Plato Week 3 Discussion Question Essay

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In other words, all human beings, regardless of status, are equal, and a leader by virtue of his position is not 'more equal' than his fellow citizens, according to the principles of morality and the principles of democracy. What has made American leaders great is their sense of equality and fellowship with their fellow Americans, not their sense of exclusivity and superiority. Thomas Jefferson praised George Washington for refusing the offer to become America's first king. Washington instead became the first American president. Washington's integrity was pure and Washington's sense of justice was unwavering, and untainted by self-interest and bias: this was Jefferson's highest praise of our first president. Washington's integrity is so unique it even seems to contradict Glaucon's assertion in "The Ring of Gyges" that every man would be a dictator if he were given the chance. Washington rose above his baser instincts, and lived according to the principles of humility and obedience to the law and ethical system of values, not to his own impulses and desire for power. He served the public and thus served democracy. And he helped create a system of laws that was strong enough so that when individuals did fall prey to the temptations of Gyges held the office of the president, such as Richard Nixon, the system was strong enough to withstand such biases and personal abuses and ultimately overcame a would-be autocrat's will to universal power.

But it was only because watchdogs and whistleblowers pointed out such abuses that the system and the law was able to challenge men such as Nixon and prevent them from having their Machiavellian, Prince-like aims fully realized. Nixon justified his illegal actions of spying on his rival presidential candidate as necessary for national security, again conflating his own interests with the interests of the state.
President Gerome Andrews is doing the same and must be exposed to the Justice Department.

The president's extramarital affair is a personal matter. Although it may be distasteful it is not (at least not according to the evidence) a matter of national security. Thus, it should remain private as it does not infringe upon the president's ability to govern wisely. Fidelity to one's spouse is one of the requirements of being a good president. Many presidents have been unfaithful to their spouses, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Bill Clinton, and lead the country strongly and ethically. Many presidents have been faithful and lead the country poorly. No one can know or needs to know how the president's personal relationship with the First Lady may be suffering. But the suffering of the country from a lack of ethical leadership must be addressed Even if the country is not immediately suffering the consequences this cannot justify Andrews' frightening attitude that despite the fact he rules a democracy, he knows best how to govern the country, not the people, for he knows deep down that if he were exposed, he would lose their public support.

Nothing should take place in the President's administration relating to governance that cannot withstand the light of scrutiny. Not so with his personal life, but if the President feels he must conceal a substantial amount of his decision-making processes and information from the people, he must be reminded that he was elected to lead a democratic republic. He was elected to serve the people. If 'something is rotten' in the state of the administration that rottenness must be revealed, and the will of the people and the law of the state must….....

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