The Old Fashioned Integrity
Integrity is hard to attain and even harder to maintain. The bringing together all of one’s life into a whole that somehow makes sense can take a while. In the past integrity was a word that held positive connotations and one where the public acclaimed your life as whole and good. But I am sensing in this age of Trump the word is taking on new meaning.
If you spend your whole life in search of greed, power and all of the parts of your life fit together to attain greed and power. In this new world we live in, the public will proclaim you as having integrity. The good is no longer evaluated. It now is based purely on do the parts make a whole. Under this new definition Trump can and is declared a man of integrity. If he does not pay taxes, declares bankruptcy, does not pay some contractors for their work, operates shady businesses it all fits with the hardcore businessman. He is a man of integrity. If he almost comically uses power handshakes, hits his critics back forty times harder, or calls his opponents names or slanders them, he is being the strong business leader. He is a man of integrity. If he gives little to charity, uses his charity to buy paintings of himself, all the while he poops on a gold plated toilet he is demonstrating money is what he is about. He is man of integrity. Under the new definition of integrity they are right. If he treats and talks of women as if they are trophies for accumulation he is a man of integrity. His life fits together. It is of a whole piece.
I am never surprised when new revelations of corruption come out of his White House. Power corrupts. Greed corrupts. That is what the whole of his life has been about. There seems to have been no detours in his younger, middle, or older life from the twin goals of gaining more power and money. He never had a religious phase, community service phase, building an enduring charitable foundation phase, or public service phase; he has always been about the obtaining of wealth and stature.
So my argument is not with whether his life is of a whole cloth. It is. My argument is maybe we should demand to put the good back in integrity. If we did that we would not have to keep lowering the bar for Trump. We would have to recognize who he is and what he is and always has been about. And integrity has never been a part of his life.
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