If you watch the news like I do, Washington DC is "scandal city" these days. If an actor or actress leads a shady life, many talk, but amid lies that tabloids tell, and a limited exposure to their real lives most of the speculation that haunts actors rarely ends their careers. In politics the game is quite different. Entire presidencies can be wound up in a nutshell over just once incident of indiscretion. The way a President or High-Level Post Holder carries themselves in public serves as their legacy. For example, if I mention Bill Clinton, many only remember his (alleged) affair with Monica Lewinsky. If I mention the name "Kennedy", for many it evokes images of John F's assassination and his association with Marylin Monroe.
The thing this tells us about life is that a person's legacy can easily be marred by negativity or put in a nutshell way too easily. To many people, how they're remembered doesn't matter. To many people who don't live in the public spotlight, the only impressions that matter to them are the way that they're perceived by friends and family. What I can't seem to grasp about our modern-day society is how many people forget about indiscretion and negative events in their past before running for public office... There is a high rate of public meltdowns over scandal these days that poses a threat to human integrity.
I believe morality and integrity came about way before any religion. Its a basis of how a person transcends their normal human classification and becomes a legend. We can all think of someone cut from a different mold, who in the face of opposition came out smelling like roses... This is the way most people in life want to be remembered deep down inside.
One's past should be a paramount consideration before running for public office... Too often, the decision to run is based on a trend of brief popularity without a thorough background check (Also referred to as vetting). This turns the elections cycle into a media circus that only seeks to single out people and create news based on comedic errors committed by public figures.
When you fail in the public spotlight these days, not only will your accusers perk up at the opportunity to call you out, so will the news media. Herman Cain is the latest example of this seemingly massive oversight. The public loves to throw stones from glass houses, but when it comes to the Office Of The President, there are few less scrutinized positions of power in the US. A person in the process of making a decision to run needs to consider their past, and the things that can come up to haunt them. Doing so cautiously, along with maintaining a solid reputation (in my opinion) are key factors in determining the intelligence of a candidate. This important intelligence measure should weigh heavily in electing people to positions of power because the secrets and policy they handle will require the same level of dignity if not more.
Integrity and honesty and candidacy are key attributes that people seek in a president. When a candidate faces scandal in the course of running for office, it can more often than not kill their hopes for winning. We counter scandal by how we live our daily lives, no-one is perfect though we may try, and accusations can also be falsely levied against us. The way we carry ourselves in the midst of controversy is also an important factor in overcoming a tough situation, and also a great measure of a good personality for positions of power.
Arrogance often negates the characteristics mentioned here that save candidates from meltdown over scandal. If a candidate attacks their accusers with arrogance the resulting public perception can skew to believe that the candidate is a strong personality that can overcome weak accusers, or it may skew the opposite way to indicate that the candidate is a total bully. I propose a more level method of maintaining a reputation -- Being factual. One must practice integrity daily, one must make amends for wrongdoings with those they've hurt or offended, one must also work to be a better person with every day. None of us are perfect, nor eve without scandal, but if you don't take the time out to balance your actions, they very well may end up consuming your career, whether its Politics or otherwise...
I say "otherwise" because I am constantly reminded of the case of Bishop Eddie Long -- Accused by young men of abuse, Mr. long served as a top level pastor at an Atlanta Mega-Church. Funds donated to the church in good faith were funneled into supporting a lavish lifestyle. People were mislead, all by a man who took a "higher oath of office" than the President. It shows a personal lack of faith in the very morals the church operates on. Not because Bishop Long was a gay man, but because he emerged as a liar, manipulating his pulpit to fuel his underground obsession that contradicted everything he told others to uphold. It is not for me to judge, but to me hypocrisy of this kind seems to be one of the worst offenses to integrity. A growing number of Americans are turning towards atheism possibly because this type of hypocrisy has been occurring at an alarming rate. On the other hand, this year, Jerry Sandusky's career was ended, along with Joe Paterno's career over Sandusky's actions. Now both face a legacy marred by scandal. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's formal doctor has suffered from scandal as well, and He's a doctor, now facing 2 (maybe more) years in jail and loss of his license to practice.
Its easy to say things of this nature will never impact you. We live in a modern world where people document epic failures of hubris and arrogance of man. In order to succeed in this life, you must also be a sponge for emotions, sucking your feelings up and turning the other cheek. We all carry heavy burdens in life that can all too easily turn us into people that commit bad actions. The key to long-term success here is preventing ourselves form going too far. As a world citizen, we have to continually make sure we aren't creating victims from our actions, and that we're balancing out everything we do by being considerate, thoughtful, cautious, and calm. My intent is not to scare you over the things you've done wrong in the past, more-so to remind you that its probably best to come to grips with your actions and that its probably best to not run for positions of power, spotlight, and influence if you've made a habit of forgetting and ignoring the negative things you've done in the past.
1 post • Page 1 of 1