Monday, March 31, 2008

Public Officials' Character is Important

“The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men,” said Samuel Adams, one of the most important figures in the founding of our country.

“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate—look to his character...” --Noah Webster.

Recently the public has had another chance to evaluate the character of Hillary Clinton. She previously claimed she landed under fire at the Tuzla airport in war-torn Bosnia in 1996. “I remember landing under sniper fire,” she said. “There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” Last week viewers of YouTube saw visual evidence to the contrary. Film of her arrival in Bosnia shows no evidence of anyone frightened or running with head down. People were smiling and waving, posing for pictures, and there was even time for a Muslim girl to read a poem to Hillary and receive a kiss from her.

That's not the first of Hillary's lies, nor is it likely to be the last. Her own book says she was on the soccer team in high school. But the school she attended had no soccer team when she attended.

She claimed daughter Chelsea went for a jog to the World Trade Towers on 9/11, saw the planes hit, and was nearly in danger. But Chelsea in a magazine article debunked her mother story, saying she was on the other side of New York and was awakened by a phone call on 9/11 telling her to watch the news.

Hillary also claims she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest. But when she was born, he was a New Zealand beekeeper nobody had ever heard of. He didn't scale the mountain until 1953. She was born in 1947.

Recently Thomas Sowell wrote eloquently about character: “In this age, when it is considered the height of sophistication to be ‘non-judgmental,’ one of the corollaries is that ‘personal’ failings have no relevance to the performance of official duties. What that amounts to, ultimately, is that character doesn’t matter. In reality, character matters enormously, more so than most things that can be seen, measured or documented. Character is what we have to depend on when we entrust power over ourselves, our children, and our society to government officials... Currently, various facts are belatedly beginning to leak out that give us clues to the character of Barack Obama. But to report these facts is being characterized as a ‘personal’ attack. Barack Obama’s personal and financial association with a man under criminal indictment in Illinois is not just a ‘personal’ matter. Nor is his 20 years of going to a church whose pastor has praised Louis Farrakhan and condemned the United States in both sweeping terms and with obscene language.... Obama chose to be part of that church for 20 years. He was not born into it. His ‘personal’ character matters, just as Eliot Spitzer’s ‘personal’ character matters—and just as Hillary Clinton’s character would matter if she had any.”

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