Allright, i’m a bit biased about this since i’m hoping to become a police officer one day but i’ve noticed how rigorous the background/psych check is to get into law enforcement. One thing that puzzles me is how someone can obtain a political office which has the power to effect millions of people yet police officers are scrutinized so much more. Yet politicians and their ilk are held to a much lower moral standard than even law enforcement. Politicians don’t have to go through any background and if your family has long traditional wasp connections they can pretty much cover anything up or do anything they please.
If someone like George Bush Jr. (who is an admitted coke user) and a DUI offender ever tried to apply for a police officer position he would have been disqualified immediately. That’s assuming his family didn’t have ANY pull whatsoever. Yet this man is the leader of our nation at the moment and Commander in chief of our military. Does anyone else see something frightfully wrong with this?
I know this isn’t very specific but there does seem to be an enormous moral double standard in American society.
I don’t think the moral standard is any higher or lower for either, but necessarily needs to be different they do two distinctly different jobs which require different behavior sets.
Being a police officer requires a certain moral fortitude, firmness, whereas being a politician necessitates the increased need to compromise
I agree with greck in that the moral requirements for politicians and police officers should be different, since the jobs themselves are so different. The police officer is required to make life-and-death decisions on the fly, and frequently with nobody looking over his shoulder, save maybe his partner. Politicians have time to deliberate, with all decisions subject to the scrutiny of the people. I don’t know if one should be higher than the other, but I do believe that politicians should be held to high standards, given that they’re something of a moral standard that people tend to look up to. I would wager that Clinton’s dishonesty did a lot to erode the public’s perception of what is acceptable - the leader of the nation commits adultery, lies about it, and tries to cover it up, while his party defends him and wonders what the big deal is. That says something to the people, and it’s not a good something.
<q>I agree with greck in that the moral requirements for politicians and police officers should be different, since the jobs themselves are so different. The police officer is required to make life-and-death decisions on the fly, and frequently with nobody looking over his shoulder, save maybe his partner </q>
But, Good Lord, the politician might be the one with his finger held over the Button. If that’s not a life-and-death decision, I don’t know what is. The president, for example, might have to make an instant decision which will affect the lives of billions of people.
Personally, I couldn’t care less if Bush used drugs in the past. (Though I fear and loathe the man for other reasons.) Sexual moraility, or past substance abuse, in my opinion, has little to do with whether a man is a good leader. After all, we have the checks-and balances system to ensure debate over policy issues.
I’ve mused in the past that the President needs some kind of test before he actually assumes office. Not a ‘go into the woods and defeat your spirit nemesis’ type of test, but maybe a little computerized multiple-choice thingie on foreign policy, balances of power, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, executive branch powers, etc. Sort of like those little kiosks in Home Depot used to test employees.