Recent Integrity Commentaries

What’s Wrong with Congress
Fifty-two members of the US Congress are leaving: 44 members of the House and 8 members of the Senate. The New York Times interviewed 12 of them to answer some questions. It’s a sobering look at the state of the country’s legislature. However, one representative offers a chance of hope. Here are some of those conversations. “Is Congress corrupt?” Rep....
Read More
May 3, 2024
Featured image for “Conscience of the Senate”
Conscience of the Senate
Continued from Tuesday’s commentary, I offer two Senate leaders from the past. Tuesday, I spoke of the integrity of Republican John Williams. Today, I offer the character of Senator Philip Hart as excerpted with permission from The Buying of the Congress (1998) by Charles Lewis, whose response appeared in my book, “What Do You Stand For?” John Williams and Philip...
Read More
April 12, 2024
Featured image for “My Declaration of Conscience”
My Declaration of Conscience
If I were a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, this would be my address to members. Mr. Speaker, Members of the House: We are failing. We’re failing the American people because we’re failing to govern. I know it, you know it, and the American people know it. We have a duty to solve the country’s problems. Instead, we’ve...
Read More
March 21, 2024
Featured image for “A Clarion Warning”
A Clarion Warning
At a time when trust in Washington leadership is at its lowest point, it’s more vital than ever to revisit the lessons from our past. As a freshman Senator from Maine, a deeply republican state, Margaret Chase Smith had been concerned about Communism’s threat to the United States. However, she had become increasingly troubled about the extremist actions of Senator...
Read More
March 18, 2024
Featured image for “Navalny”
Navalny
Integrity frequently requires sacrifice. Some maintain the courage of their convictions; some don’t. The death of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny didn’t come as a surprise. One man is to blame and everyone knows it—a poisonous dictator who feared Navalny’s growing influence. When Navalny’s family asked to have his body returned to them the request was denied. However, Britain’s Telegraph...
Read More
February 20, 2024
Featured image for “Mr. Roberts’ Dilemma”
Mr. Roberts’ Dilemma
While much of the media discussion has surrounded the decision made by the Colorado Supreme Court, where the judges ruled that former president Donald Trump is barred from holding any public office because he engaged in insurrection, there’s another question that hasn’t been addressed: Will Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recuse himself from any case brought before the Supreme...
Read More
December 22, 2023
Featured image for “A Matter of Conscience”
A Matter of Conscience
UPDATE: SANTOS EXPELLED BY HOUSE . . . Finally! After months of disturbing reports regarding Representative George Santos’s lies, fraud, money laundering and other offenses, the New York Republican has been removed from office. What’s next? New York Governor Kathy Hochul will now begin the process of a special election to replace the missing seat in the House. The Senate...
Read More
December 1, 2023
Featured image for “What Would Thurgood Marshall Do?”
What Would Thurgood Marshall Do?
Many people ask me, “Hey Jim, how do you do it? How do you write and speak on, (and once a year, teach) ethics? After all, you must face the same trials and travails as the rest of us have, right? When ethical decisions get difficult, how do you make the tough calls?” Well, I’ll let you in on a...
Read More
November 14, 2023
Featured image for “Integrity”
Integrity
This is Molly. Walking down the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, I discovered her sitting at a small card table at the foot of the stairs with a sign advertising her work: poetry for strangers. (she likes e. e. cummings.) “I’d like a poem,” I say. “on what subject?” she asks. “Integrity.” “what about integrity?”...
Read More
October 20, 2023
Featured image for “All That Is Strong and Good”
All That Is Strong and Good
Dysfunction is no longer an adequate descriptor of Washington leadership these days. We’re all aware of the key players in this madness. The media recites them in a 24/7 loop of chaotic images and infotainment. Nonetheless, the strong and the good eventually overcame the darker forces in our nation’s past. Before we continue our march toward the abyss of cynicism,...
Read More
October 10, 2023