Politicians need to act with principle

Our country is founded on the basis that the American population will elect politicians to make governmental decisions. In theory, these politicians are people who represent the ideals of dignity, morality and tolerance for all people.

However, in the last couple of years, it has become clear that many politicians are individuals who cannot act on these ideals, let alone represent thousands of people.

Scandals are not a new aspect to America’s political sphere. They extend back to the 1800’s with President Grover Cleveland, who sexually assaulted and impregnated a woman. With the introduction of social media and the Internet, news of these scandals spreads like wildfire.

Although this is true, people are often complacent, with their only concern being that politicians execute actions that align with their beliefs. As a result, politicians are not held to the high standard needed to make decisions for the country.

In order to illustrate this effect, let’s say I was working at McDonald’s. After serving my 20th Big Mac of the day, a customer of a different race walks in and starts ordering. However, as soon as they greet me, I yell a racial slur at them and deny service. Any reasonable manager would fire me immediately.

Feeling particularly ambitious, I decide to run for office after losing my coveted job. During a campaign speech, I let the same racist comment slip out of my mouth. But this time, I am met with support from hundreds, thousands and eventually millions of people for “speaking my mind”. The moral of the story: I would have to act at a higher moral standard at a McDonald’s than as a government official.

We have seen this unfold recently with the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who is a Republican. During the confirmation process, multiple women came forward with sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, with one even testifying in front of the Senate. Despite this, Kavanaugh was confirmed, due to there being more Republicans in the Senate than Democrats.

Voters make all sorts of feeble excuses for their favorite politicians, pulling out lines like “oh, he was just joking” and “she didn’t know that was wrong” and “it all happened five years ago”. What they lose sight of is human decency and conduct. Just because a politician supports abortion or gun rights does not mean that they are exempt from acting with morality.