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Letter: The questionable ethics of 21st century political self-promotion

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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump look at supporters before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.

Manuel Balce Ceneta, Associated Press

One of the things astute observers of the 45th president have not failed to notice is his self-promotion. In the questionable ethics of the 21st century, this is taken to be a good thing. It is thought to be necessary in order to beat out the competition.  

But we seem to have lost sight of the fact that throughout history, self-promotion has not been thought of as a good thing, not even for business people and politicians. 

Donald Trump says he is the most popular president in history, and that he has been the best friend to Black people since Abraham Lincoln. Everything he does is great, and everything the other guy does is terrible. In the vernacular language of 20th century America, this is called tooting your own horn. 

Nearly 500 years ago, Shakespeare gave us the rendition of this tune for his day, “The lady doth protest too much.” Long before that, the carpenter from Nazareth remarked, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” 

“I’m innocent” doesn’t play well in court against all the evidence to the contrary. That is why the court requires witnesses to speak up. 

A truly good business leader or politician allows his or her reputation to be established out of someone else’s mouth. 

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross