BP # 5: Can Plato Help Us Pick the Next President?

What can the power of invisibility teach us about the role of ethical leadership in contemporary democracy?

In Penn State’s Ask an Ethicist column this question was asked about ethical leadership. It makes us wonder what someone like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Gary Johnson do with the Ring of Gyges? Would they use it simply to slip away from Secret Service or tie each others shoelaces together?

How would each president use the ring to better america, or even would they? I am simply terrified at the thought of Trump having the ring. What terror he would rain upon our society.

How far would each presidential candidate go to further american interest?  And at what expense? Would they completely demolish other countries? the ring is thought o bring out our most egotistically tendencies and so the bigger the ego, would the more damage be done?

And yet even though the ring is not real and w never have to worry about someone like Trump having that power. He already has an intense lust for power so to give him the unlimited power would be like giving Gollum the ring.

If you ask yourself what would each candidate do with the right, and what answer scares you, then maybe don’t vote for that candidate.

Yet I feel they already have a ring of sorts. They have the power, and certainly the money, to make any bad thing they do go away. So really is being a person of that power is like owning a Ring of Gyges in today’s society?

Ethical leadership is grounded in the ability to do the right thing when no one is watching. Have you ever seen a presidential candidate do the right thing and not use it for their own image? Ethical leaders are morally courageous, they stand for what is right when no one is standing behind them. They inspire others  to do the right thing and to move others towards justice. So which of these candidates fit this bill? It seems like the dream president, an act that cannot be achieved in today’s society, but isn’t that how it should be? Shouldn’t our leader of the free would want to be ethical and do the right thing? It’s sad that seems like an un achievable dream.

I think most candidates want to be known to have an ethical character but not really be ethical, just for the advantages of the reputation of being ethical.

So when you want to vote this upcoming election year, think of what each candidate would do with the ring.  Would they use it for the better of society, their own personal gain (Trump), or not use it at all?


Source: http://news.psu.edu/story/393401/2016/02/19/academics/ask-ethicist-can-plato-help-us-pick-next-president

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