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For quite awhile, I’ve not written any blog posts about the state of United States politics (I’ve instead written about this topic on Facebook). The deterioration in politics that has been gathering momentum has now reached a point where if, as an integrity expert, I don’t speak up about the escalating integrity breaches, I myself will be out of integrity. Here, then, is my commentary on the additional escalation that has occurred this week.

The ugly venom has gone too far. Enough is enough. Time to wake up and do things differently. First consider the following:

  1. Listen to what the President said about the intervention he views himself as having done when his audience broke out into a “Send Them Back” chant in response to him mentioning what he said in an earlier tweet (by the way, 3 of the 4 people he said should go back to the countries they came from were born here in the United States). Then watch the fully in-context video of what actually occurred. It’s all here. (opens new window)
  2. Then read about how he subsequently disavowed his disavowal: Click to read. (opens new window)
  3. Then decide for yourself whether this is someone who knowingly lies or someone whose ability to accurately assess situations is alarmingly amiss.
  4. Then, regardless of your party affiliation or party independence, ask yourself if this is what you want from a President. 

Personally, I’ve been transpartisan since I was 16. And I’ve been more than patient with President Trump because, from the 40,000 foot level, I appreciate how his style has made him the first President in decades who is succeeding at waking our country up from a far-too-long slumber of silence about how dysfunctional Washington has become. I disagree with far more of his policy choices than I agree with. But that’s about differences of opinion over policy stances, which should always be part of our civil national discourse no matter who is President.

What I’m talking about here goes far beyond racism. In fact, my perspective is that to make this latest drama only about racism misses the forest for the trees. It’s more centrally about Presidential integrity and role-modeling. Like it or not, from a social psychology viewpoint, a country’s President is it Chief Role Model. Whatever they say and do (or don’t say or do) says it’s okay for others to say and do the same. That’s always been true and our current President is not exempt from this.

Is Trump the first President who exhibits massive integrity deficits? Not by a long shot. He’s merely more obvious with these than most others. However, just because prior Presidents have also had massive integrity deficits, this doesn’t give any current President license to continue modeling this to other government officials, to our citizens, and to the world.

This is especially true of any President who wants to clean up the swamp in Washington, as our current President has repeatedly said he’s all about doing. Lies, deception, and other forms of integrity deficits make swamps muddier not cleaner… no matter what else is being done to try to clean things up. If the cleanup doesn’t start with integrity, it simply doesn’t start.  

I keep wondering what people would have said about Obama if, while President, he had:

  • Called for an elected white representative he disagreed with, and who was born in this country, to be deported to the country of their ancestors
  • Then stood silent while a crowd he was speaking to chanted that inflammatory statement
  • Subsequently claimed that he had intervened to stop the crowd when he didn’t
  • Then resumed his attacks on that white representative instead of having the courage to own that his words had unintended negative impacts

Some prominent Republicans have had the courage to bluntly state that enough is enough.

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California declared that the chant has “no place in our party and no place in this country.”
  • GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois tweeted that it was “ugly, wrong, & would send chills down the spines of our Founding Fathers. This ugliness must end, or we risk our great union.” I agree. There is no place for this in any political party — Republican, Democrat or otherwise.

Republicans, the time has come to select a different nominee to run in 2020.

  1. One who has impeccable integrity
  2. One who is authentically committed to upholding the “5 Great Truths of Societal Wellbeing”
  3. One who has the skills to effectively facilitate swamp cleanup without resorting to hyperbole, lies, character assassination, or power abuse that escalates hatred and divisiveness
  4. One who has real skills to facilitate authentic collaboration that is long overdue in replacing both coercion AND compromise

Democrats, the time has come to also select a nominee who has all of those key qualities.

Only if both parties have the wisdom to do this will our next Presidential election be “fair” — in the specific sense that the American people will at last be choosing between two nominees based on their policy stances, instead of voting for the candidate they think is the lesser of two evils.

“Selecting between the lesser of two evils is no way to choose a President (or any other elected official). Choosing between two equal and opposite extreme positions is no way to run a country. Deciding between candidates who are disloyal to the ‘5 Self-Evident Great Truths of Societal Wellbeing‘ is no way to repair a society or a government.”

~ Dr. David Gruder, Founder of the Freesponsibility Movement

Democrats and Republicans, if you don’t have among your ranks someone who has all four of the key qualities I described above, you’ll be proving just how profoundly dysfunctional our political system has become… and this would indeed justify radical changes in how we do things (such as doing away with our two-party system, for instance).

Now is the time. Too much is at stake to refuse to rise to the occasion.

I have been working for a number of years on a solution to our escalating societal and political deterioration… mostly behind the scenes. In honor of U.S. Independence Day on July 4, 2019, I soft-launched that solution. It’s the Freesponsibility Movement.

What is Freesponsibility? The utterly necessary combination of freedom and responsibility.

What makes Freesponsibility vitally important? Simple. Freedom without responsibility is narcissism, and responsibility without freedom is tyranny.

The time has come to reunite freedom and responsibility as the two inseparable sides of the same coin that they have always been. Click the button below to watch a 90 minute video about 5 Self-Evident Great Truths of Freesponsible Societies. Then click the button on that page to access the Freesponsibility InfoSource. It’s all free.

PS: In transparency, I have added a quote below from an op-ed because it captures a very personal slice of why I believe President Trump has gone too far with his attacks:

“When they start asking people to go back where they came from, that’s the first line of attack on the Jewish people over centuries. It’s terrifying enough to have a president who says such things. It’s an almost incalculable insult for Trump and his enablers to act as if he’s helping the Jews when he adopts the language of the pogrom.”