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Moral Character and the Presidency

July 26, 2017

We don’t usually think of American Presidents by reference to moral character, but it’s clear “character” tends to predict success or failure. To which of these Presidents may we assign “good character”?

1974               President Nixon resigns

1974               Vice President Ford assumes Office of the President

1976               Jimmy Carter elected President

1980               Ronald Reagan elected President.

1988               George H. W. Bush elected President

1998               William Jefferson Clinton Impeached

2000               George W. Bush elected President

2009               America’s first Marxist President, Barack Obama, elected.

2016               Donald Trump elected President

At least three Presidents on this list lacked moral character which may explain our consternation with recent acts by President Trump.

What explains President Trump’s public abuse of a subordinate? Disregard of lesser persons by persons is not uncommon by persons of wealth. The wealthy have a sense of privilege and pride that overrides common sense.

But, this is the President of the United States!

Americans who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 were given a choice between a candidate who violated regulations concerning classified information and one who was recorded explaining how he could take sexual advantage by assertion of his celebrity.

Though Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate, many Republicans were tempted to vote Democrat for the first time because the Republican candidate lacked good character. They reasoned that Hillary Clinton would serve only one term, but Trump would destroy the Republican Party and set back the interests of political conservatives by at least ten years.

In the final analysis, Republicans were given a choice between two bad alternatives. It now remains to be seen if the price for that choice is a future decade of failure.

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