Political Ethics & Sex Scandals Essay

Politicians who have extramarital affairs while complaining about the death of family values, or who use public funding for private gain despite condemning government waste, have become so common in recent years that they hardly seem surprising anymore… To investigate this Lamer at Tilling University and Gallingly at Northwestern University have conducted a series of experiments which attempted to elicit states of powerfulness and powerlessness in the minds of volunteers. Having done so, as they report In Psychological Science, they tested those volunteers’ moral pliability. The am concludes, “They argue, therefore, that people with power that they think is justified break rules not only because they can get away with it, but also because they feel at some intuitive level that they are entitled to take what they want. This sense of entitlement is crucial to understanding why people misbehave in high office. In its absence, abuses will be less likely. The word -privilege” translates as “private law’. 1 The understanding of the psychology behind behavior is what is critical in evaluating how political consultants and the public at large evaluate our official’s conduct and whether we deem It acceptable or not.

Human behavior Is human behavior whether a priest, a Judge, a businessman or a politician. What Is critical for my role as a political consultant Is the Intention of the act and how It relates to the constituents. Fallibility, understood. Remorse, expected. Hypocrisy, never. As far back as ancient Rome with Publics Colloid Belcher and his Bona Dead scandal where he dressed as a woman to Intrude on an all female ritual and seduce Caesar wife, every culture has and will continue to experience politicians’ impropriety.

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Behaviors similar to those exhibited by Sanford, McGreevy, Sprites, Winner, and Filler, one Republican and four Democrats, which should be noted as examples in the assignment, affect both parties. No one party has a monopoly on virtue. A search of all us Federal political sex scandals from 1776 until 2013 came up with a total of 74. While this number is not intended to be used as a scholarly reference, the source is Wisped, it shows a rather large number of scandals throughout our history. Not all of these led to the demise of politicians career, as was the case of Gary Hart.

In the time of Jefferson, it as widely know after the death of his wife he was the father of sally Homing’s children, yet this was never reported. During the Harding Administration, rumors were spread of the President’s illicit affairs with two women, chronicled in a 1927 book, yet It did not topple his Presidency. The behavior Is as old as the republic. Torso political opponents take information and use it with the sole purpose of personal destruction. This is where the American Association of Political Consultants Code of Ethics is a meaningful guide, albeit imprecise, to gauge my behavior in situations of impressed ethics.

An ethical political consultant can work for a candidate for public office who has engaged in behaviors such as Senator Larry Craig, Senator David Bitter, or Congressman Winner as long as one recognizes and admits the behaviors are a lapse of good character and Judgment. One’s professional association with the politician should be grounded in a litmus test of hypocrisy, that is whether the individual’s actions are in direct conflict with the values he or she states or votes biblically. The APPC Code of Ethics, while it does not expressly state it, covers it in code five.

I will refrain from false or misleading attacks on an opponent or member of his or her family and will do everything in my power to prevent others from using such tactics. ” Hypocrisy is the key to whether a consultant can ethically remain with a politician, particularly if the scandal involves personal sexual misconduct as outlined in the assignment. What is at the heart of the matter is the politician’s apologia, how they define their story surrounding the transgression. It is the study of apologia, defined as “a defense especially of one’s opinions, position, or actions” (Merriam

Webster, AAA) that should be core to the political consultant’s assessment as to why or how they can remain as a counselor. “The term apologia has been traced back to the ancient Greek root word apologia, meaning “a story’ (Partridge, 1977, p. 347)… And is defined as a speech in defense or as a vindication of a person (as cited in Atavistic, 1991, p. 15). In ancient Greece, such a defense was regarded as an important genre of rhetoric. Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle all describe apologia as a specific genre in which an orator defends himself or his actions against an accusation (Ryan, 1982). Halyard Ross Ryan (1982) broadened the definition to include defenses of one’s policies, as well as one’s character. Heart (1994) specified that an apologia is not the same as an apology. Although an apologia may ultimately consist of an apology, he argued that an apologia is first and foremost “a defense that seeks to present a compelling counter description… To situate alleged organizational wrongdoing in a more favorable context” (p. 1 The politician’s apologia is the manner in which the public and the consultant can ultimately determine the proper future for his or re career.

The breech in moral or ethical behavior is not necessarily the act itself (unless illegal), but the authenticity of the apologia the politician presents. You can break a rule, but you better be honest about it, stand up and take your punishment. In addition, how the opponent also handles the apologia is critical to the politician’s outcome. In the case of President Clinton, throughout the entire Leninism matter, his approval ratings were high. “How can this be? ” the Republicans questioned. The answer lies in Silicon’s apologia and how the Republicans handled it.

The public at large, outside of the virulent Clinton-haters, knew the on-going series of investigations, Whitewater, Intern-gate, etc. , and ultimate the Starr investigation were completely politically motivated (whether they were or not). By the time the Leninism scandal broke, Americans were tired of it. The whole time, Mr.. Clinton stayed on course telling the American people he was working every day to protect them, making their lives better and leading the nation. His apologia never wavered.

His When it was discovered Speaker Ignoring was having an affair while the House of Representatives was impeaching the President, he commented “that it wasn’t hypocritical of him to lead impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton… Even though he was having an extramarital affair at the time, because the impeachment case was “not about personal behavior. “5 The American people understand this form of hypocrisy and can forgive the candidate, thus the political consultant can maintain an honorable position. Yet, not all of the stories are alike.

Congressman Anthony Winner is an example of apologia poorly constructed, poorly executed and grounded in the psychology of power and privilege. Mr.. Wiener’s ranginess, while odd to some, repugnant to others, was not the central issue to his political demise. Setting to most Americans is weird and whether it met the grounds for resignation is up to the political pundit’s moral debates. What led to Anthony demise was his apologia, the lies he told to cover his story, that he was then a “better man” and ultimately had to reveal additional setting episodes.

The public will not overlook such a character flaw, nor should the political consultant. Mr.. Winner would have forced a political consultant to violate numerous professional ethical codes in order to maintain their position. Although Mr.. Wiener was not a political hypocrite in the sense he railed against people for setting, all the while setting himself, the hypocrisy of claiming innocence and blaming others is as egregious to the voting public as if he had. Does this create a dichotomy in the argument for situational ethics? Tell a good story and win, tell a bad story and loose?

There are circumstantial considerations, both personal and professional, that determine a consultant’s association with the politician. Throughout this course the debate has been hair splitting on what grounds are ethical. What is true in the real oral remains constant, people inherently know a liar and cheat, and act accordingly. So does the political consultant. Lee Atwater is often sited as the harbinger of today’s politically negative environment. Mr.. Atwater knew when he was bending the truth, as does Mr.. Allies, and other Democratic operatives who conduct their campaigns in the same manner.

Statistics would prove that unless the politician is in such a solidly partisan locale, the voters would ferret out the falsely based apologia and end his or her career, based on the scandal. This will occur if you have an Atwater or a Cervical. It is a factor that is more complex than a simple right or wrong for the voter however, the answer may lie in the delicate balance of trust. An amazing assessment of the phenomenon of electoral trust is “It’s Good to Be an Incumbent: Scandals, Corruption and the 2006 Midterm Election”. The study reviews the statistical results of scandal embroiled candidates and identifies the means by which they may have won or lost. Character assessment appears to be a key component to voter trust. The report states “Character assessments and the scandalous behavior, which may impact them, forever, are likely to only be one part of a voter’s overall assessment of their representative. Evaluations of a representative could Just as easily include (a) the perceived issue proximity to the voter, or perhaps, used as a cue, the party affiliation of that member, and (b) a retrospective evaluation of that member’s performance as an officeholder.

Thus, a formal articulation of trust might be that: It (Trust) = P I (Party Affiliation) + R I (Retrospective Evaluation) + C I (Character Assessment) If these for the incumbent (I) and they would then likely cast their ballot in favor of that preventative. If, however, one of the variables is negative, trust is presumed to be lower, and the opportunity increases for a challenger (c) to beat that incumbent. This simple equation becomes quite powerful when one considers the electoral cycle itself.

During a primary election, the party affiliation variable is largely held constant across candidates (the distance between party members is usually small in terms of actual and perceived policy differences). Should the incumbents character assessment variable be negative, then it becomes more likely that the voters would tote for the challenger, especially if the retrospective evaluation of the member’s performance is also negative and it is assumed that P > R > C (see: statement A).

Interestingly, these preferences (P > R > C) also reveal how it is that some voters may “hold their nose” and vote for a scandal-plagued incumbent, if that member has earned a positive retrospective evaluation from their constituents. “6 The study is a tool to evaluate how the voting public may react to your scandal-plagued candidate. Yet, of the many factors involved hypocrisy appears to be a leading factor in voter disapproval. Looking more closely at the partisan differences, the coefficients suggest that the type of scandal an incumbent is plagued by matters to the voters.

Democrats appear to have little to fear from a morality scandal – the coefficient in the general election is not even statistically significant – while Republicans seem to be severely punished for engaging in a morality scandal, and these differences are significant. Democrats, on the hand, seem to attract greater voter retribution for a scandal involving money than do the Republicans, though the differences between these coefficients do not reach statistical significance. These findings suggest many substantive interpretations, including the notion raised earlier about differing expectations among voters.

It is also possible that hypocrisy is more severely punished than transgression itself. “6 As demonstrated, the ability for a political consultant to continue to support and or defend a scandal plagued politician and maintain an ethical position is possible. Scandals are as old as mankind and politics, but some constants remain. A concluding paragraph from Sex and Politics: The Genre of Apologia in Political Sex Scandals states, “emphasize the fact that “the questioning of a man’s moral nature, motives, or reputation is qualitatively different from the challenging of his policies”.

This emphasizes the implicit significance of separating the person’s character from their political stance. This idea must be remembered and realized, as it is the basis for the need for apologia- type rhetoric. ” It continues, “Also, diving deeper into personal and political achievements with bolstering seems to be a promising tactic when it comes to the rhetoric of sex scandals. Focusing on a man’s “moral nature” should be considered to truly explain oneself in front of an audience.

The audience must be able to feel the politician’s remorse, appreciation for the audience, and desire for forgiveness from others before the audience can then forgive and forget. ” 7 The electorate knows and abhors hypocrisy, which leads to a loss of trust. The political counselor can advise the candidate to construct an apologia that fully embraces the violation, creates a mend in the tear and sets the course correctly again. In the end, it is the politician him or herself who holds the trust and responsibility to the voter and the team. The political ethical standards as outlined in the APPC code.

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