Archive for November, 2013

Moral Leadership

November 25th, 2013

Last week the quick discussion of a noted politician admitting to using cocaine left me concerned.  As an adult, an educator, I find it disturbing that folks with power find an agreeable way to sidestep justice and responsibility in society.  It makes my life work difficult to say the least.  Insisting that our lives are about being responsible, it seems less than honorable to sit on the sideline and not point out the conflicted message being sent to the common person about breaking laws and the mores of our society. This politician was literally slapped on the hand for his violation of having used cocaine.  He was rewarded with a probation period for which the common person would have suffered differently with a much harsher outcome. This particular political figure had the distinction of putting forth a stern penalty in a policy for potential welfare recipients to be tested for drugs.  I have no problems with testing for drugs if this practice is fair.  I do not endorse or agree that welfare should be halted or disallowed due to drug usage.  This politician stood firm with disallowing anyone testing positive to have welfare support. Now, his behavior and his actions yield to an “oops” moment.  That message is one of arrogance, denial, and dishonesty. This matter is not to call folks names, hardly.  What is needed here is humane treatment of such cases. Why not drug treatment?  I totally agree not to enable drug addiction. I do not advocate strict punishment by not giving help to children and families in need. Moral leadership means that our society, this democracy is capable of being moral, morally enforcing justice, supportive of those who are in trouble.  Conservative with fiscal matters makes good practice.  Not feeding children does not fit conservative means.

Many Americans from diverse backgrounds have fallen upon hard times in recent years.  Our moral charge as a rich nation can uphold the tenets of this democracy. Our inventive, creative means can help families and children by assuring that those caught in addictive clutches should not be allowed to have resources that they will use for purposes other than what’s intended. This should not mean to punish those in need.  It should demand of those who are in respectable positions of power not to abuse that power.  Our nation must understand the very points of responsibility.  A moral society and democratic society is what the United States has always meant.  A privileged, self-serving position weakens America.  Where are our moral leaders and where is our moral leadership?