In light of some current events, I’ve been thinking about ethics in public officials. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about what is impeachable.
Ethics for public officials are and must be different than for private citizens.
I have a friend who managed a bikeshop. On weekdays he closed at 7 pm. One day a customer came in at 6:30 with a two hour repair.
My friend said, “Come back tomorrow around noon, and it will be ready.”
The customer replied, “I need it tonight. I have a race tomorrow morning.”
My friend demurred. “It’s a two hour job, and I close in thirty minutes.”
The customer said, “I’ll give you a hundred dollars plus whatever the cost of the repair is.”
“Come back in two hours,” and my friend stayed open to get it done.
I think that’s perfectly reasonable for him. He’s in business to make money, bikes are his money, and the customer paid a little extra to get something a little extra.
But imagine the same situation for, say, a border guard.
BG: “The crossing is closed for the night.”
Customer: “I’ll give you a hundred dollars to keep it open for me.”
That’s clearly wrong. What’s more, that’s not just bad behavior; that should be illegal.