Be careful with your reputation

A caution for all parents is to get to know your children’s friends. The lesson that parents must impart is your name or reputation is the dearest thing you have. This lesson continues throughout life.

I mention this today as so many stories have come to a head in the past twenty-four hours that drive this point home. Here is a thumbnail sketch of a few of these stories:

Getting overshadowed by national news, the new Secretary of State of Florida, Mike Ertel, has resigned over past photos of him dressed in blackface mocking Hurricane Katrina victims. New Governor Ron DeSantis, who made Ertel one of his first hires, has been under fire since the campaign for his racist past. It is important for political parties to fully vet candidates, as it may be better for all concerned for your candidate not to win. Contrasting this, the same party dodged a bullet when their candidate did not win the recent Senate race in Alabama.

The President has agreed to temporarily end the shutdown. Yay for the federal workers and those dependent on their services, which is all of us. The President was playing a bad hand. Yet, what we should not lose sight of is he reneged on a deal with Senate leadership back in December after agreeing to do what he did yesterday. This is not the first time he has reneged on a deal as President. Senators learned what they should have already known, if you deal with the President, get it in writing.

Part of me says the President caved in due to trying to draw attention away from the morning news bombshell. His close friend and confident, Roger Stone, was arrested and indicted on a number of fronts, but in particular lying to Congress. In a documentary on Netflix, Paul Manafort (former Trump campaign manager who is in jail) said Stone’s fingerprints are all over the President’s modus operandi, in particular never admit failure and attack, attack, attack. Stone is renowned for  political dirty tricks dating back to working for Richard Nixon. The one common theme around the people who have been found guilty, pleaded guilty or awaiting trial is lying under oath. Call me crazy, but there is too much lying going on for this to be a witch hunt.

CNN host Chris Cuomo made an interesting comment on “The View” earlier in the week. He often has Trump’s staff or attorneys on his show. He said the reason is these are people who the President said represent him. When they are not forthcoming or truthful, it is a reflection on the man they serve.

Your reputation is dear. The question I have asked Senators on multiple occasions after yet another breach of good faith dealing by the President is simple. “Is this the man on whom you want to spend your dear reputation?” One thing that seems more consistent than not is people who exit a relationship with Trump are tainted by the relationship.

9 thoughts on “Be careful with your reputation

  1. Excellent summation! As I was reading about Roger Stone and the charges against him, this thought came to mind: If it is a crime, punishable by jail time, to lie to Congress, then why isn’t Donald Trump in jail?

    And the other point I would make is about reputation, the subject of your post. As a nation, we have strove for years/decades/centuries to build our global reputation. We’ve sometimes made mistakes that caused damage to that reputations, but overall, we have had the reputation of being conscientious, of being reliable, of being there for our allies when needed. In just two short years, that reputation has been seriously damaged more than at any other time in our history, and by the actions of a single man. It will take decades to fully restore our global reputation.

    Thanks for a good post and have a great weekend!

    • Jill, many thanks. The key to Trump’s lying is for him to avoid doing it under oath. That has been the challenge for his attorneys as to why they did not want him to testify. True story – under a Trump court case, he was deposed. In the course of the deposition, the attorney got Trump to admit to thirty previous lies. Thirty.

      Your point on the global reputation is dead on accurate. That has also been my main plea to the Senators – how can you let the President destroy the US reputation and not call him on the carpet. Keith

      • True that Trump thinks himself clever for telling his lies while not under oath, but I would argue that he has been under oath since noon on 20 January 2017 … an oath he has broken so many times that I have lost count!

        It will be interesting (interesting = ulcer-inducing) to see what the next year brings. Sigh.

      • Jill, I read an editorial that accuses Rep. Ocadio-Cortez of being fact challenged. As you know, she is the new piñata for the GOP. She does need to do better with facta and figures. Yet, where is the same editorial on a man who leads the US. Facts do not seem to be a concern to him and he is far worse than any elected leader at their lack of usage. Keith

      • Sigh. She (Ocasio-Cortez) is smart, feisty, and her heart is in the right place. She will do well, but she needs to settle a bit and remember that the world will quickly forget it when you are right, but has a long memory for mistakes. I really, really want her to succeed, for she has brought new life to the House, but she does need to make sure of her facts before she speaks. Sadly, if she gets a fact wrong, much more will be made of her faux pas than of all of Trump’s combined. Not fair, but it’s the way it works in D.C.

      • Agreed. She has replaced Pelosi as the new icon to beat upon. This is why it is essential for her to get her facts correct.

  2. Dear Keith,

    This admonition of taking steps to protect one’s reputation is a lesson that’s more important than ever to share with everyone but especially our young peoples. Everything one says or does in public can become fodder to be disseminated via social media for years to come.

    For the upcoming 2020 election cycle, that’s also a warning that DEMS need to heed, as they will have to be truthful and specific about how they plan to execute their promises. They cannot use a Trumpian tactic of promising future legislation on issues like Medicare for all, free college education, etc without a specific plan on how these programs will be paid for.

    They risk losing its reputation for being the more reliable, transparent party if they don’t figure out, how to do this.

    Hugs, Gronda

  3. I wrote this a week ago or more, and now I can refresh the screen, paste it back into this box, and hit send!

    I remember giving some high-school students some light-hearted advice once. I said, “Watch what you do, as when you’re older, your classmates will love to tell stories about things you wish you’d not have done!”

    When online, I scan the headlines but usually don’t have time to read much. It’s always good to get your updates on things I might have missed. Making fun of Katrina victims is in poor taste, but making fun of anyone is in poor taste. Thanks for this reminder.

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