Scrolling Headlines:

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

May 5, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

May 4, 2017

On campus: The liberal assault on free speech -

May 4, 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.

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