Seven-Step Method: The Case of “The Ides of March (2011)”
I selected Stephen Meyers, the main character in The Ides of March (2011), to illustrate the seven-step method of making an ethical decision (Meyers, 2018). Throughout the play, multiple moral dilemmas face the character due to the compromising situations that his line of work, politics, puts him in. The whole film plays out during the onset of a very brilliant political operative’s career, in the climax of the bid for the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. Get legit paper wring services on ethics and other subjects.
He is a very ambitious but naïve person for his work line and has absolute and sheepish trust for Mike Morris, a seating governor, and presidential aspirant. Various individuals warned him of the consequences of having such a point of view in politics; for example, Ida Horowicz, a reporter, told him, “You really buy into all this crap? All this take back the country nonsense?” something that he denied (Clooney, 2011).
Stephen Meyers naivety drives him into a sexual relationship with an intern who had an extramarital affair with Mike Morris, and the film plays with Stephen’s reaction to the realities of his world, thus making the film a right candidate for the illustration of the seven-step method of making an ethical decision (Meyers, 2018).
Evaluation The Ides of March (2011)
Stephen Meyers, the main character in The Ides of March (2011), is faced with multiple moral problems throughout the movie’s plot and his decisions arguably lead to the tragic death of a young intern in a presidential campaign team. He is an ambitious junior campaign manager for Mike Morris, one of the democratic presidential candidates and sitting Governor for Pennsylvania. The first moral problem which Stephen Meyers faces is on whether to engage in a sexual relationship with an intern who was significantly younger than him.
Even though Molly Stern, the intern, and the Democratic National Congress chairperson’s daughter expressed her romantic interest in Stephen, he had adequate information to make the moral judgment before engaging in a sexual relationship with a disgruntled and confused young intern in Morris’s campaign. Stephen Meyer was right to accept an invite for a date from a junior collogue, but he should have made more responsible decisions and know her and her circumstances. This way, he would have had more control over the matter and maybe saving Molly Stern’s life (Clooney, 2011).
Even though Stephen Meyer was faced with various moral challenges throughout the plot of the tragedy, the initial moral problem had the most impact on his morality. At first, he was a very naïve but talented junior campaign manager who believed in his presidential candidate’s course. However, the immorality of the political scene subjects him to compromising his lack of experience in politics, and he ends up making the wrong decision leading to severe consequences. The ethical component involved in this moral problem is sexual harassment in the professional setting.
Stephen Meyers’s decision to engage in a sexual relationship with Molly Stern may be legal because it was consensual, but it was immoral to confirm the consequences. Molly Stern was a very beautiful and ambitious intern working under Stephen Meyer for a period, but he had not noticed her, something that she leverages to invite him for a date “You ought to stop by one night and have a drink with the worker bees.” and being a nice person, Stephen says yes (Clooney, 2011).
However, it depended on his values to determine whether to engage in a sexual relationship with her after determining that she was 20 years old. He should have done some due diligence before showing up for the date and preferably befriended her first to know her better.
Consider the Potential Consequences of all Options and Determine a Course of Action
The fifth of the seven-step method of making an ethical decision “Consider the potential consequences of all options and determine a course of action.” (Meyers, 2018), which may not be applicable in Stephen initial moral problem because he did not make any deliberations or consideration for potential consequences of having a more intimate relationship with a junior colleague.
However, he learned very first from his mistakes and courageously took personal responsibility for his role in the tragic death of Molly Stern by bearing the guilt and not blaming it on other parties involved. He considered the consequences of Molly’s pregnancy and is a presidential candidate’s responsibility in it and offered to help her exercise her “prochoice rights” and save Morris’s campaign.
Given that Stephen Meyer does not consider the consequences for his actions, he chooses action and blindly engages in sexual relations with the intern. The first time he faces the reality of the world within which he works, which is evil, is when he learned that Governor Mike Morris had engaged in a sexual relationship and impregnated Molly Stern, something that could destroy his bid for the presidency.
Stephen Meyer helps her to terminate the pregnancy and instructs her to leave the campaign. When he got fired, he also failed to consider informing Molly and reassuring her that he would not be able to compromise her dignity. This made Molly panic and commit suicide, which Stephen exploited to get back to his adversaries and save his career in politics (Clooney, 2011).
The Ides of March (2011) References
- Clooney, G. (2011). The Ides of March [Film]. Netflix; Netflix.
- Meyers, C. (2018). The professional ethics toolkit. John Wiley & Sons.