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In his insightful book Integrity, Yale Law Professor Stephen L. Carter writes:  I look forward to the day when we as voters will say, “I agree with So-and-so on most of the issues, but I could never vote for somebody who would say this or do that in order to win.”

Instead, we make excuses for our candidates, justifying ourselves for giving them our votes because the other candidate is worse.

Maybe that makes sense, maybe not.  But what is the effect on the culture we live in, on us and on our children when standards of public discourse disappear?

We may not be able to change the system, but we can commit ourselves to not letting the system change us.  Maybe that sincere commitment will set in motion the groundswell that will restore dignity and civility to our society.

What commitment are you going to make today?

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Yonason Goldson
Yonason Goldsonhttps://www.yonasongoldson.com/
Yonason Goldson works with business leaders to build a culture of ethics, setting higher standards to earn loyalty and trust. He’s a rabbinic scholar, repentant hitchhiker, and co-host of the weekly podcast “The Rabbi and the Shrink.” He has published hundreds of articles applying ancient wisdom to the challenges of the modern world, and six books, most recently “Grappling with the Gray: an ethical handbook for personal success and business prosperity.” The ninja were covert agents in feudal Japan who practiced espionage, deception, and surprise attacks. Doesn't that make Ethics Ninja a contradiction in terms? Not at all. Just as the master of martial arts turns an opponent’s strength against himself, the Ethics Ninja turns attacks against moral values back against the adversaries of ethics, exposing groupthink and double-standards through rational argument in asymmetrical battle to vanquish the enemies of moral clarity.

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6 CONVERSATIONS

  1. You can only vote for who’s on the ballot – and that requires two things

    1) the people who control who they want on the ballot let you on the ballot

    2) you have to want to be on the ballot

    Number 1 is a massive gating challenge … and really in this day and age, with the media take downs, the stripping of any privacy, the lies that will get told about you … why would anyone offer themselves up for public office?

    As a result we have what we have.

    • No argument here, John. It’s been obvious for a long time that any candidate worth voting for has either given up or become irretrievably corrupted by the time he has a shot at high office. Without an engaged and informed electorate driven by the Kennedyesque calling to ask not what your country can do for you, that’s not likely to change.

      But what do I do with my vote, since that’s the only thing I control?

    • Thanks for the note, Jeff. There’s also an expression: If you don’t have anything nice to say, say it in Yiddish. But your mother’s is far more appropriate for the times we live in.

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