Not the Worst Idea

We all know that the Founders crafted a Constitution that expected imperfect leaders. All the same, character still does count. Virtue is properly honored, and the honors of political office are unwisely given to the vicious. These things were true in Aristotle's day, and they remain true in our own.


Anonymous said...

Alegations that reach back 40 year are in no way shape and form "convincing" testimony.
This does not test the smell test.

I could learn to like Georgi Boorman though......
She hits a home run in my book with this snipit...

But really Grim, the line between good and evil run through each and every one of us.
Moore might be guilty, might not,

Where is forgiveness built in ? Repentance? Where do we take into account change?
Reconcilliation of the heart of man with god almighty?

Maybe that penance he is doing is demonstrated by his defence of the 10 commandments?

Who knows? What sins are to be forgiven and which ones are not?

Grim said...

Well, forgiveness starts with admitting that you're wrong. Moore so far has denied that he ever did anything wrong. That might entitle him to a fair hearing on the merits -- one that may be impossible at this remove -- but not to forgiveness. Why forgive him for something he claims he hasn't done?

Nevertheless, the abstract point is more important than the concrete one. (Spoken like a philosopher, no?) Virtue matters in public leadership. I'd like to see the government become less important and less powerful, which would make virtue matter less. That's an important small-d democratic point: one reason to make the government small and limited is so that ordinary people can serve in it without much harm.

We aren't there yet, and my sense is that getting there may require great virtue. But perhaps the other road will also work; perhaps it will collapse under the weight of viciousness. But perhaps not, and if not, how much the worse off we'd be.

Christopher B said...

The more direct lesson is that one needs to measure character by reviewing a person's actions and relationships, not their fealty to an ideology, ability to mouth platitudes, or usefulness in acquiring power. Feminists and a bunch of other -ists appear to have forgotten this and from what I see (both in a brief and rather non-cordial exchange with FB acquaintance, and more generally in the way this is being handled) they really aren't in any hurry to learn it again.

Texan99 said...

I'm paying close attention to who acts how in the public life of my county now. I'm so struck by what a difference each individual makes. The system can be thoroughly discouraging, and it's awfully easy for each citizen or elected leader to think nothing he does will make a dent, but it's not true. Every time a citizen stands up at a meeting and demands truthfulness and accountability, every time a single elected official says, "I absolutely will not go along with that," the impact is huge. His companions are heartened. Tyrants tremble.

Tom said...

What if someone considers support for abortion to be a severe character flaw? If someone believes that, and believes abortion to be murder, Boorman's whole argument seems to strangle itself.

No, "Child-abusing senators against Roe" is not a good slogan, but "Baby killers for character" is worse.

This would be a moot point if there were a credible third option of less questionable character, but there doesn't seem to be. It's an ugly situation.

Tom said...

Boorman also displays some attitudes that hand victories to people of poor character.

First, she says that "... considering how much power Congress and the presidency have, I think in the long run it is foolish not to err on the side of caution." Really? So, I'm supposed to vote for someone who is by his own account deeply morally objectionable to me because Moore might be morally objectionable? That doesn't make sense.

Second, she says "In the vast majority of elections, we don’t come across hard lines we all agree on that would make a candidate unfit for office (such as murder)." But if we consider abortion murder, we do indeed have this case right now. Moore's opponent is pro-murder. By Boorman's own reasoning, we should vote for Moore.

Third, she says, "A graceful man who puts fellow citizens before himself would have quit his campaign and turned the race over to a less controversial figure, even if he were innocent." Again, a good person should forget all ideas of honor or virtue or truth and just give in to character assassination. Because that's graceful, and as an unintended consequence it will never promote character assassination as a political tactic. What nonsense.

Texan99 said...

I'm with you, Tom.

Tom said...

Tex, I'm really enjoying your comments on what you're learning as a candidate. Although you point out problems, you also give me more hope. I hope at some point you'll do a post on the lessons you've learned as a candidate.

I also really hope you win and can then write some posts on what you learned as an office holder.