published Monday, November 26th, 2012

Smith: Expectations creep lower

By Robin Smith
  • photo
    Robin Smith, former Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and congressional candidate.
    File Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Recent headlines have shared a common theme.

See if you can spot the pattern: "Petraeus faces CIA investigation into whether he abused official perks," "FBI probes Gen. Allen emails in Petraeus scandal," "Scott DesJarlais approved wife's abortion, slept with co-workers, patients."

The common threads in these reports are deceit, broken commitments, arrogance, poor judgment and hypocrisy.

Men and women who seek leadership positions are human. Still, they take on a responsibility to be honest and accountable. Otherwise, they risk losing the respect and trust needed to govern effectively.

History is full of accounts of the frailties of men and women and the indiscretions that serve as their gateway into trouble.

Those who seek power should ask themselves a simple question: Do I believe that deception, lies and hypocrisy should go unquestioned?

Think about these role reversals.

For the sake of fun, let's say rather than a member of Congress making about $175,000 annually, it was a church pastor making $50,000 who advocated protecting the unborn and honoring the traditions of covenant marriage, then lived a life that conflicted with those beliefs.

Then, let's pretend that instead of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and a leader of our armed forces in the Middle East theater of war, David Petraeus was the CEO of a major software and computer device company, like Apple, whose shared G-mail account with his mistress led to leaks of proprietary, confidential documents. Then say this adulterous relationship also ensnared another high-profile executive within the same company engaged in "embarrassing" communications with a female in the same drama loop.

Most likely, these situations would end in more than simple headlines. Termination, severe legal demands, if not criminal actions might result from the poor choices, "indiscretions" and lapses in judgment.

"Oh, but Robin, we shouldn't judge people," some might ague.

Simple discernment leads to the obvious: If you say one thing and do the opposite, there's a problem.

A recent New York Times article, "The Truth About Lies," notes "by the time most children are 4, they have acquired the ability to deceive others ..."

But must we have leaders who lie? Do we have to tolerate those in leadership whose character reflects a lack of integrity?

A University of Alabama-Birmingham professor of psychiatry, Charles Ford, has written about "intentional dissimulation." He says that "to lie effectively, one has to have a notion that other people have minds that can be deceived."

As a society, we've lowered our expectations to compensate for the failures of people we like.

Robin Smith, a consultant at Rivers Edge Alliance, is a wife and mother living in Hixson. She served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2007 to 2009.

9
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
daytonsdarwin said...

Robin Smith wrote: "But must we have leaders who lie? Do we have to tolerate those in leadership whose character reflects a lack of integrity?"

Like your mentor Zack Wamp?

November 26, 2012 at 5:23 p.m.
aae1049 said...

DaytonDarwin,That is a bunch of Barry Soetoro bologna.

November 26, 2012 at 10:04 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

What is incorrect? That Wamp wasn't a mentor to Robin Smith or that Wamp wasn't a liar?

November 27, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.
Facts said...

Give up. Either the disgruntled critic is a "progressive" who has no ability to think or is one who wanted a job on the right and didn't get it. That's how politics seem to work.

November 28, 2012 at 8:28 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Facts said...

Give up. Either the disgruntled critic is a "progressive" who has no ability to think or is one who wanted a job on the right and didn't get it. That's how politics seem to work."

It was a simple question that anyone could ask. Apparently enough people asked it, weren't satisfied with the response or lack thereof, and Robin Smith was defeated.

The question still remains. What is incorrect? That Wamp wasn't a mentor to Robin Smith or that Wamp wasn't a liar?

November 28, 2012 at 9:15 a.m.

I suspect they still believe Mitt Romney wasn't mendacious..

November 28, 2012 at 12:35 p.m.
aae1049 said...

DaytonDarwin, First of all, Robin Smith is more educated and analytical than Wamp, so I fail to see that she would need a lift from a lower bar.

November 29, 2012 at 9:38 p.m.
timbo said...

Ok.....this an easy one. All politicians lie. It is a requirement for the job.

I will give you an example.....lets just say you we're the head of the state party and you are staunch conservative but the party has a Rino running that loves taxes and you support him anyway by telling us all how great they are. In other words, lying. Maybe you play that "lessor of two evils" game but it is still a lie.

Robin, the naive might believe the lofty rhetoric of either side but some of us know what actually is going on. Playing politics is ok but tone down the moral pontificating. You look silly.

December 1, 2012 at 3:16 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Timbo,

You seem to view yourself as some kind of political insider. I bet your real name is Chuck or Chip, sounds like kids cartoon. The "Follies of Chuck and Chip," where Chip is the dufas little brother, and Chuck is the smaller brother in anger management therapy. I regress.

You are dufas, and not very versed on sentence structure, fragments and run ons. Get an English book. You must be part of that Chuck group that didn't finish high school.

December 1, 2012 at 7:58 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.