American Government Requires Ethical Leadership

January 5, 2017 Updated: January 5, 2017

Ethical Leadership is critical to every segment of American society.

The integrity of our nation demands ethical leadership.  It must be expressed through America’s schools, law enforcement agencies, educators, students, families, workplaces, and government officials.

In my article titled “America’s Critical Ethical Issues Demand Resolution” for the May 20, 2016 issues of the Epoch Times, addressed ethics as critical to society.

America is at a crossroads for reawakening, and ethical behavior must be the foundation of the nation.

Our governmental leaders must set the example and pave the way for our future.  This will only be possible when ethical leadership, not self-aggrandizement, is their first priority,

Government Leaders: Serve the People

Individuals within privileged positions of government have authority, power, leadership, and influence. 

Government leaders must always have the best interests of those whom they have sworn to serve as their priority.

Our government leaders must avoid the pitfall of an attitude of superiority.  This attitude is malignance that will distance them from those they have sworn to serve.  All deemed inferior will easily be ostracized, and understood as insignificant and inconvenient.

Government officials are called to uphold a high standard of ethical behavior.  Ethics is the moral foundation that animates their protecting the integrity of government.

Our government leaders are not ever above the law.  They must carry the torch as ethical servants of society and must never exploit their obligation to serve.

The fatal distractions of pride, vanity, and arrogance must be avoided.  This is only possible when there are ethical safeguards in place.  

Our government officials must exemplify a full force ethical commitment to serve, especially those in society most in need.

The arrogance of power can be a destructive seduction that ignites injustice, scandal, and corruption.

Corruption Threatens National Security

According to the FBI, public corruption is its top criminal investigative priority since it poses a fundamental threat to our national security and way of life.

Corruption can affect security at our borders, safe communities’ nationwide, public infrastructure, which includes the quality of education for our students.

Public corruption can also involve drug trafficking and alien smuggling at our borders through bribes.

There can also be election crimes that involve campaign finance crimes, voter/ballot fraud, or civil rights violations.

Slashing Ethical Oversight: Self-Serving Leadership

As America begins a new year, the hope for an ethical renaissance has been tainted. 

There has been self-serving leadership demanding the slashing of ethical oversight within the highest levels of our government.

There are so many priorities for America, and serving the nation is not possible without ethics.

But our House of Representative is off to a bad start and has sent a terrible message.

There should be no surprise at the outcry throughout America when House Republicans began 2017 by proposing a measure to eviscerate an independent ethics panel.

House Republicans voted 119-74, during a closed-door meeting, to place the Independent Office of Congressional Ethics under the control of these very lawmakers.

This change in rules immediately appeared to be a scheme to the American people.  It smacks of an impropriety that undermines power from an office that can investigate their misconduct.

Certainly, this was not the right message to send to America.

Headlines throughout the nations immediately condemned their poor judgement.  These headlines included the following:

  • Secret House GOP Vote Guts Ethics Panel, Prompts Outcry
  • With No Warning, House Republicans Vote to Gut Independent Ethics Office
  • House Republicans gut their own oversight
  • The GOP’s Ethics Disaster
  • House Republicans move to strip Congressional Ethics Office’s independence
  • House GOP seeks to weaken group that probes corrupt pols

Based on their deficiency in inspiring confidence, a reminder to those in Congress is required.

According to published reports, dozens of members of Congress have been indicted since 1980.

Crimes in this shameful category of corrupt Congressional leaders include racketeering, tax evasion, accepting illegal gifts, mail and wire fraud, child pornography, aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child, conspiracy, money laundering, misuse of public funds, and embezzlement.

Final Reflections 

The FBI website memorializes massive and pervasive cases of public corruption.  These sobering stories must motivate Congress to do their part for America’s ethical renaissance.

America’s government leaders must have the best interests of the people they serve first, and this is only possible when ethics is the heart of their service.

The reawakening of the nation demands ethical leadership.  We must have leaders who live and inspire the highest standards of character.

The American people deserve nothing less than government leaders dedicated without compromise to service. 

The plans of our government officials will only be efficacious when ethics is the driving force behind their behavior and decisions.

This misguided move to gut ethical oversight deserves condemnation from throughout America.

Only because of severe backlash, the travesty of their intent to minimize ethical safeguards was immediately curtailed. 

Ethical oversight must be strengthened, not minimized, and America must continue to demand ethical leadership from all who have sworn to serve.

Vincent J. Bove


Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen to Their Cries.” For more information, see


Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.