Herald Journal Columns
Nov. 4, 2002 Herald
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Higher standard? Why have it?


If I counted the number of people who disappointed me because of revelations found about them after taking office or during elections, I could come up with a fairly high number.

For this reason, I don't think much of politicians on any level, preachers, Wall Street executives, sports figures, Hollywood stars, or anyone else who is a public figure.

They are no more ethical than anyone else.

We used to hold these people to a higher standard, but this human experiment has been a failure, and the only thing that a "higher standard" gives us is more disappointment ­ for the believers, who thought for a moment in time that someone was different than the rest of us.

Of course, private individuals keep their business to themselves ­ not expecting me to continue respecting them, contributing money to their causes, or in some other way supporting them ­ knowing (and perhaps endorsing) their moral shortcomings.

For this reason, let me suggest we discard a higher standard altogether. It complicates matters and causes pain for others, who thought we knew where the moral line was.

Why have a higher standard? It's a hindrance anyway.

It's obviously too hard to be honest, faithful to a spouse, ethical in business dealings, keep honest accounting books (when you're paid to be an accountant), and be true to the most basic human standards.

Removing the so called higher standard makes it easier for those of us who won't have our expectations unpleasantly surprised later.

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