AMAC In The Media / Opinion / Politics / Press Releases

Everything Depends on Honor – Lest We Forget

Have you ever thought about it? America’s entire way of life depends on honor. You may not think so, but it is a fact. Absent self-respect, respect for others, a sense of perspective on one’s place in society, history and the civic order, rule of law swiftly devolves into lawlessness. In short, America is premised on a sense of honor. If we lose this cornerstone, this all-important societal footing, we lose the nation.

Recently, we witnessed an impeachment process ram-rodded down the throat of a minority party. We saw due process ignored, co-equal members of Congress over-talked, overridden, gaveled to silence. We saw 200-year-old procedures thrown over, simply trashed. We saw lawyers schooled in civil and criminal procedure, technically “officers of the court,” boldly ignoring established legal procedures.

We saw a sense of equity unceremoniously dumped, material witnesses forbidden, false statements trumpeted, and dishonorable behavior from people of whom we should expect more. They have a duty to deliver more – as a matter of honor.

Let me simplify – and illustrate that my concern is not about political parties or figures, but for the country. Why do you stop at a red light, when no one is looking? Why respect a person or property of others when no one will call you out? Why do you pay for goods rather than walking out, even if you could abscond? Why do you vote, fill out census forms, report crime, intercede to stop an injustice, stand for our National Anthem, put hand on heart, teach your children right from wrong, or serve as a soldier, sailor, airman, marine, police officer – or simply a dutiful American? Honor – that is why.

And that is why the nation should stop – right now – and think hard about what is expected of us. Political differences have always existed, levels of acrimony ebbed and flowed. At our country’s founding, before and after the Civil War, in testy days before World War II, American tempers ran hot.

That is why we are blessed to live in a republic, where we can deliberate, moderate, modulate, accommodate, discuss, compromise, persuade, dissuade, and level rough spots – and then honor our agreements. Honor again – without it, we are nothing.

Think of other ways in which we depend on that unspoken commitment – to honor. Every contract we sign, every service we perform or expect, every promise we make, receive or seek is premised on honor. The notion that “our word is our bond” means something. We, in America, take the bond seriously.

When you get right down to it, most of the time we do what we do not because we will be punished for failing to do it, not for fear of being called out, but because we have self-respect. We honor our own mettle – our role in society, big or small – by staying true to what we think right. We live by honor.

The truth is that this unstated fact is the lynchpin of America, the basis on which a representative democracy – centered on freedom – is and must be based. If in our daily lives we stray too far from the idea that interactions depend on honor, we find others dishonoring commitments to us. The circle tightens, trust evaporates, and life becomes intolerable.

That is why seeing national leaders dishonor our hard-won history, losing perspective, indulging violations of established procedure, pressing partisan gains at a cost to intergenerational principles, entertaining lawlessness – and indifference to honor – is so unsettling. If our leaders do not think honoring principles like rule of law, due process, fairness, even-handed treatment of their peers, and constitutional norms matters, what kind of example is that for the rest of us?

In short, representative democracies – republics like ours – are fragile. They depend at core on honor. Absent the commitment to being honorable, from red lights to impeachment protocol, society becomes untethered, lawless, disrespected both within and from without.

At present, our society remains one of laws, not personalities. We remain a place where laws are largely abided – not ignored. Our society is that rare repository of painful, hard-won victories, hallowed and heroic histories, depth and commitment to ideals of a kind few nations have tried or strived to live by.

For our society – for this blessed nation – to long endure, we must remember what we are built on. In a word, our lives, our shared past, our common future, our personal safety, our prosperity and America’s promise are founded on rule of law, keeping faith with an unspoken code, living by honor. This would be a good moment to reflect on honor. Without it, we are nothing. With it, America is unbounded.

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1 year ago

I enjoyed this article. I have seen this trend for many years. The free spirit america encourages can be our most influence for good but it can also be the basis for destruction when honor is not the basis.

Rebecca Kiperts
2 years ago

Thank you Robert Charles for an excellent article! Honor is exactly why so many Californians have trouble believing anyone in his/her right mind would vote for our current president who has absolutely none. I was privileged to be at the graduation ceremony of a Navy Seal years ago, & while I can’t quote the vow every graduate spoke, I certainly remember the order: for God & country, for success of the mission, for the safety & well-being of every other team member, & only after all that, should one consider his/her own safety. I kept an open mind all through Mr. Gallagher’s trial (after all, I’ve never been in the military, although our family history goes back from the present, WWII, WWI, the Civil War, and even the Revolutionary War of service to our nation). When he posted on social media names & pictures of team members, that to me was treason. I felt deeply for all of the team members of all teams, who were probably all shuffled around for everyone’s safety, but most of all for the Admiral so summarily fired, when he stood up for, not only all personnel under his command in the past & present, but for good order & discipline in all the armed forces of our beloved USA. I pray that the next president will be honorable enough to restore that Admiral’s honor, back pay & pension. Mr. Gallagher is a human being who refused to take the high road of honor, and instead proved himself to be a sniveling, selfish man who doesn’t deserve any stars on his eventual coffin, who was willing to risk the safety of armed forces personnel & their precious families around the world. He is now a brother to no one.

Kim Ferrell
2 years ago

I pray everyday for our countries soul, there are so many lost. God Bless our President for bringing us back from the brink. Vote In November and remember how important this election is and who in our Congress has acted with Honor.

2 years ago

We have been dishonored by dishonorable people that have been voted into our Congress that have turned against what the American voters as a whole want. Now what we as Voters Must do is VOTE those who disrespect and dishonor and act as domestic enemies of OUR constitution out of any type of government office forever!

2 years ago

Agreed! Great Read, Thank you.

Charlotte Walsh
2 years ago

Very well said! In my almost 70 years I’ve seen a lot. One of the most revealing things was when Trump won the election and I saw the real Republicans. You know, the ones I’m talking about, the ones that repeatedly said “they couldn’t get anything done because of Obama” but when a Republican became president it would all change! Yeah, I saw for the first time who they really were…so called Republicans. I’ve seen those Progressives drag their feet on quite a few issues and only a handful are standing with the President at any given time. To quote Hillary, “what’s the difference?” ( I hate to quote anyone like her!!!)
We are living in Fast Times where the people are nothing more than a vote for those that are in office & for their survival only. Most of both parties don’t give a rip about this country or its people! They want what they have and will DO ANYTHING TO KEEP IT ! And so they are DOING ANYTHING TO KEEP IT by lying, cheating, stealing, bullying and using any means to perpetuate their lifestyle at everyone else’s expense! Evil is winning. I’m glad to be the age that I am.

2 years ago

love it!

Linda M
2 years ago

Remember when the cry used to be “so and so is dangerous” and “too dangerous to be elected”. Our republic has survived, but don’t be complacent because of this. Vigilance for American values like those espoused here are our security.

2 years ago

Honor is part of a moral discipline that is taught at a early age and constantly voiced your entire life, you need a basis to adhere to the kind of dedication that honor requires…..

Joanna Johnson-Smith
2 years ago

Beautiful piece, thank you! If only this was being taught in every school, from kindergarten to college graduation. If only true Honor was a requirement to run for office.

Steve K
2 years ago

You talk about honor. There is no honor in this White House. The Republican Party is a pathetic bunch right now. Talk about honor, how about truth? That’s not what they want. My hope is that they pay big time in 2020 just like 2018. Pray that this president doesn’t screw up this country any more before he is out.

Whiskey Sierra Lima
2 years ago

There are 14 Leadership Traits which ALL Marines are Fully Aware of their being. The top three are, (1) INTEGRITY, (2) HONOR, and (3) COURAGE.. Without INTEGRITY, no person has HONOR, nor COURAGE. Integrity is the Back Bone of who a person actually is, and what the person(s) stand for..

The Long Grey Line’s motto, “DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY”..

My career in the United States Marine Corps. “Semper Fidelis” To GOD, to our COUNTRY, and to the CORPS..

With the monumental aggression of the ultra leftist liberals, and all of their followers, toward and upon Christianity, the Bible, and everything which is Not of the ultra leftist liberal(s) agenda, and or, stated mind-set. The remedy to and for the ultra leftist liberal(s) is glaringly clear to this American Born Patriot..

Come November of this year (2020), “WE THE PEOPLE”, of Our United States, Have The Clear Duty, To and FOR Our Country, to fully vote Out the ultra leftist liberal(s) from their well entrenched position(s) within and of Our Country’s House of Representatives, and or the Senate.

The few ultra leftist liberal types that May remain is their seated positions within OUR Country’s Federal Government, shall Not be able to gain sufficient traction to do any further harm to OUR United States; Nor shall they be able to further their ILL Gotten, Anti-American, Anti-Christian, Anti-Bible harm toward and upon the Genuine American Way Of Life, Nor, shall they be allowed to further their cause, toward and upon Our Country’s Genuine American Citizenry; Any further than they have already done, from the individual, and or collective stand point!.




“Semper Fi America, Semper Fi Indeed”

Royal DeAsis
2 years ago

Well written.
Since you used the word “absent” a few times, it reminded me of one thing you left absent. One thing that overrides the good points expressed.

don draper
2 years ago

WORK is the most devastating to health. We never regret injuries from having more fun than our bodies can stand,… only those we sustain working!

2 years ago

I did not read all the comments that were written since they had nearly the same train of thought. Any person that is GOOD can be HONORABLE and not be a believer in the Jewish-Christian foundation that this country was founded on. They don’t have “that” personnel relationship with Jehovah / Christ that is required to have all the base morals required to be RIGHTEOUS. The Liberal Democrats are finally showing their true colors as being Socialists, Marxist, Communists, etc. that are government systems that are controlled by the few at the top with the rest under them having to provide for them with no say. This philosophy has always has been with use since Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden. It gains control when the believers become lax and stray and become “Religious”. Now, since the 1960’s the liberals have weakened the foundation of this country due to changing the creation of the Universe, and over the last few years continuing to change our history by rewriting school text books to eliminate all aspects of the reasons it was formed. The beliefs of the Puritans has been removed along with any other beliefs in a God of the founders. Also, liberals have taken over our education as “teachers” who only allow discussion of their liberal beliefs and discourage any discussion of anyone else’s beliefs.

2 years ago

The political left believe they are above the law. In the last twenty years we have allowed it by not prosecuting political lawbreakers like Hillary Clinton for security breach and exposing Top secret information in an unsecure forum. Barack Obama for voter fraud and tampering. Nancy Policy for lying under oath. Schifft for the same thing. Bill Clinton was never tried for committing perjury. Pelosi and Schifft are also guilty of doctoring statements of written affidavits given by witnesses. The NDC is responsible for bribes and payoff to individuals to give false testimony before the House. The list is endless of the corrupt and dishonorable behavior of the liberal Democratic party. Unfortunately our society morays accept this before. It is alright to cheat on exams in the classroom and receive not punishment for it when caught and if the teacher catches someone cheating and punishes them for it then he/she is punished for fired from his/her job. Today society teach dishonor is right and to be honorable is weak. It is all right to lye about those the liberal left want to commit character assassination to destroy their credibility.

Charlie Adkins
2 years ago

A very well crafted, thoughtful & inspiring editorial. Thanks.

“Because we can” values have overtaken “Because we shouldn’t”. Selfishness is not a trait of honor.

2 years ago

Good article and I would like to add something the author didn’t, out constitution is based on judaeo christian beliefs and at the heart of that is the 10 commandments. We don’t lie, cheat, steal and murder because God says so. One of our founders said that our form of government is only fit for a moral and religious people. We need to believe that it was God who made this nation great and if we get too sinful he will bring us down. It looks like he is in the process of doing just that.

2 years ago


2 years ago

Amen! Honor and integrity – the two most important principles about America

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