The News Behind the Headlines

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?

Yonason Goldson
Yonason Goldson
Yonason Goldson is director of Ethical Imperatives, LLC, teaching leaders and professionals how good ethics is good business and the benefits of intellectual diversity. He’s a keynote speaker, TEDx presenter, and community rabbi, as well as a repentant hitchhiker, recovered circumnavigator, former newspaper columnist, and retired high school teacher in St. Louis. He’s the author of hundreds of articles applying ancient rabbinic wisdom to the challenges of the modern world and five books including “Proverbial Beauty: Secrets for Success and Happiness from the Wisdom of the Ages.”


  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?

  2. Yonason – My mother used to say “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s a good expression to remind us to pause before we unleash that speech bubble behind our lips. Thanks for your message, here.



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