Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

Warning: This post is based
on a series of assumptions.

Yesterday, Sarah Palin
resigned from her position as governor of Alaska. Her supporters are left
reeling in confusion, and her critics are chalking this up to more bizarre
behavior from the 2008 vice-presidential candidate.

To some, such as the
Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse, her motives are
completely self-involved:

Either Sarah Palin is
leaving the people of
Alaska high and dry
to pursue her long-shot national political ambitions, or she simply can’t
handle the job now that her popularity has dimmed and oil revenues are
down.”

Palin,
however, said in her announcement that she wants to work for all Americans, not
just Alaskans:

“And finally, I polled the most important people
in my life, my kids. And the count was unanimous. While in response to asking,
‘Hey, do you want me to be a positive influence and fight for all our
children’s futures from outside the governor’s office?’ it was four yeses and
one ‘Hell, yeah.’ The ‘Hell, yeah’ sold it.”

I’m just as intrigued by this sudden and surprising move as the next person,
but I’m also wondering whether abandoning one cause (the Alaskan people and
state) for a higher cause (the future of America) is the type of ethical
behavior we want from a future leader.

Obviously
this is assuming that Palin is resigning to better her chances in 2012. It’s
also assuming she’s doing this because she feels she can “be a positive
influence and fight for all our children’s futures”.

One
of the qualities we look for in a leader is the ability to sometimes put aside the needs of the
few in order to serve the needs of the many. However we rarely look for a
leader who has a history of abandonment, regardless of the reasons behind that
abandonment.

What
do you think? If Palin made
this decision in order to
enact positive change in America, was it the ethical choice? Or should she have
respected her commitment to the people of Alaska and finished out her term? 

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