OPINION: Losing faith in search of public servants with integrity

By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

“The man who cannot endure to have his errors and shortcomings brought to the surface and made known, but tries to hide them, is unfit to walk the highway of truth.”
– James Allen

Do they exist? Public servants with integrity?
Sure they do. I’ve known – and still know – quite a few.
My father served as city manager of my hometown for years. He is as honest as they come.
The fathers of a few of my friends were integrity-rich small-town officials but, sadly, chose to not run for higher offices.
Watching how many elected officials in Washington behave these days, I’m feeling frustrated. And fed up.
I’m still angry at Bill Clinton for his awful behavior when he was president of these United States. I thought he was a good president. I also thought he was a good man.
That he did what he did with that intern was stupid at best. That he lied, unforgivable.
How do you ever trust any person who lied so easily to an entire nation?
Then there’s John Edwards. More than any candidate in the most recent presidential election, I was drawn to him.
Then the rumors began. Adultery. Even a child from his extramarital affair.
I never doubted the possibilities existed. He is, after all, a human being.
But John Edwards denied both the relationship and the child it created from the very beginning.
He lied.
Then he admitted the relationship, but denied his own child.
More lies. Until recently, when he finally claimed he is the little girl’s father.
And the man asked us to trust our country to him.
This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans or Baptists or Catholics or politicians from the South or the North. None of that matters.
A complete lack of integrity seems to be highly infectious and knows no bounds.
The issue doesn’t have to be as morally offensive as prurient behavior, and lying about it.
When many elected officials tell voters they will represent our concerns, they’ve lied.
When many assure us they’ll break down party lines and play nice with others in order to move our country into a better place, they’ve lied.
When they ridicule the plans of some members of Congress but do nothing to come up with a better plan, they aren’t doing what they promised they’d do.
So our country is just spinning its wheels, going nowhere.
And people waiting – and waiting – for help to come, help that was promised, are trying to hang on.
Waiting for change.
And hoping for more public servants with integrity intact who will actually do what they’ve promised to do.
Too tall an order?
Absolutely not.

Contact Leslie Criss at leslie.criss@djournal.com or (662) 678-1584.