Integrity matters more than almost anything. It’s the measure by which each of us judges whether or not the rest of are full of crap or not. Each and every one of us is born with one hundred percent of our integrity intact. Same goes for our innocence. Soon enough, for better or worse, Life will “educate” the innocence out of us. It will try to do the same to our integrity. Whether or not Life succeeds in “educating” away our integrity – that’s entirely up to us. We always have the choice between doing the right thing (or the most right thing) and anything else. The instant we make the wrong choice, whatever else may happen, we’ve damaged our integrity beyond repair.
Integrity’s a weird thing. We rely on it being more solid than steel yet it’s remarkably delicate. A whispered secret can destroy it. Just like that.
Some people never realize how important their integrity is. The obvious joke would be “And they become politicians!” but, to make that joke – as any kind of honest argument – why, I’d lose my integrity! Because it’s not true and I know that. There are plenty of good, honest people who go into public service because they believe in it! There are plenty of good, honest people who go into business for the same reason. Why, there are even good, honest people who go into the religion business because they believe in it. And, even they can hold their heads high because they have maintained their integrity. Perversely, people with integrity mostly fly under our radar – we never think about them and how much we value their integrity. By contrast, we can’t escape people who don’t care about their integrity. Or who, so far, have gotten away with disguising the fact that they have none.
Nothing is funnier – in a dark, disturbing way – than an elected Republican getting all up on their hind legs to bray about values and integrity – two things they absolutely do not have. To be fair, Republicans do have values. They’re just not the values the majority of Americans have. That’s why the Republicans have no integrity. They keep insisting that their values – depraved, racist, greedy and corrupt – are America’s values. Ummmm, no actually.
It took our news media far, FAR too long to use the accurate words “liar” and “lie” to describe Donald Trump and his regular habit of saying things he KNEW were not true. Our news media – to this day – wonders aloud “does he know he’s lying?”. They wonder “Does Trump know he’s behaving criminally?” and “Is his intent ‘criminal’?” as if the past six years of repetitive behavior never happened. And then they scratch their heads when they learn the public questions their integrity. It’s either question that or question their intelligence.
By the same token, our news media still wonders aloud (that’s the horrifying part!) why Putin has such a hold on Trump (and why Trump has such a hold on the Republican Party) when they themselves reported the answer to that very question FIVE YEARS AGO! “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” was how current GOP Leader and demonstrable liar Kevin McCarthy put it (after attending a meeting where Trump’s pressuring Ukraine on Russia’s behalf was discussed!) Rather than take their collective concerns about Putin’s undue influence over their presidential candidate – which would make Trump a serious national security threat – the Republican leadership (lead by then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan) chose to keep this terrible secret a secret. “That’s how we know we’re family” is how Ryan (having made himself a co-conspirator to commit treason) put it.
The one time our news media put the question “What did you mean?” to McCarthy? He said “I was joking” and the news media too THAT as the final word and the end of their work on the story. Yeah, news media, why would most of us view you as having NO INTEGRITY? Because you keep proving you have none. I don’t want that to be so! We The People don’t want it to be so because We rely on you to be what the Constitution sees you as – our final brake on power and corruption.
To do that job correctly – or at all – you must have your integrity. Not most of it (that’d be a non sequitur), all of it.
We can name two Republicans – Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – who have some sense of integrity. We’ll stick a pin in everything both of them did to create this monster – which they both did. But, at the moment of Truth, when it came down to the ultimate “put up or shut up”, they both put up. That means no one in the rest of the GOP has an iota of integrity.
Not a drop.
That means nothing they say – even a lunch order – should be taken at face value. They may be lying about something they say or they’re already planning to skip without paying for lunch. They have no integrity and everyone should know that. That means that when a “journalist” quotes this integrity-free person as if they had integrity – either they’re guilty of malpractice or they’re downright dishonest; in either case, that journalist has no integrity.
No one who equates Truth with bullshit can have any integrity.