Honesty, integrity, ethics, and morality versus Republicanism

When in the history of this country have we ever seen members of the U.S. Senate like these Republicans, who once swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, but now act as if it has become irrelevant and meaningless?

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The following paragraph was taken from this article entitled, “Traditions of the United States Senate.” 

“A U.S. Senator must reach for noble qualities—honor, total dedication, self- discipline, extreme selflessness, exemplary patriotism, sober judgment, and intellectual honesty. This senate is more important than any one, or all, of us. . . . Each of us has a solemn responsibility to remember that, and to remember it often.”

It is virtually impossible to equate those words about what a senator is expected to be and do, the qualities he or she should possess, with a great many of those senators who currently inhabit that legislative body, specifically the Republicans of today. 

That’s like comparing two completely different entities, with nothing whatsoever in common. Like comparing apples and oranges, or black in relation to white.

This tradition refers to U.S. Senators but it most certainly can be thought of as also applying to U.S. House representatives; that’s what we’ll do in this discussion. 

It can accurately be said that the Republican Party has undergone a massive transformation starting in about 2009 when Barack Obama became president. When Republicans took control of the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would block everything that Obama tried to accomplish, and he was highly successful in doing just that.

John Boehner, Speaker of the House said more or less the same thing: “We will kill his entire agenda, stop it or slow it down.” And he did everything that he possibly could to make it happen. The Republicans under McConnell and Boehner became masters of obstruction, with no thought of accomplishing positive and constructive legislative results. 

That’s how Republicans think this democracy should work, with their party’s main objective being, not to do positive and constructive things for this country and its people, but to block everything the opposing party tries to do.

That was the point when, in my estimation, the Republican Party initiated that process of transformation, from a party of strong conservatism, coupled with a sense of honesty, integrity, and honor, to the party of today, one that will put aside all of these standards and values to remain in power, to do anything to reelect its members.

When Trump became president he shifted this transformation process into high gear and his Republican puppets put on their blinders and followed him wherever he chose to go.

Talk about a complete lack of integrity and honor it is incomprehensible how almost none of the Republicans are absolutely incensed about the fact that the Russians clearly interfered in our 2016 election, it apparently doesn’t bother them in the least; that is deplorable, unconscionable. 

They watched as Trump, at the Helsinki summit, standing next to Putin, made it clear that he believed Putin’s word over that of U.S. intelligence agencies. He said, “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” He then added, “I don’t see any reason why Russia would have interfered in the 2016 election.”

Were Republicans stunned and aghast at what he said about taking Putin’s side over that of U.S. intelligence agencies? Not even a bit, they just looked the other way.

They have watched as the Trump administration put young immigrant kids in cages just like animals. They just don’t care. Climate change, a distinct threat to the planet. Trump calls it no more than a hoax and they simply agree. 

This party used to stand for controlling the deficit, balancing the budget, not spending more than the government took in. Back in 1993, it had Senators like John Chaffee of Rhode Island who wanted health care for all Americans and introduced appropriate legislation. It was not seen as a radical party but one that, to a great degree, wanted to do good things for the country.

Have these politicians no shame? Where is their sense of honor? What they once had is a thing of the past, it’s just plain dead. 

Trump, with their help and support, is creating the largest and deepest divisions in this country and society since the Civil War. 

When in the history of this country have we ever seen members of the U.S. Senate like these Republicans, who once swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, but now act as if it has become irrelevant and meaningless?

And when we talk about things like honesty, integrity, and honor how could we not talk about the current Senate Impeachment “trial”, if you want to call it that. We know that McConnell told senators that they could not carry their cellphones into the trial along with certain other personal possessions.

But it’s not being reported that he also issued the order to have all his Republican cohorts leave whatever they might possess of honesty, integrity, and honor outside the door of the trial. By doing that the trial will be much simpler and quicker rather than getting bogged down by standards and values that have no place in determining the final verdict.

And here is something that is incredulous, incomprehensible. Republican senators who are in control of this trial, who should be conducting it in a most honorable manner, are well aware that 75% (from the very latest Quinnipiac poll) of the American people want to have witnesses testify. But on January 28, 2020, we are hearing that in a caucus meeting the Republican leadership was telling its members that it was essential that they refuse to vote to allow any witnesses to be questioned.

What they are doing is totally disregarding what Americans have said they want to be done, they are just shutting the people of this country out of the process. And, I predict, that they will pay a terrible price for their betrayal of the people’s trust.

We’ll end with this quote regarding honesty and integrity: “I am not bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound by the light that I have. I must stand with anyone who stands right, stand by him when he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” _ President Abraham Lincoln

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Michael Payne
Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.

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