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Letter: Office seekers should show some modicum of dignity

Office seekers should show some modicum of dignity

As we enter the early phases of the 2016 presidential election, I appeal to all voters to develop a renewed interest in establishing “dignity” as a key element of the office of president and indeed to all political offices.

Our culture has allowed celebrity and notoriety to supersede the intended function of politicians – to serve the public and maintain integrity in carrying out policy and forging genuine relationships. While former President Clinton’s decision to appear with his saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show may have become memorable as a “first,” I do not consider it a positive one. Late-night talk shows and cable entertainment programs have since drawn various political office-holders and prospects, further encouraging their image as “stars.”

Is this really what we want to promote in our elected officials, and particularly for the highest office in our country? I realize that part of the goal is to make politicians appear more down-to-earth or approachable. But with so many critical issues to be dealt with I really don’t consider it a priority to see with whom our president is having a beer, or weigh in on his comedic abilities.

It seems an unfortunate fact that some degree of egotism is inherent in politicians. Perhaps this is what makes them potential leaders. But we needn’t consider it snobbery to expect office holders to project themselves as business people rather than entertainers. A return to dignity would go a long way in restoring respect and professionalism to government and country.

Melissa Cumming