SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS and ETHICS
Yesterday, I asked whether liberal women could vote for Sarah Palin. Implicit in that question was the assumption that having a woman on a presidential ticket was an important factor for women... just as having a man with black heritage was important to blacks. But underlying the question about Sarah Palin was whether women who felt strongly about women achieving parity with men on all levels could embrace a woman who has achieved such success even though they may have strong differences about some issues.
That same question can be asked of conservatives who disagree with some of John McCain's positions or progressives who are not ready to move as far left as Barack Obama.
To what degree do principles matter over special interests?There are personal principles and political principles. Ideally, they should align. It is disingenuous to hold that you believe in certain principles, but that you don't feel it is important that others do also. Either you don't hold to those principles or you think that one position is as good as another... as long as you adhere to that position. What is not disingenuous is to say that certain issues are not as important as others... that given hard choices, you would not accept certain compromises.
Perhaps that is why Ronald Reagan achieved the level of success and adherents... followers... to his viewpoints. There were certain principles he would not abandon. He knew it. His rivals knew it. His enemies knew it. Sure, some people came to hate him for his successes. He didn't always have a "white paper" for every position he took. He didn't seem to work hard to get more power or get his way. He simply let everyone know what he stood for and he stood his ground.
It wasn't the "Washington Way." He put his principles before political expedience. And American felt in their guts that they could trust him to do the right thing... even if he seemed unconventional or a political "maverick."Maybe that is why many people are drawn to Obama. He believes that government is the answer for all human ills. His primary principle seems to be that government should grow and manage personal and societal challenges for the good of all. He draws people to himself who believe that. But there is a side of Obama that isn't aligned with his apparent political principles.
He has a history of work and social interaction with Bill Ayers, a notorious criminal [who admits he got away with murder] and anarchist [NY Times article]... but one that provided money and political connections. Expect a lot more to come of this.Sen. Obama has shown a characteristic of expedience... a willingness to be other than he claims.
He aligned himself with black-racist, America-hating preacher, Jeramiah Wright to help establish his political credibility with the black, Democrat, Chicago populace [ABC News article] even though he belatedly abandoned that relationship.
Compare that with what we already know about Sarah Palin... a woman with at least an equal level of political leadership and a greater level of business leadership than Sen. Obama. Examine her alignment of principles and conduct with Sen. Obama's. There is a distinct difference.
There are distinct differences in the "contents of their characters." Does that mean that any of them are "perfect?" Obviously not. But integrity of principles is a significant part of any progress toward perfection.Still, you may disagree vehemently with the principles held by any of them. In that case, you may be inclined to accept a far greater level of "imperfection."