect others, not to lie and not to steal and then turn around and say that it is okay when a politician is doing all these things?
“political ethicists have emphasized the ways in which democracies can fall apart in the absence of personal virtue. Conservative thinkers, in particular, have argued that political institutions can only function when all those who participate within them are capable of compromise and of self-government. Rules, to put it simply, don’t work unless people governed by those rules care about them and voluntarily choose to abide by them. If this is true of citizens, it is even more true of the president, whose opportunities to damage the system through unprincipled actions are so much greater.” https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2019/02/opinion-must-the-president-be-a-moral-leader.html
“Integrity is having a strong set of ethical principles, being able to tell the truth no matter the consequences, admitting to a wrong even if you could get away without doing it. Integrity is about doing the right thing; it is being incorruptible, honest, and above all, doing all these things when no one is around to see it.”
I am trying to use logic to outline, to reason, to explain why principles and high morals are important. But maybe it is simpler than that.
Let’s put aside politics. Isn’t it natural to feel repulsion, anger, sadness, shock seeing this man in OUR WHITE HOUSE?
Let’s talk about integrity, principles, moral clarity. How can any decent person ignore all lies, unethical behavior and derogatory speeches? How can people who consider themselves decent and moral defend an adulterer, a crook, a cheater? Trump mocked a disabled person, a reporter. He ordered the separation of children from their parents.
How can honest people support a person who shows absolute ignorance on almost any subject? How can so many people still believe a president whose closest advisers are already in jail or are under investigation? How can people who teach their kids to be honest and respectful look at them and tell them to respect a man, knowing he does not follow any moral guidance?
How do you feel listening to all these lies?
How do you feel seeing a man mocking a disabled person?
How do you feel watching little children separated from their parents?
How do you feel watching democracy crumbling around you?
Does watching this man in the White House, decapitating the EPA, our land and sea, make you sad, angry?
How do you feel watching this man’s smirk when he is hugging our American flag?
So why are we trying to explain the obvious to a blind person?
How do you explain how the sky looks to the blind?
How do you explain colors, fall leaves to the blind?
How do you explain birds singing, trees whispering in the evening breeze to a deaf person?
I don’t know. And it frightens me.