“But nothing I did was illegal.” I’ve heard or read this statement more than a couple of times. Recently at ProPublica’s synopsis about the machinations of the rich to avoid paying federal income tax, the question came to mind: “But is that ethical?” One answer to that could be, “Ah, but we were just following tax law.” I admit that, but I’d like to point out that conscious choices were made to inadvertently exploit tax law.
I struggle to get into the head of someone who would make such decisions. Political speech provides further examples of the ethical / legal separation of innuendos, baseless claims, and twisted meanings – legal but ethical? I would give examples, but many are easy to find; However, I recommend looking at the full policy spectrum and not just feeding on the affirmation bias.
Doing and saying what is ethical and honorable usually comes at a price. In the past few months we have had politicians who have deliberately made unpopular but in their mind ethical decisions and suffered the consequences. I question the ethics of their critics.