Recently, I have come across some social media posts castigating a certain Board of Education candidate for (allegedly) expressing partisan preferences and/or having supporters who are active members of a certain political party.
First, these same people expressing this faux-outrage tend to align themselves with a party different from the BoE candidate in question. Second, they seem to have had no problem supporting other candidates in the primary election whose values clearly reflect that of a particular political party. So we are dealing with a toxic recipe involving hypocrisy, disingenuousness, and naïveté (feigned or authentic).
We have to deal with the world as it is. This means that people seeking local public office, even “non-partisan” races, might…just might…possess a worldview involving how best we can govern ourselves in a constitutional republic. Are they supposed to hide their beliefs? I would think transparency advocates would find that odious. Are they supposed to step into some form of transmogrifier that strips them of any partisan proclivities? I would imagine that such an action, if it were possible, would be repellent to folks across the ideological spectrum.
But to call someone “not ethical” solely because they draw support from a wide range of citizens, including many who identify with a political party, or because they choose to express their beliefs is beyond the pale. Voters have a right to judge candidates based on whatever criteria they deem important. I, for one, am glad when candidates are open and honest about their Weltanschauung. It tells me something about who they are and how they view the world, which I find instructive in assessing how they might respond to dealing with a public policy challenge.