Butter emails and moral compromise

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 7:11 PM | comments: 0

Butter Emails

The presidential election is now 18 months behind us, but it's extraordinary how angry some people still are about Hillary Clinton, the person who lost the election. A lot of people are sure she's guilty of a hundred different things.

Let's say for the sake of argument that they're all true. I mean, within reason. I would think that anyone with reasonable intelligence wouldn't actually believe she had someone killed, and if you think that, you're kind of lost anyway. But whatever else you think made her a bad person, let's go with that. Now let's look at the president. At the very least, you can prove how terrible he is just for what he says about other people. There isn't a lot of room for interpretation about whether or not he's mocked the disabled, disparaged veterans, objectified or sexually assaulted women, drawn moral equivalency between white supremacists and, well, everyone else... these are his words. He has also consistently defended Russians and others who do not have America's interests at heart. He has continuously lied about things that are plainly true, whether they be silly like the size of the inauguration crowd, or serious like the assertion that Americans pay more taxes than other Western countries. There are adequate records and lawsuits showing his business record, rich with bankruptcy and fraud allegations. It's plausible that he's had affairs during his current marriage, because one doesn't have a lawyer paying women off if there's nothing to hide. He's certainly had a lot of people around him go down in flames for committing crimes. The revolving door of administration appointees isn't normal either. There is no president in our lifetime that has exhibited immoral behavior like this. No person in polite society could hold down a job with this behavior.

So here's the thing... if the alleged behavior of Hillary was so terrible or immoral, and it's the source of such hatred and concern, why is the moral character of this president unimportant to you? I'm assuming all you've got is that he plays for the right team, and if that's all you've got, you're everything wrong with our culture right now. It's not OK to selectively apply standards of moral behavior.

I've said this a hundred times, but treating politics like a sports rivalry is toxic and destructive. I get that one party or the other may generally, if not always, align with your beliefs, and that's cool. I'm fairly split on issues, and even believe the middle ground (which no party represents) is often the right answer. But if I did align more completely one way or the other, it doesn't mean that any elected official is devoid of moral responsibility or character. Throughout American history, elected people from both parties have been found to break the law, and no position on issues (if they even have any) should be an excuse to overlook that.

If you believe in the broader positions of a particular party, insist on the highest moral character. You don't have to take what they give you.

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