Political disclosure, should we trust our future leaders to have true transparency in regards to their intentions? Should we hold them to a higher standard of truthfulness and honesty? Can we be so naive as to expect what we ask for is what we will get?
We have to ask ourselves are we really asking for full disclosure? Or the opportunity to put a person’s character on trial? Do we have the right as fellow human beings to hold another person in moral judgment as is often the case? Who should decide what the common moral standard should be? A press conference was originally used as a mechanism in which to provide information to the public, namely the media by the quickest means possible. However, too often a press conference has become an attempt at character assassination in which the media belittles and humiliates the speaker. Poking and prodding the candidate like a piñata until some juicy tidbits of dirty facts break loose.
To explore one possible solution to this witch hunt, perhaps would be to restrict the questions the media is permitted to ask to the topic at hand. A doctrine of standards the press core would be expected to follow. Would any respectable reporter be in favor of such an imposition on their first amendment rights?
On the other hand, not all potential political leaders use the tool of the press conference with the best well meaning intentions. Oftentimes political leaders will us a “plant” in the audience to see the right questions are asked. Seeing the press conference only as an opportunity for their own benefit as a way in most cases of beating the press to the punch. The punch being some embarrassing news or fact the candidate would rather not expose in the first place. At that moment, the press conference transforms from being a mechanism of truth and information between the speaker and the listener to a mechanism of damage control on the part of the candidate. However, as with any open society we must take the bad with the good and expect only what leaders will allow us to expect.
Only with the power of the vote, can the citizens of a nation with their wise judgment control the fate of their leaders, and choose the person to lead them. Only then do they have the power to decide the best course for disclosure. Even if it means ruffling a few feathers of those who would preserve a system that best serves their personal interests of manipulating who important information is distributed to the public at large.