Politics and Public Opinion

What Is Mark Sanford’s Professional Duty? (A Response to Charles Murray and Leon Kass)

I know less than Charles Murray and Leon Kass about the greater philosophy of morality, though I like to think I am a moralist when it comes to foreign policy. But Charles and Leon, may I ask you both a question? If we are against the mix of public and private, the blurring of societal lines, why do we believe that the notion of duty encompasses a ritual (political) suicide in the form of resignation by someone like Mark Sanford? Don’t get me wrong, I disapprove. But I do privately. Publicly, I couldn’t care less. He is a good governor, a fiscal conservative, a fine leader of his state. He’s clearly going through some sort of crisis, and I don’t really care about that either. Should not the notion of duty, and the concomitant burden of honor, also be divided between the professional and the personal?

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