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Opinion Letters Politics and integrity should go hand in hand

You can usually tell a lot about a politician's character by the way he runs his campaign.

Unfortunately, Sen. James Davis' campaign speaks volumes. One might have hoped our incumbent senator in Raleigh would have set the bar a little higher when it comes to discretion and decency in “politikin’” but I guess not. He is not alone, of course, among politicians who believe getting votes is more important than gaining respect. The incendiary mailings, the robo-calls and the television ads reflect a man with a loose association with the truth and a scorchedearth approach to campaigning many of us are finding tiresome and repugnant. Apparently, Sen. Davis' handlers (and millionaire patron) believe this is the only way to return him to Raleigh. Sadly, they may be right. But at what personal cost?

How refreshing it would be to see our elected representatives reflect the good old virtues of the "Southern gentleman," a person (man or woman) who feels politics and integrity can go hand in hand and a regard for the truth is due one's constituents. I suspect that is the kind of person most of us really want to vote for, anyhow. And if they lose, so what? As someone cautioned us a long time ago, "what does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose his soul?" Jim Fisk, the robber baron, tried to corner the gold market after the Civil War and set off a Wall Street meltdown on Sept. 29, 1869, known as "Black Friday." When he failed, ruining others, but making a negligible profit for himself, he said, "Oh well. Nothing lost save honor,"

Honor, it seems, is still a precious commodity in Raleigh.

R. Micheal Jones — Sylva, N.C.


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