LETTER TO THE EDITOR: When a president seeks moral perfection


Our current president has been legally impeached by his own peers. His moral character or lack thereof has brought him to this place of global embarrassment. Unfortunately, Donald J. Trump’s moral values do not exist in the same universe with those of our Founding Fathers, and one in particular is Benjamin Franklin.

In 1726, Franklin set out to achieve, on his own, the lofty goal of becoming morally perfect. His method was well-considered and purposefully directed to strengthen his character and compass in life. He maintained throughout his life this personal goal; even though it was not attainable. So, why set such a goal? Simple. It set before him daily purpose and direction; to be more “manly.” Yep, manly! Franklin’s platform for this lifelong experiment was rooted in the thinkings of the Roman politician, Cicero. He listed four virtues that laid the foundation for attaining honor in the eyes of all Romans and they were justice, prudence, courage and temperance.

Franklin, many years later, added to these original themes silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity and humility. He checked himself every day when he did or did not attain the listed virtues. Franklin continued to monitor his daily commitment to these virtues throughout his remarkable life.

If our president were to even remotely attempt to reach for this goa,l he would first have to understand the meaning of the 15 virtues that were set forth, and that would involve looking most of them up in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary to find out their meaning. That would involve reading and we all know that Donald J. Trump does not read. So much for moral values; or is that morale?

Ken Knapp