Thursday, July 9, 2015

What's Integrity Got to Do With It

When our boys were teenagers, like all parents Carol and I would occasionally found ourselves in conflict with them. At these times, they would often ask,”Well why don’t you just give me a list of what you want me to do and I’ll do it?”  The problem was that the boys were looking for a list of “things” that constituted acceptable behavior. We were looking for them to have a “heart change” such that they would choose to make acceptable choices.

Potential presidential candidates are daily engaged in discussions of the issues facing our world and our nation. They are all trying to come up with a list of “things” that will make them acceptable choices for our next president. The truth is that for any solution they might propose to any given issue, 40% to 50% percent of the people in America will agree and roughly that same percentage will disagree. This dichotomy has led to the gridlock we have experienced I recent years. So the question arises, is there a better way to select our government officials.

There was a time in the not too distant past when integrity was considered to be a very important discriminator in voting decisions. In recent years, integrity has taken a back seat to policy positions and perceived effectiveness. What has been the result of this shift?  A variety of polls indicate that around 80% of Americans distrust our government. Another way of saying this is that 80% of Americans feel our government lacks integrity. The disgust of Americans with our current government would seem to indicate that the importance of integrity needs to be revisited. In my opinion the perceived integrity of a candidate is as important as their policy positions.

What might happen if a candidate ran on a platform of restoring integrity to government? I believe if the people actually believed him or her, that candidate would win by a landslide. 

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