Scrolling Headlines:

‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass -

February 19, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 6 UMass Lowell for third time this season -

February 18, 2017

UMass hockey breakdown in final minutes of the second period on route to 5-2 loss to UMass Lowell -

February 18, 2017

Notebook: Jack Gibbs stars as UMass men’s basketball team drops game to Davidson Saturday -

February 18, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops another close game, falls to Davidson Saturday afternoon -

February 18, 2017

Local blogger Larry Kelley dies in car crash, remembered by community -

February 18, 2017

REPORT: UMass football to name Ed Pinkham as next defensive coordinator -

February 18, 2017

UMass students skip class to stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants and refugees -

February 18, 2017

NPR Education Correspondent Eric Westervelt talks on future of education -

February 18, 2017

Faculty of journalism department discusses failures of journalism during Trump era -

February 16, 2017

UMass hockey prepares for third and final match-up against No. 6 UMass Lowell on Saturday -

February 16, 2017

Panelists hold discussion on embodying global coalitions -

February 16, 2017

Journalist speaks on criminalization of youth in the United States -

February 16, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse heads to Florida in search of first win of 2017 -

February 16, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to get offense back on track against Ohio State -

February 16, 2017

Duquesne stomps UMass men’s basketball 96-66 in Pittsburgh -

February 16, 2017

UMass softball focuses on mental approach ahead of Madeira Beach Invitational -

February 16, 2017

UMass women’s basketball drops eighth straight in loss at Richmond -

February 16, 2017

‘50 Shades Darker’ steams up all windows in the nation -

February 16, 2017

’20th Century Women’ is a love letter to women across generations -

February 16, 2017

No personal lives for presidential candidates

When allegations first surfaced that one-time Republican front-runner Herman Cain had had a 13-year affair with Ginger White, Cain’s lawyer was quick to make a statement reminding voters that private matters such as what happens in a candidate’s bedroom have nothing to do with said candidate’s ability to lead our great country. For what it’s worth, a few hours later, Cain flatly denied the allegations in an interview with Wolf Blitzer. It turns out that Ginger was not a lover but rather just a good friend. You know, the kind of friend you support financially and keep secret from your wife and kids.

Courtesy Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Unfortunately, the American public wasn’t buying it. Herman Cain just suspended all Cain Trains that serviced routes to the White House.

So in light of the timely rise and fall of Cain, and with the Republican primaries just around the corner, a fair question to ask is: is it reasonable for voters to consider a candidate’s personal life at the ballot box? There are those, like Cain’s lawyer (and one would imagine, Herman Cain himself) who would argue that the media should focus, not on trivial matters like unproven allegations of sexual misconduct or 13-year affairs, but rather on matters of policy. Think about it from Cain’s perspective, every minute that Wolf Blitzer harped on those affair allegations was a minute that could have gone to Herman Cain explaining his “9-9-9 Can And Will Solve All Our Economic Problems” idea for financial reform. Voters shouldn’t focus on inconsequential issues like Herman Cain’s sex-life, or Newt Gingrich’s multiple marriages, but rather on issues of policy.

But with all due respect to Cain and his lawyer, I have to disagree. A candidate’s personal life should be taken into consideration when casting a vote. Electing a candidate for president is a personal vote. We bestow on our presidents the ability to send our children into war. That responsibility should not be handed over to persons who display poor character.

Granted, I do not think a vote should be based solely on a candidate’s personal life. Neither do I mean to suggest that a candidate’s success in his or her personal life is an accurate barometer with which to gauge how they might perform as commander-in-chief. I merely mean to suggest that when assessing a candidate it is valid to consider lapses of moral judgment (such as a 13-year affair), as a reflection of poor character.

Consideration of a candidate’s personal life and moral aptitude should be of increased importance when said candidate is running on a platform that highlights the need to preserve the sanctity of marriage. A candidate like Cain or Newt Gingrich, who believes that government should play a role in preserving the sanctity of marriage, should begin by preserving the sanctity of his or her own marriage. A good place to start could be telling your wife about the secret friend you’ve been supporting financially for the past 13 years.

Isaac Himmelman is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at ihimmelm@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment