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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Read more articles by Robert B. Charles

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weseng

Fantastic perfectly written article. Some of our selfish leaders will never understand how important this is to the average man. VOTEMOUT!!!!!!

Willie Ryan

If you care anything about this country then pray and vote .

Gary

Our moral laws were all based from the Bible and the anti Christian liberals and atheist have been attacking it for years now we are reaping the consequences and if Bible believing people don’t start speaking up and voting we will lose this country !!!!!!!!

Anne McChristian Blake

“Duty, Honor,Country”. The Long Gray Line!
God Bless America!!

Naomi Maggiora

This article clearly explains what is happening in our country. Seems as if every politician has lost their sense of honor. They no longer respect any opinion but their own and there must be no variance or you become the enemy. Truly a sad and scary time for our country. We the people can change this by voting out those who are trying to destroy our country.

Paul W

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Charles’ article. Simplified even further, it comes down to living by the Golden Rule. If everyone, politicians included, treated people the way they expect to be treated, what a wonderful country,,,and world it would be. To me, living by the Golden Rule is the very definition of living honorably. So simple, yet far too rare.

Patriot Will

In the year 2020, hopefully, the leadership of the fake Democratic Party will be exposed for the miscreants that they really are. Otherwise, the Honorable American Way of Life is headed for extinction. God Bless America.

Lynn

I have often thought of Integrity, trust and Faithfulness, it makes all the difference for sure.

Bruce Kindberg

Right on ! So true. This idea must be taught in schools…it is not! This idea should be taught in the home …it is not! This idea should be preached in our churches…it is not! This idea should be taught in citizenship classes…it is not!

Thomas Duggan

Thru the actions of the impeachment, undertook by a majority which are lawyers they exposed themselves thru their actions whiich they under take in their profession .

Sad

Nancy Lipkins

Yes and every vote needs to be counted and checked for fraud it’s to bad that we have dishonorable people in congress in both the house and the senate that most of them are lawyers is why I don’t trust A lawyer or A doctor the lawyer serves themselves and the doctor serves Big Pharma who wants to just push pills and make you sicker.

H L Howell

What can you expect from lawmakers who pass a law to call themselves honorable? pass laws that they make themselves exempt from? have a slush fund to pay sexual harassment claims? the list goes on. why do we tolerate the self proclaimed elitist. serving in congress was never meant to be a career, but as a service of patriotic citizens.

Deborah Hendricks

Amen!

Bob Wiggans

If we do not have one law for ALL, that includes the ruling class, we have no law that can be in enforced.

Sharon Harrigan

1 Timothy 2:1-2 ” I exort therefore, that, first of all, supplicatiins, prayers, intercessions, and giving of Thanks be made for all men;
For kings and for ALL THAT ARE IN AUTHORITY, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all honesty.”

Anna Petrocelli

I could not have written this better myself. Thank you! As I am writing this note, however, I am thinking that all these things, honor, duty, respect, fairness and a dozen more epithets, we, as parents also have failed them… I look at our schools and colleges, I look at the demonstrations that are against at anything that is those noble words above, being disrespected, laughed at, ignored and mocked. What I also see is that grown ups, that is parents and all those who should know better, they do not correct their children right on the spot but have become proponents of the PC world of today. Many of our so called leaders, as the writer pointed out, are not leaders but pacifiers who rather ignore and be indifferent of what is going on around them. If this nation is going to change, it needs to start paying attention… Read more »

DMM

Does anyone expect different from a political party that is Godless (removed God from their platform at 2016 national convention) evil, & law breakers? “…for the tree is known by it’s fruit” Jesus Christ. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” Jeremiah 13:23

ripcon

I am 56 yrs , have had a severe TBI for 22 yrs. I have noticed a downward spiral of societal and political ethos in America. I have also noticed this in the world at large and yes I live on Earth but I am a citizen of the United States of America. I also have friends and family that i love who live here as well. This article reminded me why this country is so different from the rest. It’s not the people, it all has to do with our start. Our founding fathers and their motivation to do what they did. I am not what anybody would call a bible thumper but that is what this nation was founded on and what politicians want to get rid of. Yes I slur my speech some times, don’t remember that well, and can’t run for very long. Telling others of… Read more »

Press ONE for English

Sounds good but I am not convinced. Oh, maybe for the everyday working stiff like us, but surely not for the ruling class, the hyper wealthy and a new one, the “entitled”. Is somebody gonna try and tell me that the likes of Andrew Carnegie, John D Rockefeller and JP Morgan were honorable people? And, not going too far back, how about the Kennedys? LBJ? Nixon? Clinton? These were somehow honorable people? Really? The article is right in its implication, that things are changing. The balance of power is shifting away from the middle class to the more reliably controllable and predictable entitled class. But that’s the extent of the change. The true power has always been with the hyper wealthy and so it will remain. It is their goal to achieve one world government, and we are on track down that path. It’s not like this is anything new.… Read more »

J Stanford

This country was built on Christian, Judaho values. They are values that exemplifies the God and Father of Jesus Christ. These values have lost any importance in our house of representatives. Unfortunately the house of Representatives reflect the values of the constituency of their districts. What does that say about the nation, we have become.