NBC12 VIEWPOINT: Forgiving Public Officials

By: Kym Grinnage email

It is not uncommon these days that we find ourselves listening to public officials making public apologies for misbehavior, indiscretions, poor judgment, and improper acceptance of gifts.

A couple of weeks ago, we have heard apologies from our own governor Bob McDonnell and Anthony Weiner, who is still running for Mayor in New York and both were asking for our forgiveness. This of course is not new and goes back for centuries in our state and national political history. Many of you may say that forgiveness is not to be given to those that have sinned against the citizens, but our history shows that the American people often forgive and also forget.

Not only do we forgive, but we continue to campaign for and elect some of the same people back into office time and time again. Is this wrong? The citizens don't seem to think so. When all is said and done we appear to measure the degree of the infraction and then decide what level of forgiveness is in order. It's very obvious that we treat politicians the way we would treat a member of the family. We always try to give a family member a second chance and sometimes a third. We seem to measure them by the sum and not the parts, or in our own best interest

My recommendation is that we get used to it. In this era of full scrutiny and disclosure these won't be the last apologies you may hear.

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