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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Scandal proves US only human

    Americans need to remember government employees are just as human as anyone else. They make mistakes — like possibly getting involved with prostitutes in a foreign country — and trying to act high and mighty only makes the American government appear hypocritical.

    “As many as 21 suspected prostitutes … allegedly joined members of the Secret Service-led advance team who were in Cartagena, Colombia, to arrange security before President (Barack) Obama arrived to attend the weekend Summit of the Americas,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

    So far, 12 Secret Service and 11 military personnel have been implicated in the scandal. In addition to payments to prostitutes, personnel have been accused of heavy drinking and visits to strip clubs.

    In the United States, there is an ethical uproar over prostitution. From the women’s liberation movement to ideological concerns, the prostitution industry garners criticism for the objectification of women. But prostitution is a prominent and — in some areas like parts of Cartagena — legal industry in Colombia. The behavior of U.S. government officials abroad raises questions about having an American presence in other countries.

    The American government has invaded places like Guam and Puerto Rico, yet still managed to promote the purity of its value system. American politicians uplifted the United States and at the same time made it clear that if a country contradicted American values, the country was simply underdeveloped compared to the greatest superpower on Earth.

    The president of the United States is commonly referred to as “the ruler of the free world,” especially in relation to the notion of American exceptionalism. Traditionally, exceptionalism has been used to assert the United States’ duty to spread the ideals of democracy and liberty across the world, but it is also sometimes used to assert the superiority of the United States.

    But the behavior of the Secret Service members and military personnel implicated demonstrates the risks of a holier-than-thou attitude, and now it is costing the United States the reputation it has unsuccessfully attempted to uphold.

    Holding the United States to an impossible ideal — completely pristine, untouchable in its moral superiority — is unrealistic.

    America isn’t built on “family values.” It’s about the liberty of getting to choose what to do or not do.

    Prostitution isn’t absolutely morally acceptable or unacceptable. Morals vary by the individual, and they’re not the equivalent of legislation. What is moral may not be legal and vice versa. Furthermore, American law is not the same as international law.

    Americans want to take pride in the good things this country has created, but they also need to admit that Americans abroad have the chance to do what they want that is legal in other countries outside of the United States.

    No one — and no country — is perfect.

    — Megan Hurley is a journalism junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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