Ethics Quiz: The Obituary Campaign Pitch

Oh, heck, let's see how Larry polls against the GOP field...

Oh, heck, let’s see how Larry polls against the GOP field…

In Colorado’s Cabarrus County, the family of Larry Upright, 81, concluded his on-line funeral home obituary with this…

“Also, the family respectfully asks that you do not vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. R.I.P. Grandaddy.”

I can’t resist this one, and so your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is:

Is it ethical for a family to include a political message in a family member’s obituary?

My view? I certainly sympathize, since I find the willingness of so many Americans to vote for someone whose complete dearth of honesty, integrity, transparency, decency and ethics generally is so obvious portends the collapse of civilization. Nonetheless, the obituary crosses a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

The family rationalizes that Larry was a Republican and politically engaged, but that’s irrelevant. The funeral home’s offer of  cyber-space to honor a loved one is not an open invitation to deliver a blog post, a movie review, a dirty joke, or a political endorsement. This isn’t disrespectful of the dead, exactly; it’s disrespectful of everything else: tradition, good taste, Larry’s Hillary-admiring friends, American society. Everything in life doesn’t have to become a partisan dispute; everything shouldn’t be. This is already a divisive trend, and Larry Upright’s family is doing its small part to make American society more unpleasant, divided, and nasty than it already is.

14 thoughts on “Ethics Quiz: The Obituary Campaign Pitch

  1. You know, I misread the line at first, I thought that Larry’s family was asking people TO vote for Hillary, and I was like: “Yeah well… There’s nothing those people won’t stoop to.” And then I reread it correctly and I was actually angrier with it. I don’t know it that’s indicative of a fully functioning ethic alarm, or if I’ve significantly lowered the bar for the ethics on the left. Food for thought.

  2. I think it’s ethical IF the family makes it clear that Upright is trying to fire a shot from the grave: “Following Mr Upright’s instructions, the family requests that you not vote for Hillary ….” Or maybe “In lieu of flowers, the family requests pledges not to vote for ….” Only I don’t think the family would see the foolishness. (We’re going to need a lot of foolishness next year.)

    BTW, Chetek, WI has a DamRepublican Drive because that name was a stipulation in the former owner’s land grant to the town.

  3. Absentee ballot reform could have prevented this. Of course Tarot Card readers and others who are “psychic” would make a fortune.

  4. Is this different if the person themselves writes the obituary? I remember a Headlines thing where the person said something to the order of, “She was happy she never had to see HIllary Clinton become president.”

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