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If you want people to trust you, you have to appear trustworthy. All the more so if you’re going to accuse your opponents of dishonesty and make TrusTed your campaign slogan.
Senator Cruz did the right thing — the only possible thing, really — by firing top aid Rick Tyler for his role in circulating a video falsely accusing Marco Rubio of disparaging the Bible.
But it may be too late for damage control. Because the question everyone’s asking is this: whether or not Ted Cruz knew about or approved of the video, was Rick Tyler only doing what he thought his boss would want him to do?
I’m not suggesting that I know the answer. I’m only underscoring the urgency of the question. And I’m offering this historical precedent.
After leading the Children of Israel to victory in the battle against Jericho, Joshua received a message from the Almighty accusing the entire Jewish people of having lied, stolen, and violated their covenant with the Divine.
In fact, it had been one person who had stolen one object from the banned spoils of war — and this without any other person even knowing of the perpetrator’s actions. If so, why was the entire nation condemned as if they were complicit in the crime?
The answer is simple: the thief would never have committed his act of thievery unless he believed that he would be able to get away with it. Had there been a sufficient awareness of social conscience, had there been a palpable sense woven into the fabric of Jewish society that no one would tolerate his crime, the would thief never have dared to reach out his hand to take something that was not his.
Because an atmosphere of moral complacency permeated the national culture, the entire nation was held accountable for the actions of one man.
If we want to live in a society governed by integrity and character, we have to hold others to a high standard of personal behavior. But that only works if we hold ourselves to an even higher standard, and show the same disdain for corruption toward our friends as we do toward our enemies.