Readers Write: Gingrich isn't the only indecent politician
Letters to the Editor for the weekly issue of January 23, 2011: GOP voters aren't the only 'hypocrites' out there – endorsing Newt Gingrich (with a history of moral failings) over squeaky clean Mitt Romney, while hating family man Obama. Remember Democrats' love of Bill Clinton?
A decency double standard?
In his column in the Jan. 2 & 9 issue, Walter Rodgers asks, "Why aren't GOP voters looking for decency?" Actually, it seems that no one is looking for decency anywhere, and there's none to be found. Everything is advertising, screaming in black and white and in clashing colors and in noise, trying get our attention. So-called reality shows are scripted and catered, spontaneity is rehearsed, news is ignored for selfish comment. And when the buyers turn away, the hype gets even more hyper.
Ann M. Bovbjerg
Iowa City, Iowa
Mr. Rodgers opines that Newt Gingrich's recent rise to the top of opinion polls "revealed a monumental miscalculation on the part of some Republicans." A little farther down Rodgers states that super PAC-funded ads "try to paint Mr. Gingrich's public and private behavior as either hypocritical or lacking in ethics and morals."
And speaking of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller's failed presidential nomination because of a divorce, Rodgers asserts, "That was a moral yardstick at the time – irrelevant, yes, but at least a sign of moral interest on the part of voters." Herman Cain is also mentioned as being forced from the race over moral allegations.
The impression left here is that GOP voters lack the ability to make moral judgments when choosing candidates. I wonder why Rodgers does not recall Democrats' moral judgment failures in the election of Bill Clinton? His moral shortcomings when governor were well known and continued into his presidency, besmirching the office and ultimately leading to his impeachment for lying to a grand jury.
Making righteous moral judgements is a continuous process for everyone. Addressing the importance of considering moral failures or missteps of candidates, regardless of party affiliation, would better serve our country and world.
I see Rodgers's point about the hatred coming from the Republican party. However, it is a bit sanctimonious to imply that only conservatives are mean-spirited. Or that only they have unethical members. It doesn't matter whether the source is liberal or conservative, America is swirling in venom and both sides are responsible.
Read the blogs, websites, op-eds, and comment sections, or listen to talk radio. They are mostly hateful rantings. The extremes dominate both parties, silencing the balanced viewpoints. That is why Republicans and Democrats are at a loss as to how to solve the nation's problems. The Republicans might not be attracting new voters, but neither are the Democrats.
I would have greater respect for Rodgers, as well as other influential people, if he had pointed out the indecent behavior of those who share his political views.