by Andy Weddington
Thursday, 21 July 2016
A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity. Baltasar Gracian
About a year ago Bret Baier (Fox News Channel) asked a debate stage littered with candidates for the GOP nomination if they would pledge that night to support the eventual nominee.
All but one, Mr. Donald Trump, so pledged.
The others, without pause nor exemption clause, gave their word.
Some have since reneged.
More simply, they lied.
As to not further embarrass, their names spared. But the world knows whom they are. More importantly, as do they.
Since, I have heard each of these candidates speak to their conservatism - ethics, morals, principles, values, and more while rationalizing their position.
Sour grapes? Sore losers? More troubling, a void in character revealed under pressure and in defeat?
They gave their word.
And they have proven their word is worthless.
Mr. Trump has a lot of money.
But that is not his wealth as a man (as far as this commentary is concerned).
His standalone position a year ago took courage.
Weeks later he signed the pledge.
Throughout the campaign, against all odds of winning, he played smart hardball - at times hinting of a third party run if not the party nominee.
In military parlance that threat of breaking from the party is called a feint. It's an effective warfighting tactic - on every sort of battlefield - as part of an overall assault strategy.
It worked. One by one he dispatched his opponents. He beat the odds.
Now the question...
Would Mr. Trump have reneged on his pledge to support the party nominee were it not him?
We'll never know. But based on his raised hand a year ago there's no reason to conclude he'd not have kept his word. That's the logical conclusion based on past behavior.
For 36+ years three simple but ever-challenging to live by values have been a central part of (my) life: Honor. Courage. Commitment. Those values mean something. Each is all or nothing and they are purposely interwoven to make for the highest expectations of character.
Trust a man or woman, someone who pines to hold our country's highest office, who so blatantly fails those values?
No. Not for all the money in the world.
There is no perfect human being. But that does not negate the expectation of perfection - it is what distinguishes leaders. So, measure a man not by his cents but by his sense - the true indicator of wealth, of value, of leadership.