When Moral Authority Matters
By Lucia H. Best
Can a serial cheater with a string of angry lovers in his wake venture to speak credibly on fidelity? If so, then many persons will feel that he is the wrong man to amplify that message. Whether he chooses to become litigious about it or otherwise react angrily, this will not change the views held that he has been associated with circumstances that are diametrically opposed to his message.
Moral Authority is an important tool in the practice of politics. If a political party does not have the moral authority to speak on current social issues such as rape, burglary, murders, fraud or other areas of injustice and crime, then they ought to graciously accept this disqualification as the price paid when certain characters are accepted as members of “de party”.
Many of our politicians, while they have the right to speak openly, cannot speak convincingly on various issues because it will instigate comments that lead back to related skeletons in their closets.
The answer to this embarrassing dilemma is to be selective and know when to back down. If not, they run the risk that the people intended to be the audience may shut them out. People do have lives outside of politics but if they want to become public figures in that arena, then they must set realistic expectations that some aspects of their past conduct, sins or misfortunes of the past, will surely be replayed in the public domain.
It would be quite foolhardy of public figures, particularly politicians, to expect that they can intimidate the public or media in a manner that will silence them; indeed prevent them from referring to unflattering incidents in their (politicians’) backgrounds.
Launching lawsuits will accomplish little to change the fact that people will talk. Over time people or opponents will continue to express their opinions about them, especially if current issues evoke past memories. So will the lawsuits be a lifelong resort for them?
No public figure should expect Saint Lucians or the media to remain hushed, not criticize them or keep their secrets classified in this small society. They should go grow a thick skin if they want to engage in public life.
Should government legislate to stop people from seeing public officials in a bad light, if they so wish? Obviously some politicians want to be regarded as angels who have fallen out of the clear blue sky.
The scenario borders on the ridiculous.
Can politics and moral authority stand side by side and can bad seeds bear fruits of any moral