November 25, 2022

Applying the four-factor test to political candidates – Statehouse Report

Taylor, in a vintage photo, with his four-way test.

By Andy Brack | The explosive revelation this week from a federal judge that former President Donald Trump signed legal documents challenging Georgia’s 2020 election results despite being told by his attorney that his allegations of voter fraud were false illustrates the political disaster of the country.

In my book, telling lies just isn’t cool. Spreading them is just as bad.

How has the United States of America, a beacon of freedom and justice, come so far down a road that Holocaust deniers and political liars have reshaped the landscape so much that telling the truth is no longer embraced by many too many elected leaders? How did we get to this place in history where facts don’t seem to matter and people argue about things as clear as day and night? How did we stop trusting doctors, teachers, police and our leaders? And how do we get back to a place that Ronald Reagan, quoting our story, called “the shining city on the hill” – the envy of the world?

When you vote in the November election of this year, we strongly encourage you to thoroughly examine your choices and consider whether the candidates you support are people who support false claims and false narratives about what is happening in America or people who embrace traditional concepts like telling and accepting the truth – no matter how difficult that may be.

Ask yourself what a candidate is for and if they are working for the greater good of all. Ask yourself if a candidate is motivated to improve your community, not just to gain power for power’s sake.

In short, consider applying a new four-question test to political candidates based on a 24-word business ethics creed adopted in 1943 by Rotary clubs nationwide. 90 years ago, a Chicago businessman was tasked with taking over a failing business.

“We thought that ‘in law there is strength,’ businessman Herbert J. Taylor later wrote, ‘and we decided to do our best to always be right. “He developed The Four-Way Test to guide his business and relationships:

  • Is this the truth?
  • Is it fair to everyone involved?
  • Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  • Will it benefit everyone involved?

The guidelines worked and the business flourished. More importantly, lives have changed – the kind of changes needed now in America’s gutter politics.

Imagine if American politicians were held to such a high standard again. We could continue to prosper, not bicker.

Twenty years after writing the test, Taylor wrote: “We have enjoyed a steady increase in goodwill, friendship and trust from our customers, competitors and the public and, what is still more valuable, of great improvement in the moral character of our We have found that you cannot constantly apply the four-factor test to all your dealings with others eight hours a day in business without making a habit of doing so in your family, social and community life. You become a better father, a better friend and a better citizen.

As you prepare to vote on November 8, consider the candidates who will lead your communities who speak the truth and are fair. South Carolina – and the United States – needs leaders with integrity, leaders who seek the truth and avoid corruption and scandal.

Apply Rotary’s four-way test to make this year’s slate of candidates the standard to emulate when making decisions for everyone, not just members of their political tribe.

  • Are they telling the truth?
  • Are they fair?
  • Are they working to build goodwill and better friendships?
  • Are they working to benefit everyone involved?

There should be consequences for political leaders of any party who lie and are unfair to everyone they represent. They should become ex-leaders or ex-candidates as soon as possible. The election is fast approaching. Vote.

Andy Brack is editor and publisher of the Statehouse Report and the Charleston City Paper. Do you have a comment ? Send to: [email protected].