Mr Westmoreland-White here offers an “explanation” for why the GOP reacts differently to scandal than the Democrats. One wonders if he knows any conservatives or republicans. He could, you know, ask one or two what their reason for caring about scandal,  unlike the Democrats who apparently don’t. The point is, I’m a conservative. The reason I’ve given and heard from other conservatives why personal scandal matters for politicians is the same every time. And it’s not the reason he gives, to whit:

It seems to me that the difference is the hypocrisy factor.  The Democratic Party in the U.S. has not tried to set itself up as the “morality police.”  Democrats sometimes campaign as “strong family people,” but this is seldom the center of the campaign.  They don’t claim to be morally superior.  They don’t try  to claim that voting for them is the only way to save the American family.  Republicans do make such claims–usually by implication, but sometimes in almost those very words.  Further, Republican politicians loudly call for Democratic politicians to resign if they get caught in sex scandals–and claim that voting for them is a way to restore the moral fabric of the nation.

This is uncharitable. It is not any reason that he, I suspect, or I have ever heard given. So that liberals and progressives get this straight, here is why the GOP (in office and out) call for Democrats caught in sex and other scandals to resign from public office.

Conservatives believe that private dishonest is reflective of personality. That a person who is dishonest in his personal affairs will also be dishonest in public and is not worthy of public trust. Cheating on a spouse affects a number of people, the wife, the children, and the social community in which the person resides. It is at the core, a breaking of trust. Conservatives believe that a person who is dishonest in these things will cannot be trusted in other things. That dishonesty of this sort disqualifies one from public office where great trust over money and power is given to a person for whom integrity is important.

The question then redounds to the liberal side. Why do they for their part feel that a person who lacks personal integrity is worthy of public office? I might suggest reasons why I might think that liberals like Mr Westmoreland-White might feel that personal integrity is unimportant to those in public office, but unlike him I fear that any reason I might sugggest would be uncharitable. So … I’ll await suggestions from him and from other liberal/progressive readers to answer that question defending the notion that personal integrity is unimportant.

Filed under: ConservativeEthics & MoralityGovernmentLiberalMark O.

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