Ethics, Integrity & The Presidency

In just over two weeks we will be electing the next President of the United States. The person we elect should be a person of great integrity with a strong ethical backbone. He or she should have a strong reputation for being honest and be known to exercise good judgement. We the people owe it to ourselves and this great country of ours to do the right thing when it comes to choosing the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

In the past, we have been misled and some of our nation’s great leaders have not done so well in office. I am not talking about Woodrow Wilson’s sudden engagement to Edith Galt, or Grover Cleveland’s illegitimate son. None of the “affairs” interest me, it’s the scandals that fascinate me. Whether it was Ulysses S. Grant with the Credit Mobilier Scandal or The Whiskey Ring, we are reminded that not all presidencies are the same. Some are filled with honest and integrity, while others are filled with lying, cheating, scandals, and crime.

I will admit that there are quite a few things I do not know. I don’t know why William Henry Harrison walked the street during his inauguration, which led to him dying from pneumonia just 30 days later. It escapes me why men wore wigs in the old days, or why women wore so many layers of cloth everyday. I cannot explain where the weapons of mass destruction are hidden, and I have no idea why corruption and politics always seem to go hand in hand, but it seems as if they are attracted to each other.

When it comes to choosing our next President, however, I do know who we shouldn’t be voting for.

Barack Obama has not exercised good judgement. He has not been honest. I question his integrity, and in light of recent facts, it appears his ethical backbone is very weak too.

The Illinois Governmental Ethics Act states,

Sec. 2-110. Honoraria.

(a) No member of the General Assembly shall accept any honorarium.
b) As used in this Section:

“Honorarium” means a payment of money to a member of the General Assembly for an appearance or speech . . . .

Yet, his own tax returns from 2000 and 2002 clearly show he accepted payment for speeches.

2000: Schedule C-EZ, $16,500 as a “Foundation director/Educational speaker.”

2002: Schedule C, $34,491 for “LEGAL SERVICES / SPEAKING FEES.”

This information did not come from some vast right-wing conspiracy, it came from his own tax returns.

Seeing how quick the media was to destroy the reputation of Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, aka ‘Joe The Plumber’, I wonder why they haven’t said a word about this? Accepting money for speaking engagements is a clear violation of the law. He documented that violation himself. Why are Sam’s tax records open game, while Mr. Obama’s are ignored? Sam isn’t running for President of the United States. He’s a plumber. Is it more important to scrutinize the tax records of a plumber because he asked a question, than it is to scrutinize the tax records of the man who wants to serve as our nation’s 44th president?

In previous cases we had to wait until after the person was elected to learn about their illegal behavior. Think about this before you vote. Do we really want to see another teapot dome or another Watergate?

In addition to his lack of ethics, Barack Obama is lacking in integrity and honesty. In response to questions about his relationship with William Ayers, Barack Obama has said, he was,

A guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know, and who I have not received some official endorsement from, he’s not somebody I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

Mr. Obama is also quick to point out he was only eight years-old when Ayers, and his group the Weather Underground, committed their heinous acts. In a previous post, I mentioned that I too was only 8 years-old when that same group bombed the Pentagon. As an adult, I would never associate with someone who is unrepentant for their past as a domestic terrorist, would you?

Apparently, Mr. Obama would and he did. Here are the facts.

Nobody is accusing Barack Obama of being a terrorist, but they are questioning his judgement and his integrity. It’s clear that Barack Obama has lied about his relationship with William Ayers. The evidence that William Ayers was more than “just a guy who lives in Barack Obama’s neighborhood” is overwhelming, and very well documented. So why lie about it? Why mislead the American people? Isn’t that what got Bill Clinton in trouble? He lied. Isn’t that what got Richard Nixon in trouble? He lied. How can we trust him to run our nation when he cannot even tell the truth about his relationship with a known domestic terrorist?

When you step into that voting booth on November 4th, just ask yourself one question. Do we really need to see another liar sitting in the oval office?