Nonsense. Morality has never known political boundaries. What is right will always be right, no matter what label any American chooses to wear. Truth is truth. What the President chooses to do with that truth ultimately contributes to how his presidency will be regarded.
Take for example disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner. A bald-faced liar, Weiner stalled and obfuscated for weeks to try and outlast those numerous voices calling for his resignation.
On June 13th, feeling pressure to say something, Obama offered up a weak “if I were him, I would resign.” It was anemic because it didn’t call out the congressman for his behavior. Instead, Obama merely proffered a gesture to atone publicly for Weiner’s offences. It was almost as if Obama himself had trouble admitting he would most likely step down if facing a similar situation.
This could have been Obama’s Sister Souljah moment. And yet he offered only a tepid repudiation of Weiner’s actions. A few days later when the congressman actually did resign, Obama’s response was equally unimpressive and certainly absent any moral indictment of Weiner’s wrongs. He stated, “I wish Rep. Weiner and his lovely wife well. It's obviously been a tough incident for them, but I'm confident that they'll refocus and he will refocus and be able to bounce back.”
“Tough incident”? “Bounce back”? That’s the sort of pat on the back one gets when they just lost a great uncle, not when a prominent leader snaps photos of his junk and posts them online.
The sad commentary is this lack of moral direction we as a country face doesn’t begin and end with politicians so consumed with their egos they don’t act properly. It extends much farther.
Last month, it was reported the Navy has fired over a dozen commanding officers this year alone – a near-record rate, and nearly all terminated due to personal misconduct such as engaging in sex and substance abuse.
Who sets that standard? More importantly, who steps forward to fix it? Can we lay the inappropriate actions of every soldier, sailor and airman in our Armed Forces at the feet of our Commander-in-Chief? Of course not. But we can and should expect that same C-in-C to publicly condemn such behavior and ask the tough questions to ensure such behavior doesn’t become a pattern, which it certainly has in the U.S. Navy.
This column isn’t meant to condemn President Obama. On the contrary, it’s to draw attention to an area where the President doesn’t need to wait for congressional action or a law to press his case. He can take steps now, as the leader of the free world, to press a morality agenda that all won’t agree with, but they will certainly take notice. And others will follow that lead, and begin to look inwardly at themselves.
History is full of such examples – Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan, even Carter.
To hold reign over the bully pulpit and not use it to cry out against even basic injustices is to neglect a key mission of the one who holds the Office of the President. He can do better. We sound the clarion call on the question of good moral judgment.
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