Honesty in Politics

Topics: United States Constitution, Bill Clinton, President of the United States Pages: 8 (3346 words) Published: April 13, 2009
EnglishHonesty in American Politics      The legendary tale often told to school children is that of George Washington the young boy, chopping down his fathers cherry tree. When young George was asked, who had chopped the cherry tree down, George impressed his father with his honesty when he replied, “I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down your cherry tree.”  Although the fable is believed to be fiction, it accurately represented the honesty and humility of that great president.  Today, few political and public leaders value such ideals as honesty. Due to the prevalent lack of truth in our government or in politicians, few citizens are able to gain much knowledge about their leaders. Holding an office in the United States government is a sacred honor and privilege, and only the chosen elite should be in those positions.  The people in charge of running our nation should be serving as role models to our country.  Unfortunately, most elected politicians are bad role models.  The stereotypical 21st century politicians are now viewed as liars and cheaters, doing whatever it takes to gain more power and political influence.  Although countless lies have been told, one of the biggest problems plaguing our government is the never-ending scandals and increasing number of secrets being kept from the American people.  That’s why; I believe the American people are entitled to know the truth and facts of what kind of person they are voting for, including the knowledge of the candidate’s personal lives.       The main argument in favor of restricting the rights of the press to report on the private lives of politicians is that public figures should be judged on the basis of their stances on political issues, and on their performances in public office. Whether a candidate is an adulterer or a sexual deviant is irrelevant to his political capacities.  The problem is that public trust and private morality cannot be separated.  A politician who promises to be faithful to a spouse and who then commits adultery, displays a lack of trustworthiness about which the voters have a right to be informed. Equally, the private financial affairs of a politician may reflect on his good faith and character.   Americans desperately need more honesty and trustworthiness in our government today. This, like many things, its easier said than done. How do we really know what we are getting ourselves into by electing someone?  We hear the candidates’ speeches and listen to how they want to make things better, but the only way we really know who we are electing is to know the person behind the politics. Politicians will say anything to get elected. We need to know what the real person behind the silver tongue of politics really is. The only way we can know is by gaining information about their background, personal views, and opinions. Many public figures will not disclose such needed information. They say it’s because they have a right to personal privacy. I believe the main reason that our political leaders refrain from disclosing personal information is that would cause them to have to accept accountability for they’re past actions.    As Americans we all would like to know what type of persons making decisions for us that affect their lives. This is where freedom of speech comes into play as set forth in the constitution. The media’s job is to keep their audience, in this case the American people, aware of what is going on in our government which includes the lives of our public leaders. In 2001, the media disclosed a segment of President Bush’s daughter’s private life. The press printed a segment that reveals our president’s underage daughter caught in the act of consuming alcohol at a college sorority party. If members of America’s first family are breaking the law, doesn’t it seem to follow that we should at least examine our nation’s leader, to see if he is doing the same? Should this personal information printed? I strongly believe it should. “It is the...
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