23 Jun 2022


Hubert Humphrey’s Quote: Moral Test of Government

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Academic level: College

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I agree with Hubert Humphrey’s words that “…the moral test of a government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.” These groups of people are the most vulnerable in any country. They need constant medical care. 

First and foremost, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that its citizens have a good life. That those who are expected to run the country in the future are healthy enough, those who have served the country enjoy their rest, and that those who need constant medical attention can access it. Responsibilities include developing appropriate health policies and providing financial support. Moreover, in times when resources shrink, these groups should be prioritized. Governments should respond to the needs of their citizens accordingly. According to Linde and Peters (2020), a responsive government builds a reservoir of goodwill that can be used for survival in difficult moments. By responding to needs, governments show responsibility. The two writers believe that responsiveness and responsibility complement each other. 

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Indeed, power and morality are always viewed as opposites. However, Mehta and Winship (2010), argue that moral power is crucial in social and political life. The two writers, (Mehta and Winship, 2010), believe that morality grants a leader or a government moral power. Moral power does not only give a government the ability to influence the actions of people, but it is also a useful resource in maintaining and balancing military, economic, and political power. It determines how people perceive the actions of the government. In the words of Mehta and Winship (2010), moral power justifies persuading the people to take a particular course of action. 


Hitlin, S., & Vaisey, S. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of the Sociology of Morality . Springer Science & Business Media. 

Linde, J., & Peters, Y. (2020). Responsiveness, support, and responsibility: How democratic responsiveness facilitates responsible government. Party Politics , 26 (3), 291-304. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Hubert Humphrey’s Quote: Moral Test of Government.


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