Integrity is an essential characteristic of a leader. Leadership requires a president to speak honestly and accurately to his constituents and other government leaders. Our current president has consistently failed to exhibit integrity during his three plus years in office.

President Trump’s lack of integrity has been displayed during the current pandemic as he continues to dangle the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the election, a move that appears designed to improve his re-election chances, but that will actually put American lives at risk. He has even threatened to overrule the Food and Drug Administration if they impose stricter standards for approving vaccines.

By further politicizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA, which approves vaccines, the president risks broad swaths of the public distrusting the very part of our government tasked with providing public health information without political influence. This distrust could reduce the number of Americans willing to get a vaccine no matter when it becomes available. Already, Governor Cuomo of New York announced that the state would independently verify the safety and efficacy of any COVID-19 vaccine used in his state.

In response to President Trump’s irresponsible announcement of an impending COVID-19 vaccine, nine companies developing a vaccine publicly announced an agreement not to move for FDA approval without documented evidence of the safety and efficacy of the vaccines being developed. It’s sad that Americans must rely on private drug companies, some based in foreign countries, to safeguard our public health.

Our ability to solve the COVID-19 pandemic will have to involve the vaccination of most of our population. If a significant portion of the population doesn’t trust the vaccine and refuses to comply with public health orders (something Americans already have trouble with), then our economy will continue to struggle, even if the rate of infection begins to decline.

How did we get to the point where the president’s word on something so significant cannot be trusted?

The lies told by President Trump crossed the 20,000 mark in July, the last time the Washington Post stopped to count them. The Washington Post only counts claims either stated or tweeted that can be proven false with evidence. They do not count campaign promises made but not kept (like Mexico paying for the border wall).

Public health is not the only area threatened by lies. President Trump continues to repeat the lie that mail-in ballots result in massive voter fraud, taking particular aim at states that have chosen to send either mail-in ballots or applications for absentee ballots to all registered voters. FBI Director Wray testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on September 24th, “Now we have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise.”

Put simply, Americans cannot trust what President Trump says. His supporters often tout how “authentic” he is by saying whatever he thinks. They dismiss his most egregious lies as hyperbole or simply his response to reporters who Trump accuses of spreading “fake news.” No president before Trump has willingly and repeatedly lied to the American people.

The irony of President Trump’s lies comes when they are combined with his clumsy efforts to manipulate the non-partisan agencies tasked with protecting Americans. He achieved some success with Attorney General Barr and the Justice Department, but he has failed to move the CDC or FDA into compliance with his distorted public assessment of the virus and the progress of vaccine testing. Experts from these agencies have directly and publicly contradicted the President, leading him to state that Dr. Redfield didn’t understand the question when asked about having a vaccine before the election.

It’s important to step back to February when President Trump learned of the serious nature of the pandemic and its impact on people of all ages as revealed through audio recordings made by Bob Woodward. We now know the President made a conscious decision to lie to the American people about the nature and severity of COVID-19, a lie that has now claimed more than 200,000 American lives.

Indeed, President Trump has failed one of the basic tenets of leadership, honesty. Since we are electing leaders at the local, state, and national level on Nov. 3, consider each candidate’s integrity, a core value for good leadership, and cast your vote wisely.

(45) comments

Hollowed Ground

"...failed to exhibit integrity..." Now that has to be the grandest understatement of all time. Like describing Reinhard Heydrich as a 'thug'.

sail

You two are poster children for “ pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”

KB Thomas

Review: Tom D'Ambra What's Going on? History Repeats Itself. YouTube

Gary Lukert

Trump is Crazy.

Gary Lukert

You are right, History is Repeating itself, as the South and the Conservatives are refighting the Civil War. They do, I think, they know they probably can't put all the black people back into slavery...but, they are doing everything then can to to limit, restrict, cut back equal rights. They glorify White Police murdering black people. Trump and you and the Republicans loved it when that black man, who as in custody, was murdered by that policemen...who pressured the black man's NECK with his knee! I know you loved it, as you likely believed he had it coming, and that'll show those black people.

WatchmanAnon

Some history for you-

Sen. John C. Calhoun, Democrat, justified slavery. He said it was "good for the slave and the master."

Republicans ended slavery and permanently outlawed it through the 13th Amendment. Check the voting record.

Republicans secured for African Americans equal rights under the law through the 14th Amendment.

Check the voting record.

Republicans voted to give African Americans the rights to vote, over objections from some Democrats, through the 15th Amendment.

Check the voting record.

Democrats, not Republicans, in the 1880s created Jim Crow segregation lasting through the 1960s.

The Ku Klux Klan was founded by former Confederate soldiers, the side that opposed Lincoln (a Republican).

The Klan's first grand wizard was a Confederate general who was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

The KKK was designed to keep blacks from voting.

The late Sen. Robert Byrd, a leading Democrat from West Virginia and former KKK member, was eulogized by Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Hillary even called him "a mentor." At last check, the Clintons and Obama were Democrats

Rationa1

Watchman, your history is both ancient and incomplete. In the mid-20th century the Democrats moved left and the Republicans moved right. The same progressive Republicans who ended slavery and secured the 14th and 15th amendments would barely recognize the positions of Republicans in the early 21st century. Similarly, the mid-to-late 19th-century Democrats would not recognize contemporary Democrat platforms. Senator Byrd was a Boll Weevil Democrat, a relic of a prior Democrat Party. More importantly, you're cherry-picking here because he came to renounce his own racial segregationist positions beginning in the latter part of the 20th century and continuing until his death.

Hollowed Ground

Do not confuse "Democrat" and "Republican" of 1860-1940 or so with the same terms today, especially before a party called "Republican" even existed. They switched roles a long time ago.

freedom fighter

To all those way out there in left field just remember it ain't over until the fat lady sings. And when it is over you will all be singing your number one hit song impeach him---again and again and again followed by a rendition of Russian collusion

Gary Lukert

Why do you want this Crazy man?

bobinberea

Calvert and Grover continue to provide excellent reporting, analysis, and commentary. The Gazette and its readers are fortunate to have their contributions.

Gary Lukert

Amen!

KB Thomas

Gary wants to know why I am nice to him when we happen to run into each other. Christ says to love your enemies and bless those who curse you.

KB Thomas

Review: Top 10 Urgent Prophecies About President Trump......Very interesting to the Gary Luckerts Trump bashers of the world.

Gary Lukert

Guess it is OK, if you like Crazy, Nuts, Criminal, Lying, Bully People. I wander, are you far behind?

Gary Lukert

KB, what do you think the Republicans, including Trump, back in 2008...when John McCain was running for President...the Republican nominee...if BARACK OBAMA had said the same words against McCain...as Trump did in 2016. Trump: "McCain's not a Hero because he was captured: I LIKE THOSE THAT WEREN'T CAPTURED!" THUS, TRUMP Did not like those that WERE CAPTURED. Why, you and the Republicans would have gone entirely out of your mind! Subsequently, Trump has said more words putting down those Americans who do and have served. He wouldn't even go visit their graves.

WatchmanAnon

John McCain visited Al Qaeda rebels. It was well reported. It is also speculated that McCain was running weapons for Al Qaeda, to include fighter jets. Nos how many American servicemen were killed because John McCain was running guns to our enemy? That's treason. That negates any war hero status he might have had.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-22683261

Gary Lukert

Trump...and those who support him....have, absolutely...NO INTEGRITY! None at all.

Gary Lukert

Trump is an out & out Crook! I paid 4 times as much in taxes last year as Trump. Now, if this were a Democratic President....all Republicans would have totally gone bananas! Well, most already are!

WatchmanAnon

Sounds like you need a tax lawyer. Surely some of Emporia's brightest minds could help you out.

See what I did there?

I'm trying to get the local economy to rebound, which is what our City Commissioners should be doing.

Gary Lukert

Where is your name? You are a Chicken. At least KB and I use our names. You are chicken.

WatchmanAnon

I could be the guy at the gas pump next to yours or the polite woman at the store or an elder at a church or a teen playing ball on the court. I could be a young mother with small children or an elderly man taking a walk. I could deliver your mail or I could drive a truck or I could be retired or I could be pulling 75 hours a week. Who I am doesn't really matter to you.

It's what I believe that matters to you. I'm different from you and you don't like it. You want to know who I am so you can point and say, "I don't like you." You want to point to me as an object and hate what you see.

You're scared of what I believe because it challenges what you believe.

I could be anyone. I could be someone you already know and like. You would be angry to learn that I believe differently from you. And that bothers you.

So I will remain that little piece of sand in the oyster and make you wonder the possibilities.

Rationa1

Watchman's use of a pseudonym is fine, Gary. We cannot know the situations of others. Perhaps by using their actual name, Watchman would be putting his employment or some social position at risk. Watchman's ideas are more important than their handle.

Rationa1

Watchman, I don't dislike that you hold different beliefs than I do. What I dislike is that you use logical fallacies--like (above) arguing because Democrats opposed Civil Rights legislation in the 50s and 60s, today's Democrats are somehow opposed to Civil Rights. I object that you uncritically accept QAnon positions. You give yourself too much credit when you compare yourself to all these people that you clearly could NOT be, or when you suggest that you cause us to "wonder the possibilities." Your posts reveal you don't understand economics, science, political philosophy, law, or even logic. If you start to demonstrate understanding of these areas and an ability to think critically, THEN I will start to wonder about you.

WatchmanAnon

Eureka!

Since POTUS survived Covid- in 3 days despite the liberal howl that he is an unhealthy man- then he has antibodies against Covid.

That means, dear liberals, that the very antibodies used to manufacture your precious vaccine could come from Trump himself.

You each can have a little bit of Trump in your veins and in your immune systems. You can take him with you wherever you go.

You get a Trump Vaccine! And you get a Trump Vaccine! You too can have a piece of the very man you loath.

Commence Liberal Meltdown.

Aim_High

Lol, that is not how it works.

Ceisenh

God help us all.

kj4life

I will be happy to have some of Trump floating thru my veins. He is the best

Gary Lukert

So what? Hey, Watchman...if you are so confident, where is your NAME. Means, to me, you don't "know nothin'". Have no facts. Like Trump's LYING that OBAMA was NOT a Natural Born United States Citizen.

WatchmanAnon

You are giving me a reason to pop some popcorn.

Best show in town!

KB Thomas

A damaged Presidency by left wing Communists. Review The Hagman Report, X22 Report, Trunews Report. Alex Jones. The Covid 19 is a man made viris to bring in a cashless society. The international bankers hate Trump. James Comey was a banker who's bank was involved in drug laundering. How did he become director of the FBI?

Gary Lukert

Trump has severely damaged the Presidency all by himself. It was nobody else, but, Trump who has said of John McCain, "he's a hero because he was captured, ---I like those that weren't captured." Trump never served...he never followed orders in the Military. Trump even is a criminal...taking an illegal Lifetime Draft Deferment his Rich Daddy bought for him during the Viet Nam War. Trump does have a BIG, LYING MOUTH! But, he was a Chicken, would not serve his country, when his country needed him. Trump also has smeared McCain at a Naval Academy Graduation Speech, also at a Boy Scout Speech, plus many other times. I am a Veteran--served honorably, as was my Dad: Drafted, in World War II...at 33 with 3 kids. My 3 brothers also Served their country in the Military. Each of us are all far superior Americans and Human Beings....to Trump. None of Trump's Rich Family have ever served America in the Military. Trump is the World's Biggest Bully Chicken! World's biggest Liar. OH, BY THE WAY KB, even if all of that garbage you write above would be true, it is Trump who has destroyed the Presidency. With Trump, everything is someone else's fault...just like the little rich boy brat he is. Oh, KB...why, when you only once in a great while "bump into me in public", are you always so nice to me?

Gary Lukert

Trump is not only a Communist...Putin's great buddy. Putin has stuff on Trump...so, Trump has to always KISS UP! Trump is also NAZI. Hated the South to Lose the war, as Trump today, wants a return to Slavery!

burn'n daylight

Another democrat trying to convince us how to think. Never learn...

Aim_High

There is no convincing a Republican how to think. They only do what they are told like good little boys.

WatchmanAnon

Boys? Boys?

Are you assigning genders to people now?

Shame. Shame.

Gary Lukert

Hunh? Explain.

Rationa1

Enlighten us, Watchman. With what gender do you identify?

Smkiefer

One more Liberal, one sided report from your fake news paper!!!!

meanmom

Agree with this comment

Elrod

I hate to say this, but trying to find somebody with integrity and politics is a lost cause.

Ceisenh

No, it's not.

WatchmanAnon

Step away from the Kool-Aid.

If the population believes as you do then you have nothing to worry about.

Aim_High

Judging by the polls lately... you're in the minority for sure.

WatchmanAnon

Is that why you triggered so easily?

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