Trump: A Man of Integrity?

What does it mean to be a person of integrity?

Many people think that a person of integrity is one who is honest and truthful, doesn’t steal, cheat or lie. But this is not the real definition of integrity. Integrity means whole.

I recently saw a quote to the effect that the person’s words, actions, thoughts, were consistent. I agree with this definition.  Sometimes I find a person of integrity to be a jerk, but that’s simply my opinion of the person, which I arrived at using my own moral and ethical standards.

I was having a discussion with someone and said that by this definition, Donald Trump is a man of integrity. He is who he is. He is not deep or thoughtful, but according to New Yorker staff writer David Owen, who was speaking with Terry Gross on the NPR program Fresh Air, on April 13 (the anniversary of the Titanic disaster), Trump behaved the same way when Owen met him for an interview for Golf Digest, as he behaves now, as president. Terry Gross asked:

How did the man that you golfed with compare with the president you’re watching on TV?

And Owen answered “Very much the same.” You can find the exchange in the transcript of the interview, about half way down, at the link above.

I don’t know if Owen is right, but at least he has spent time with the President. I have not. So I have to leave the possibility open that Trump is who he says he is. That is what  a lot of people who voted for him said they wanted.

That does not mean I like his value system. In the end, most of us feel friendlier toward people with whom we share the top levels of our value hierarchies.

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Shona

Engineering consultant by day, science fiction writer in off hours.

3 thoughts on “Trump: A Man of Integrity?”

  1. Generously well-put! Separating one’s value system from Trump’s does enable the thought that he is consistent with his past and how he defines himself, thus he has integrity of a sort.

  2. Wholeness and consistency are not the same as integrity. The above limited “generous” definition is false. Trump is missing his moral compass and is therefore not whole. By the above definition of wholeness, even a sociopath would have integrity because they see their world in a consistent way too. Trump does not have integrity although he is consistent.

  3. I’ve become accustomed to the definition of integrity as “whole” or “self-consistent” apart from any moral connotation. Either way, describing Mr. Trump as a man of integrity is to misuse the word, almost to the point of oxymoron. He may be a whole person and the entirety of his character may be considered whole in spite of what appears to be an ethical foundation of shifting sand as he relates to others. However, as the embodiment of our nation’s beliefs and values, a sense of integrity and consistency is sorely lacking. His lack of respect for the office of POTUS and his apparent disregard for common courtesy when dealing with others suggests he is a whole ass instead. If “what you see is what you get” with Trump as suggested by David Owen, and he as our President reflects us as a people and a nation, perhaps we need to re-examine our own collective integrity.

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