Saturday, October 16

Integrity, Integrity, Integrity

What could Kerry have meant by this. These words he tells us were among the last words the "strong woman in his life" (aka mom) gave him whilst on her deathbed. What does this mean, especially in light of the campaign he is running. Wikipedia tells us:

Popular view of Integrity: Many people appear to use the word "integrity" in a vague manner as an alternative to the perceived political incorrectness of using blatantly moralistic terms such as "good" or ethical. In this sense the term often refers to a refusal to engage in lying, blaming or other behavior generally seeming to evade accountability. It may take the form of a sense of etiquette that runs very deep, as in Confucianism or the political virtues.

Can this be it? It is almost certainly the case that in the debates he found it impossible to use the word "good" or "bad". So perhaps we are on to something. For example, his tortuous responses vis a vis abortion are a shining example of that inability to use a simple word like "good". But, as for the "blaming" part of the Wiki citation he encounters some difficulty. For example, his "he pushed me" remarks assigning blame on the Secret Service officer assigned to protect him shows that if he tries to take his mothers advice to heart, he needs to keep working on it. Also, in August, tried to lay the blame of mismanagement of his campaign on his staff (as if it wasn't his campaign). Thus this more common definition of "Integrity" can't be the advice he took to heart. Finally, with his gaffe regarding Ms Mary Cheney in the last debate, he can't lay claim to a deep understanding of conduct or etiquette.

Let us proceed to look for another meaning of "integrity". A second meaning (again from Wiki):


English-speakers often measure such integrity on a one-dimensional vertical scale dominated by two reference points: those of the highest integrity and no integrity (also known as a total lack of integrity).

Some prescriptive dualistic schemas of ethics divide human activity into two fields and speak of behavior as "in integrity" (approved) or as "out of integrity" (despised).

How does that definition measure up. This might have better luck. Perhaps by "integrity" he means "approved". Since he seeks approval mainly from the loony left, this one's a no-brainer. He as a carte blanche from them to do and say damn near anything he wants, especially if he remains firmly pro-choice. For Kerry, a primary example of this is his Democratic predecessor in high office, Mr Clinton. Mr Clinton could molest women, perjure himself in court, receive acclamation for his skill at prevarication, get impeached, and in general gleefully tarnish his high office without ever going "out of integrity" with his core supporters. Kerry inherits that base. He knows he will never be out of integrity with them, and thus has found a way to satisfy his mothers last bequest without having to actually having to posses what the rest of us commoners call "integrity".