Yes, John Pryor, principles matter (“Principles in Laws, Platforms Matter,” August 31). But the character too. Here’s what our founders had to say about what would make America great:
• John Adams: “Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private virtue, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics.
• George Washington: “Virtue or morality is a necessary mainspring of popular government.”
• Benjamin Franklin: “Only a virtuous people is capable of freedom.”
• James Madison: “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue among the people is a chimera [imaginary] idea. Is there no virtue among us? If there is none, we are in a miserable situation.
• Thomas Jefferson: “No government can remain good unless it is under the control of the people; and their minds must be informed by education what is right and what is wrong; to be encouraged in habits of virtue.
• Samuel Adams: “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose morals are universally corrupt. He is therefore the most faithful friend of freedom in his country, which strives the most to promote its virtue.
• John Adams again: “Public virtue is the character which voluntarily sacrifices or subjugates its personal desires for the greater good of other individuals or of the community. Specific moral virtues include charity, justice, courage, temperance, reverence, prudence, and honesty.
And on the matter of character, we move on to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who…
• …says he’s for ‘law and order’ while ignoring his Jan. 6 subpoena and backing Trump who is flouting the law, shattering order and standing idly by while his followers timeskip-inspired weapons ransacked the Capitol and killed and injured police officers trying to maintain “law and order” McCarthy and Trump say they are for it.
• … flip flops on Trump: “I’m sick of this guy. What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it. The president bears the blame for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by rioters. He told me that he had some responsibility for what had happened. He bears responsibility for his words and actions, no ifs, ands or buts. Then, three weeks later, McCarthy is in Trump’s Mecca to kiss the King’s ring – who has recorded 30,573 documented lies during his presidency, who is a proudly unfaithful husband with a long history of admitted sexual assault .
• … lied about Merrick Garland calling parents “terrorists” for attending school board meetings and lied again when he called the “ill-formed” Jan. 6 committee when he deputized for his own House member, John Katko, RN.Y., to form this. McCarthy then personally torpedoed Katko’s plan and lied about why. After killing the Katko plan and personally banning Republican membership on the House January 6 committee, oddly not seeing his own hand in creating the problem, McCarthy then attacks the committee for its political imbalance.
• …does not view his office as a sworn fiduciary duty as our founders intended, but as an instrument of revenge: “We will launch an investigation into every member of the January 6 Committee and Speaker Pelosi.” One can only wonder how deep the disdain McCarthy must have felt inwardly toward many of his followers who he believes are too blind to see through him and so incomprehensible that they will continue to support him against competing Republican candidates. more principled.
• … threatens to subpoena the Jan. 6 Committee and other members of Congress if the House fails while he ignores his. Somehow he doesn’t get the rich double irony of ignoring his own subpoena while threatening to subpoena others, while showing those others – by his example – what what they can do with their future subpoenas from him. Once again we see Mr. “Law and Order” flouting law and order.
• …continually failed to gain the approval of Congressman Bill Thomas (Retired) whom McCarthy worked for for 15 years and who aired in an interview on January 15, 2021, KGET-17 News regarding the events of January 6 and the following week’s Trump impeachment referenced McCarthy in the House “hypocrite” camp.
Brik McDill, PhD. of Bakersfield is a psychologist. The opinions expressed are his own.