Saturday, December 20, 2014


Since the dawn of civilization,  certain principles have formed the bedrock of human interaction.  These principles are numerous and slightly varied depending upon the era and the culture. But, generally speaking, they are uniform in interpretation. Among these basic principles, the ones that govern honesty and integrity have always been considered to be the foundation on which the other governing principles rest.

Through the years, people have put so much stock in the basic principle of honesty that proverbs have made their way into the lexicon:

"A man is only as good as his word."

"A man's word is his bond."

"If a man will lie, he will steal."

"Honesty is the best policy."

Even in today's sketchy world, most of us base our interactions with others on whether or not the other person is to be trusted. Who would loan money to a thief? Who would go into business with a dishonest man? Who would agree to work for a man with a reputation of cheating people out of money? Who would believe a man who lies? Who would hire a man who cannot be trusted?

Unfortunately, some people have lost sight of the importance of these basic principles. Many of the greatest offenders have chosen careers in the arena of politics. The political landscape is always littered with casual claims made during stump speeches and rallies and, then, promptly discarded after election night. It goes without saying that this practice is not admirable but rarely do practiced politicos take seriously any "off the cuff" commitments made in the heat of the campaign.

BUT, there are times when people take promises and commitments from politicians very seriously:

1. When a promise or commitment is made personally.

2. When a promise or commitment is linked to voter support or funding.

3. When a promise or commitment is critical to the candidate's success.

4. When a promise or commitment is used as collateral to a third party.

In any and all of the listed situations, promises and commitments are considered binding. There are never justifiable reasons for breaking such a pledge. To put it in the simplest terms, a move like this is just not smart. In every case of such a pledge being haphazardly violated, the root cause rests in the basic dishonesty of the person who made the false commitment. The person who made the pledge never intended to keep it.

These dishonest politicians seem to think they can make a commitment in order to gain benefit and, then, cast it aside when another benefit presents itself. But, no matter how a wordsmith tries to massage these actions, sometimes such moves simply turn out to be huge mistakes.