At times, when now-disgraced Representativeelected George Santos was questioned as to why he lied, he clumsily deflected to lies or contortions of the Biden Administration.
He asked then why these actors hadn’t been held accountable for their perceived injustices against the American people. As silly as it sounds, Santos’ words are merely the logical conclusion of the moral dilution of our political class.
For many years now, we’ve been willing to separate the individual from policies. Whether it was when voters wouldn’t leave their daughter alone with Bill Clinton while supporting him politically, or when voters would like to have a beer with George W. Bush but preferred he run something less complex than a country, we haven’t been holding our leaders to account.
Now, near the anniversary of January 6th, a day which surely shocked the nation, Santos is voting for a Speaker of the House as he awaits to be sworn in for a two-year term.
Partisans of all stripes are too happy to point out the calamity of the other side winning the day to hold their candidate accountable for anything. As partisan differences widen or are perceived to widen, it becomes easier to justify the promotion of filth to positions of power.
Yet, this cannot be the case, nor should it ever have been the case.
Before you quickly cast a stone at the political debauchery unfolding, harken back to the words of Jefferson: “The government you elect is the government you deserve.”
This is equally as true in the primaries, as it is in the general election. And this is just as true of a candidate’s temperament as it is of their policies.
If you are willing to significantly dilute your morals to pull the lever, maybe refrain. But, do not refrain in absentia—- it is a call to action. It is a sign that people of good moral standing ought to get involved, despite their reservations.
Involvement does not need to be allencompassing nor nationally oriented, but it ought to be sincere.
What shook people about Santos was that he hadn’t misrepresented his beliefs or policies (that we know of); he misrepresented the core of his person: the experiences that make up his life.
In an era of politics so focused on authenticity, Santos gave people what they craved: a perfect story. But a candidate that checks boxes ought not to be prioritized over candidates that are legitimately qualified.