During Bill Clinton’s candidacy for president, more than a dozen women came forward with claims of sexual impropriety. His supporters said that his extracurricular sex life was none of anybody’s business and should not be a factor in his ability to govern. I was one of those people and I was wrong. Regardless of what people thought of Clinton’s governmental policies, his history with women and his lack of remorse should have disqualified him for presidency. His critics at the time asked how could America trust a person that has such little regard for common decency, and they were right. The problem is that most of those same critics are silent in the face of equal, if not greater, moral atrocities when a member of their own party is in power. The President of the United States is more than an instrument of the federal government; he or she is the leader of the free world and the foremost example of American values. This matters more than most people realize. The world is a complex and dangerous place and as much as we would like to believe that we can go it alone, the fact is we need the cooperation and support of a good chunk of the rest of the world to remain safe and prosperous. When the U.S. acts in a manner that is unethical and/or inhumane, our standing in the world diminishes and by extension our ability to influence the world to act in a peaceful and respectable manner diminishes with it. Our standing in the world is more important and much tougher to repair than our tax policies or financial regulations — and our treatment of refugees, immigrants, and the poor is more important when it comes to our relationship with our allies than having the right trade deals. We don’t have to agree with everything our political leaders do, but we should demand that they be respectable people. America needs moral and ethical leaders first and foremost; I understand that now more than ever.