So amazed by the ongoing debate demanding the resignation of a US governor for a
past indiscretion where his page in their medical school yearbook showed two men, one
painted black with the other robed as member of the dreaded Ku Kux Klan, that he admitted
to be one of the two.
For such indiscretion, both Republicans and Democrats, though not all, are
demanding for the resignation of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam claiming he has lost the moral
high ground to lead the State.
The picture is viewed as proof of Northam being a racist because the KKK is said to be
the first organized terrorist group in the US that ran after men of color, Jews and other
minorities in that country. Clandestinely, KKK is believed to still have members pursuing
such objective up to this time.
Modern America abhors KKK but the issue of racism is still very much alive until today
even if that country already elected its first black president in Barak Obama.
But what amazed me most about the Northam issue is the absence of a clear
understanding by a sizable number of the American populace, and this includes the so-called
intellectuals, college-educated, politicians and even respected opinion writers, about the
logic of election as a tool in choosing a leader.
When a candidate presents himself to the people to be elected as their leader of
choice, thoroughly he is vetted in regard his qualifications in all aspects. This is why there is
such a thing as campaign period. During this period the candidate is figuratively stripped
naked before the people to determine if he deserves their vote.
When he is elected, that mandate given him by the people is considered an absolution
of all his past wrongs and indiscretions enabling him to move on as a new being worthy of
such mandate. And during the elected official’s incumbency, he is held accountable by the
very source of his mandate if he slides back to his old self that his election presupposes he
If President Duterte’s defense or excuse for his current indiscretions as just being
true to himself is not called by the people, the logic of his election will just be for naught.
The people gave him the mandate not for him to continue being what he used to be pre-
election period but to be a new being after being bestowed such mandate.
This is the logic why it is demanded of him to be always statesman-like because his
absolution for his past wrongs and indiscretions requires he should not be repeating them
during his incumbency. Any indiscretion during his incumbency is a violation of such
Going back to Northam’s case, he can only be pressured to resign from the
governorship of Virginia if he lives a racist life after being bestowed by the Virginian’s with
their mandate for him to serve as their governor.
If in the past he displayed a racist behavior that behavior had been set aside,
exterminated by his election. It is wrong for anyone to demand that he should resign now
for a pre-election indiscretion. This demand is misplaced for if heeded to will turn the logic of
election into illogical.
No incumbent can serve his term if this becomes the rule because all humans have
their own indiscretions in the past. The candidate’s election to office is forward looking not
the other way around.