A Country Man’s Journal: Values Are Not Transactional

My cynicism and skepticism with  the American political system are no secret. I do not hold back my thoughts or keep my beliefs a secret – I put them out there.

This morning I listened to another politician, the current Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, walk away from things he said four years ago. I have heard this so often in the Trump administration. The Trump administration seems to be populated with folks that found Trump completely unacceptable four years ago, and now,  “…it is a privilege to work for Trump…” Horsefeathers!

Real values are not temporary, they are not transactional. Principles, standards, and integrity are not for sale to the highest bidder. This is what has happened in American politics today. Both parties are guilty of transactional values.

Most of us would never raise our children to have values, principles, and integrity that can be shifted to suit the moment or  purpose. This sounds like a system that organized crime would adhere to, but a society cannot survive in this kind of a culture.

I do not buy the proposition that election to an office washes away all sins. I do not accept this in faith either. I believe in a life that is built on doing good, not what worked for me at the moment, and if it was wrong, I can cancel it out later. Again, call me un-Christian if you want, but I do not accept all wrongs can be cancelled out because I saw the light at the last moment. Again, this sounds like some sort of belief system the Mafia would subscribe to.

This morning, I listened to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo try to cancel out positions and beliefs he espoused when he was supporting Marco Rubio for president four years ago. Gail King from CBS tried to pin him down on what he said four years ago, and all Pompeo could say was that these were words said in a “…hard fought campaign.” So, apparently, everything said by politicians is just for the moment and for the audience, and not really part of any belief system.

I cannot accept this for leadership. Our country was not always  like this. Principles, values, and integrity were earned, built, and the result of long and careful thought and effort. They were not transactional like they are today.

It is never  a privilege to serve a man like Trump. He is what he is. To his credit, he has never hidden his faults and lack of character and decency – it has always been right out there for all to see.

I would not want to be in the same room with most of our leaders and politicians today. I do not want to get myself dirty. Values, standards, principles, and integrity are all I have – they are not transactional.

Published by Ed Pirie

I am a Vermonter, been one all my life. That just about tells you all you need to know. I am not much of a follower and like to do my own thinking. I value my family and a quiet existence in a very rural part of Vermont. There is a lot in the world I do not understand. My writing is my attempt to wrap my head around much that is swirling around me. Some time ago gasoline pumps changed to the way they look now. I had stopped to fill my Jeep and I could not get the gas to pump to save my life. I went inside and complained to the attendant. She knew me and said, "Ed, the whole world is changing and if you don't figure out the changes you are going to fall off the earth as it spins around." Well, I am not always successful figuring out the changes, but my writing is my way of working through some of them. I hope you enjoy.

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