Letter: The decline of character

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
The decline of character

When I was a young boy my family taught me the importance of telling the truth, respecting others (especially if they were different from us) and keeping your word. They believed in honesty and humility, and that “character matters.”

Today, character doesn’t mean what it used to. In the past, we Americans honored our presidents and used them as role models who embodied ethical values. But not anymore.

“Character matters” and yet at times we are disgusted by the utter madness and chaos coming from the White House on any given day: the lying, sexism, racism, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, disrespect, ignorance, and incompetence of Trump and his White House is something that has never happened before in our democracy. Surely some of our past presidents have had some character flaws, but Trump takes it to another level. He treats his presidency as a reality show to satisfy his immense ego, calling attention to himself as the top dog who crushes anyone who stands in his way.

You wouldn’t entrust your personal affairs to someone devoid of ethics and good character, so how can anyone think of entrusting the nation’s highest office to someone like Trump? Most of the Republicans in Congress, about 40 percent of the electorate and a majority of Christian evangelicals still support Trump. They are willing to “look the other way” in order to achieve their agenda. What happened to their preaching of character and “family values”? To them, character just doesn’t matter anymore.