Scrolling Headlines:

UMass baseball falls to Boston College in a ‘wasted day’ -

March 30, 2017

Q&A: Jawad Awan, co-president of the Muslim Student Association -

March 30, 2017

Rally held outside Joint Ways and Means Committee meeting for tuition and fee freezes -

March 30, 2017

CEPA brings light to student activism at UMass -

March 30, 2017

Eco-Rep Program brings leadership and sustainability to the classroom -

March 30, 2017

Divest UMass proves student activism is alive and well -

March 30, 2017

From textbook prices to clean energy, MASSPIRG fights for many issues -

March 30, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse heads into Colonial Athletic Association play with confidence -

March 30, 2017

UMass track and field set to perform at CCSU Invitational to open spring season -

March 30, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse is riding the hot stick of Hannah Burnett -

March 30, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse rides winning streak into A-10 conference play -

March 30, 2017

‘The Salesman’ is an intense drama that deals with contemporary issues -

March 30, 2017

People’s Market: Independent, cooperative, ‘radical-minded’ -

March 30, 2017

We voted and they endure: Trump’s effect on the global community -

March 30, 2017

Why hasn’t the Equal Rights Amendment been ratified? -

March 30, 2017

Pay for your own round, Mr. President -

March 30, 2017

Report: UMass men’s basketball set to hire Matt McCall as next head coach -

March 29, 2017

Community talks education, immigrants’ rights, climate change with state senators -

March 29, 2017

Q&A: Khalif Nunnally-Rivera, an advocate for access and affordability for underrepresented students -

March 29, 2017

Plant-Based Nutrition club promotes healthier, sustainable diets on campus -

March 29, 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