Integrity of Character


Responding to the above video, a friend said, “I don’t get this Obama bashing: is it supposed to be funny or serious?”

My own reply to the second half of his response is to say it’s both; like all good comedy, the song is funny because it’s nothing but a collection of news from 2010. Although it’s a bit more difficult to explain, the best I can reply to the first half of his response is with one word: integrity.

One of the Seven Core Army Values that I was trained to instill in myself as second nature 25 years ago while attending Basic Combat Training, integrity requires that a person do and say nothing that deceives others. “Do what’s right – legally and morally.”

It’s a quality that George Washington valued most before his inauguration as the first President of the United States, when he said, “Integrity and firmness is all I can promise; these, be the voyage long or short, never shall forsake me although I may be deserted by all men.”

Further helping to explain the “bashing” is The Presidential Campaign, which says, “The ultimate usefulness of a President’s personal qualities is to inspire public trust.” And that seems to be the heart of the problem with Obama: a lack of public trust due to a feeling that he isn’t doing what’s right.

According to the latest Rasmussen survey, only 23 percent of Americans say the nation is headed in the right direction, as opposed to more than 70 percent who say that America off on the wrong track with Obama’s administration. Not only are people more pessimistic than they have been all year about domestic issues like jobs. Americans also have little optimism about America’s relationship with the Muslim world and believe that the nation’s relations with Israel will also worsen in the coming year.

Management expert Peter Drucker explained why the new economy requires that American voters in 2012 elect a president in whom integrity is second nature.

The new tasks demand that the manager of tomorrow root every action and decision in the bedrock of principles, that he lead not only through knowledge, competence and skill but through vision, courage, responsibility and integrity.

No matter what a man’s general education or his adult education for management, what will be decisive above all, in the future even more than in the past, is neither education nor skill; it is integrity of character.


The Center for Army Leadership, The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004).

Peter F. Drucker, The Practice of Management (New York: HarperCollins, 1986).

Stephen Hess, The Presidential Campaign (Washington: The Brookings Institution, 1978).


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