Monday, November 28, 2005

doing his best Jimmy Swaggart

Congressman and Viet Nam war hero "Duke" Cunningham today pled guilty to accepting money, goods, and services in return for political favors, and in a tear-filled press statement seemed sincerely remorseful. I think that what we have is here a man who had full understanding of how to be honest and respectable and who sincerely intended to adhere to those principles but who eventually succumbed to the siren song of temptation that surrounds our political elites.

During his statement to the press, Cunningham mentioned that while he was in the military, he discovered that the true measure of a man is "how he responds to adversity." While I am not without a certain amount of empathy for Cunningham, who seems to be a good man gone bad, I strongly disagree with that sentiment.

The true measure of a man is whether he maintains his honor and integrity despite temptation. Being honorable means choosing the right course of action no matter how painful, and no matter how rewarding choosing the wrong course of action may seem to be at the time.

Duke, you can't buy back your integrity by "responding to adversity" well when it is an adversity that you created yourself. Sadly, I suspect you will also figure that out soon and will ultimately find it impossible to live with your own shame.


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