Integrity in Politics

Whenever I can highlight integrity in politics, I want to do so. Those who uphold integrity are often accused of disloyalty and suffer from threats that stray from the political to the personal. It costs a person to maintain integrity and do whatever job he/she is called to do honestly and with a clear conscience.

Brad Raffensperger is the Republican secretary of state in Georgia, the man responsible for overseeing elections. He has come under fire from fellow Republicans who accuse him of somehow failing in his job. Never mind that he not only monitored the election itself, but also a hand recount, and now a machine recount. In each case, the result has been that Donald Trump lost Georgia.

The Dispatch, a daily newsletter spearheaded by people who desire honest journalism not tied to a political party, has an excellent portion of the newsletter today focusing on Raffensperger. In an interview, he told them “At the end of the day, what I’ve been focusing on is: What is the law, and then following the law, and then following the process that’s based on that law, and making sure that every legal vote is counted.”

That’s called devotion to the rule of law, a concept that has become somewhat ignored in recent times.

Raffensperger continued, “I understand in these polarized times, at the end of the day half the people will be happy, half the people will be sad. But we want 100 percent of people to know that the process captured their votes correctly. We keep on knocking [these conspiracy theories] down. Some people will buy into that line of reasoning, that silly talk. Reasonable, rational people that can really think about these issues and check out the facts will realize that people are just making this stuff up out of whole cloth.”

Conspiracy theories have always been with us. The latest, and most dangerous, is the QAnon crazy talk. I won’t take time to delve into this foolishness, but it fuels a lot of the charges of a conspiracy to deny Trump victory.

As an elected Republican, one might wonder what Raffensperger thinks about his party now. Does he have second thoughts about calling himself a Republican? “It hasn’t made me reconsider what I think about the Republican Party. It just makes me reconsider what I think about the character of some of the individuals that you mentioned,” he said. But he also highlighted “some of these supporters of President Trump that think that they can go around and send death threats to [my] wife and to myself.”

Yes, those types are out there. Just ask commentators like David French and others who have received such threats aimed at their families. Raffensperger then zeroes in on this sorry state of affairs: “We, as Republicans, always like to talk about BLM and Antifa. And then we have basically the same cast of characters, different names, different places on the far fringe groups also.”

It’s interesting to note the distinction Raffensperger makes with respect to where he has received support and where he hasn’t. None of it has come from DC Republicans. “I’ve had lots of positive outreach from my state house and the state senators and elected officials here in Georgia,” he said. “I haven’t heard from Washington politicians. And I see no need to, because I’m focusing on my job. And so I don’t need people to try to influence me and try to move me off that straight line of integrity that I think this office needs to walk.”

Integrity. Not quite gone in our republic, but its future is not certain.

He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the perversity of the faithless destroys them.

Proverbs 10:9; 11:3