June 01, 2017

Mentoring: Principles for Mentoring in the Current Environment

Jeh Charles Johnson

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Today I speak to you, not as the former secretary of Homeland Security, but as a fellow member of the bar, and as a concerned private citizen.

My remarks should not be a construed as political. That would be inappropriate for this convention. My hope is that all lawyers and all Americans of any political persuasion agree, or can be persuaded to agree, with what I am about to say.

The administration in which I served was hardly perfect; we made our share of mistakes and had our share of leaks and setbacks. But, like many Americans, I watch with growing alarm and despair as the American presidency now degenerates into a reality TV show. We watch as the standards of behavior of our political leaders spirals downward. I need not chronicle in detail for you all problems. There are plenty of reporters, journalists, talking heads, and commentators doing a fine job of that right now.

This may be good for ratings, but it is bad for the welfare of the country.

Equally as depressing, this may be what the American people have come to expect of their political leadership. We watch as this new standard of behavior trickles down in American politics. A candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives can now criminally assault a reporter one day and get elected the next.

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