Politicians on the left and the right used to feel ashamed after the eruption of a massive sexual or racial scandal and be forced out of office.
Things have changed, getting accused of doing something improper is now a badge of honor and a real rallying cry for supporters.
For example, despite the massive controversy around his public image recently, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has announced that he has no plans to resign from his position at this point.
The announcement comes after intense public debates over whether he should remain in his post or not after images surfaced showing someone wearing blackface while being photographed for his school’s yearbook in 1984.
Northam claims to understand the insensitive nature of his actions, and he has plans to start a “racial reconciliation tour,” hoping to unite the different races within his state and across the country as a whole.
Whether his intentions are genuine or motivated by a simple desire to save face is difficult to say. Many people have responded negatively towards the announcement regarding his resignation, however, and it looks like the news has managed to make even more members of the public angry at the governor.
There is not much that his critics can do to force him out of his position at this point, however.
Insensitive as his behavior may have been, it still does not justify relieving him of his post, according to experts commenting on the situation.
For now, some seem to be paying close attention to the governor’s next moves and will be holding him accountable for his future actions.
Anything he does that could be put in a different light with regards to racial insensitivity will likely be scrutinized closely, which will probably create some difficulties for him in the near future.
However, it is arguable that these issues would be any less problematic if he were to resign.
Northam will have a lot of work in front of him to win back some level of trust with people in his state because some observers describe him as an awkward politician.
Here is an illustration of that point of view. During an interview with CBS' Gayle King, Northam described slavery in the following terms: "We are now at the 400-year anniversary — just 90 miles from here in 1619. The first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores in Old Point Comfort, what we call now Fort Monroe, and while."
The task will be gigantic.