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Trust

The beating heart of democracy is not freedom. Experience shows us that freedom is a malleable concept that can become a pawn in a zero-sum game. A womanís freedom to choose whether to bear her child impedes the childís freedom to live. A white manís freedom to choose his friends, associates and customers can diminish a black manís freedom to live and do what he wants. Increasing the total amount of productive freedom is the mission of a democracy, but not its heart.

Its heart is trust. The theory that the best government is government for the people, by the people relies on the belief that Americans can be trusted to determine their own fate without recklessly harming and exploiting others. A representative democracy, like ours, asserts that the people will choose representatives who will govern wisely, responsible, and selflessly---representatives who can be trusted. And representatives who can be trusted must, by necessity, be capable of trust. They must trust the people who elected them to be sufficiently informed, civically responsible and wise to accept difficult decisions made for the good of the nation as a whole, even if they represent sacrifices for particular voters or voting blocks. They must trust their colleagues in government to share their dedication and willingness to work for the best interests of the nation rather than narrow self-interest. They must trust their leaders, without whom they will devolve into an ineffective, bickering mob. Most of all, they must trust the system of democracy that they serve.

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Ted Stevens, Republican Icon

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was just indicted, and it is pretty hard to see how heís going to avoid jail time. If this surprises you even a little, you donít know the career of Senator Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, and a Machiavellian to the core.

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1/24/2009

Geithner: A Sign of Ethical Compromises to Come

1/8/2009

The Ethics of “Barack the Magic Negro”

1/8/2009

The Illinois Ethics Follies

11/10/2008

The Bloomberg Betrayal

11/3/2008

Integrity Alert: Campaign Money Watch

10/26/2008

Trust

9/29/2008

Exposing the Ugly Side

8/8/2008

The Ethics Guy Picks a Vice-President

8/2/2008

Ted Stevens, Republican Icon

6/22/2008

Ethics Priorities in the News: Balancing Utilitarianism and Absolutism

6/1/2008

The Flat Ethical Learning Curve of Congressional Republicans

5/28/2008

Hillary’s Broken Ethics Alarms

6/9/2005

Urban Legends in Pensacola

6/2/2005

Mistaken Accolades for "Deep Throat"

5/23/2005

Move-On and the Ethics of Silly Arguments

5/18/2005

Rejecting the Popular Terrorist

4/11/2005

Too Dumb To Be Ethics Dunces

4/8/2005

Schiavo Memo: Mystery Solved, Ethics Still Missing

4/6/2005

Sandy Berger: Just a Player

3/8/2005

When the City Wants Your Hom

3/7/2005

The Ethics of Personal Destruction

2/14/2005

The Ethics of Self-delusion

2/11/2005

The Power of a Rotten Apple

1/23/2005

On Accountability

1/19/2005

The Ethics of Celebration

1/2/2005

Cesspool Pollution in Congress

11/29/04

Cynical Ethics, GOP Style

11/10/04

Ethical Distortions: The Meaning of "Lie"

11/5/04

The "Dirty Dozen" Results

11/1/04

The Dirty Dozen: Who not to vote for

10/27/04

The Draft Tactic

10/21/04

Nail the Hammer (Tom Delay)

10/20/04

The Mary Cheney Controversy

9/26/04

Big Lies on the Campaign Trail (Government & Politics)

9/24/04

Clinton Ethics in Kerryville

9/13/04

Rumsfeld's Deadly Rationalization

9/10/04

Leave Nader Alone!

8/25/04

Swift Boat Veteran Ad

8/15/04

Rodney Alexander, Turncoat

8/15/04

Some Hero

8/11/04

Hypocrisy and Alan Keyes

8/6/04

McCain is Right

8/4/04

The Incorrigible Governor Dean

7/29/04

Teresa Heinz Kerry Meet VP Cheney

7/26/04

No Winners in the Plame Matter

7/25/04

Snubbing the NAACP

7/14/04

The Meaning of Balance

7/13/04

Sudan

7/12/04

Abortion & Senator Kerry

6/27/04

Bill Clinton

6/24/04

Rowland Resigns

6/16/04

Ethics Truce 2

6/16/04

Nader Mess Up

6/4/04

Moran and the Postman

5/28/04

Ethics from Bill Clinton

5/17/04

Nick Berg

5/12/04

Bipartisan Blindness

4/28/04

Kerry's SUV's

4/21/04

On Purple Hearts

4/20/04

Commission Conflicts

4/8/04

More on Medicare Deception

4/2/04

Gifted Governor

3/24/04

Word Games

3/19/04

McCain's Loyalties

3/16/04

Ethics Truce?

3/04

Dept of Health & Human Services (Ethics Dunce)

3/15/04

Medicare Deceptions

3/15/04

Foreign Leaders for Kerry 3/16/2004

3/11/04

Bush Ad Protesters

3/11/04

Kerry's Insult

3/9/04

Scandal Favoritism

3/9/04

Cover Phrases

3/4/04
Government Enron
3/3/04
San Francisco Hubris
3/3/04
Watchdog Agendas
3/04
Senator Tom Harkin (March Ethics Hero)
2/24/04
House Rules
2/16/04
O'Neill's Loyalty
2/04
Senator Orrin Hatch (February Ethics Hero)
   
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