Mitterhoff Address: Politicians’ Plight

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Matthew Mitterhoff

Politicians are supposed to be exemplifications of the best of our society. They are supposed to be model, law-abiding, moral, and ethical citizens.

As of late it seems that those in power have not adhered to their roles as leaders of a productive society.

A couple of weeks ago Toronto police said that they had footage of Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack; soon after the police announcement, he confessed. He said that he had probably smoked the drug in one of his “drunken stupors,” as if illegal drug use was not bad enough.

On Wednesday, Florida Representative Trey Radel plead guilty in a D.C. Superior Court for buying cocaine from an undercover agent in D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. Radel’s statement regarding the issue read: “I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with [alcoholism],” which he attributes to his bad decision. It was reported later that he would be taking a leave of absence for rehabilitation and would be donating the salary he receives while in rehab to charity.

I don’t necessarily believe that drug use makes you an unethical person. But when you are elected into office, I believe that you have to abide by the laws that are set forth in codes which were formed by others who preceded your position. When your decisions empower agencies to make sure that laws are not being broken, you yourself have to make sure you are not on the receiving end of the punishment those agencies dole out.

It’s unfortunate that both Ford and Radel are in these situations. Hopefully, they will receive the help that they respectively seek, and hopefully, constituents will elect officials who can abide by the laws just as they’re supposed to.