Are we a nation of principles or not?

I recently read an article in which an elected official indicated that it is better to have a few rats in your administration than to be one. While I am not shocked, given the source of the comment, what is fascinating is how people who otherwise pretend to be principled and ostensibly stand on their beliefs accept or are willing to abet someone who routinely makes a mockery of any sort of standards or principles.

People are either principled or they are not. Principles do not change when you change the adjective. Pay attention to what people actually say; they will tell you who they are and what they are about if you listen. Listen for the equivocations, the qualifiers, the deflections.

People engaged in inappropriate, illegal, immoral or amoral conduct will seek to manipulate otherwise well-meaning individuals by trying to redirect discourse so they can hide behind a code that protects them from the responsibility and consequences of their own actions. Some will wrap themselves in the flag or a cloak of religious affiliation to create the impression of bonhomie and affiliation.

Make no mistake: Right is right and wrong is wrong no matter the descriptor.

So are we a people, a nation, built on principles? Or are we self-serving and amoral, where the only principle is getting away with our misdeeds?

Are we the people built on principle that we claim to be, or are we a nation of rats? At the end of the day, only rats congregate with rats.

Robert Nelson


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