Honor: An Old-Fashioned Virtue?

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

There have been numerous articles recently on this blog about the honor codes at various Virginia colleges and universities. I remember a ceremony in which we incoming freshmen at the College of William and Mary signed our honor code pledges.

These codes set out the behavior that people expect of each other and themselves in a civil society. Regrettably, they seem old fashioned and perhaps out of date in light of the situation today in which a major party leader in Congress blatantly lies publicly about his reactions following a major political crisis and the members of his party do not seem to want to hold him accountable for those lies to the public.

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28 responses to “Honor: An Old-Fashioned Virtue?”

  1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    The GOP No-honor Code…

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      And then there was Governor Northam, admitting and then denying the photo. On which occasion was he lying? He, the former leader of the VMI honor program, right? Spare me your posturing.

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        Recall on a photo from college from the 1980s vs a discussion one had with the president right after 1/6 encouraging him to resign…?? Spare me your whatsboutism… as I said GOP No-honor Code…

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          Politicians have no honor, period. This notion that your side is better than the others is just utter BS.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    There may have been a time and place where Conservatives might have claimed the high ground on “honor’ but today given the firehose of lies, myths and disinformation emanating from Conservatives, “honor’ is a quaint concept that they cling to in higher ed – urging it for their sons and daughters in YAF and related!

    where is “honor” when majorities of Conservatives and GOP continue to deny elections, riots at the US Capitol and just lie outright about things like CRT and “grooming”, etc ? Deny science in climate and contagious disease and whatever else they may be opposed to like Disney in FLa.

  3. Dick is right, honor is an old-fashioned virtue that has gone out of style. And the nation is living with the results. There are plenty of liars on both sides of the political aisle.

    Our partisan media dedicates itself to highlighting the lies of the other side of the ideological spectrum while underplaying (or totally ignoring) the foibles on their own side.

    1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      Ahh… the good old Conservative fallback… bothsidesism…

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        and ‘what-a-bout-ism” – like … “teachers COULD be “grooming’ ” and that kind of nonsense…

        the right, as a significant number have gone off the rails and it’s actually on display here in BR many days.

    2. Virginia Gentleman Avatar
      Virginia Gentleman

      And it isn’t on both sides. Stop with the Whataboutisms. Lying is a Republican value.

        1. Virginia Gentleman Avatar
          Virginia Gentleman

          And MTG’s testimony last week. Where is the honor in that? Why aren’t the Republicans speaking out? But Hillary’s emails. Please stop talking about Honor in colleges if you can’t speak out and act like you really care about it.

    3. I read two paragraphs and was confused. I couldn’t find the rest of the article. What does honor have to do with a political party (either one)? The responses here have quickly fallen to name calling.

      Through the ages honor has always been a individual aspiration and a quality prized by decent people and a moral society. Certainly best instilled by parents but also not to be abandoned by others that shape the minds of our children. Honor is either valued by the individual and others or not.

  4. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    But politicians don’t sign an honor code.

    1. Code of Va § 49-1. Form of general oath required of officers.Every person before entering upon the discharge of any function as an officer of this Commonwealth shall take and subscribe the following oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties
      incumbent upon me as ___________ according to the best of my ability, (so help me God).”

      Any person reappointed to any office filled by gubernatorial appointment for a subsequent term to begin immediately upon expiration of an existing term shall not be required to renew the oath set out in this section; however, the original oath taken shall continue in effect with respect to the subsequent term.

      US Senate and House Oath of Office
      I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

  5. LarrytheG Avatar

    What Conservatives and the GOP has learned is that their supporters LIKE lies. It “works”. Conspiracy theories, lies, myths, you name it and it’s part and parcel of Conservatism these days.

    The narratives about CRT and “grooming” are recent examples.

    then this – from the GOP leadership


    And he is not alone by a long shot:

    A majority of the Republican Party lies about Jan 6 and the two that don’t are getting thrown out of the GOP:


    Guess who of the two is aligned with most of the GOP and who the GOP
    is urging to resign.

  6. walter smith Avatar
    walter smith

    Just Kevin McCarthy?
    Come on DHS…honor isn’t partisan. Lying is lying. How about Adam Schiff and our own so-called great businessman Senator Mark Warner…for years on RUSSIA! And they had the actual (lack of) evidence. At least Warner stopped after a while while Schiff went on and on (and goes on and on today).
    I agree about McCarthy! But I have always thought him a typical political hack. I remember before the 2018 midterms (skewed in favor of Dems by virtue of years of lies broadcast every night). McCarthy was advertising his build the wall act. So how come he didn’t do that in the two years the Pubbies had power?
    How about Slick Willie? Shouldn’t he have resigned for perjury? Oh…that’s right…it’s just sex…
    Believe all women…unless a Dem is accused.
    Look in the mirror – we elect and tolerate liars.
    How about my favorite – UVA? The President, his cabinet, all the Deans, and The Feckless BOV ™ and over 50 Biology faculty and over 100 grad students and research assistants, and 65 coaches of the Women’s teams all remain silent and refuse to say that Emma Weyant is the NCAA Women’s champ in the 500 free.
    Lies are lies no matter who is lying. Let’s get rid of all liars. I’m all for it. But I sincerely doubt you people on the Left will do it. You love power more. Prove me wrong…

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      comparing Adam Schiff and Warner to:


      You know there is a problem when Schiff is your boogeyman for the Dems and then we see the GOP lineup:

      ya’ll are living in LA LA Land Walter – Literally!

      1. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        Ok Larry – I recognize Gaetz and MTG. Who are the others and what are their lies?
        I am not engaging in whataboutism. I condemn lying. Period.
        And of course, all you Lefties say Righties lie more and are engaging in whataboutism.
        I think Lefties lie more and it isn’t reported or Politifact comes in and says the quote was taken out of context and SlowJoe really meant the opposite of how it is being interpreted, and then turns around and imputes nothing but malice to any Republican statement.
        So let’s try again. Lying is bad. Period.
        Can we agree?
        Next – what is a lie?
        A lie is a statement known to be false when made.
        This is qualitatively different from being wrong.
        Then there are types of lies. A “white” lie (racist! Why not a “black” lie?) – is it bad or good? That’s a lot harder. If your wife is 10 pounds overweight and you say she looks fine, are you lying? Are you lying if you acknowledge in your mind that medically the loss of 10 pounds would be good, but you aren’t bothered by the weight? What if she is morbidly obese, it is affecting her health and you know it? Wouldn’t a white lie there be less than benign?
        So, allowing for gentility in social intercourse, I say a lie is a statement known to be false where you are lying for something to your advantage. Is such a lie bad? Yes. Period.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Walter, you know all about Hunter Biden, Slo-Joe and Durham , etc but not about the GOP wackadoodles?

          geeze guy.

          Lying about things that are clearly true like elections and riots….different from a belief that Trump colluded with Russia or Hillary did Whitewater or watergate. “lying” about Hillary killing Vince Foster or conspiracy theories about pedophiles in a pizza place, etc…

          Louie Germert, TX says the FBI organized Jan 6. Arizona congressman

          Arizona congressman Paul Gosar is accusing a liberal activist of conspiring with Nazis, hinting George Soros was behind the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville .

          Congresswoman Lauren Boebert claimed to have insider knowledge of a QAnon-linked conspiracy theory promoted by The Epoch Times that secret documents declassified in the final days of the Trump administration will expose wrongdoing by Trump’s enemies and lead to resignations and arrests, allowing Republicans to gain a majority in the U.S. House and Senate prior to the 2022 election.

          This is just a sample of outright lies and conspiracy theories promoted by elected GOP congressmen/women.

          Not to mention the even wilder stuff that MTG and Gaetz is spewing…

          The GOP base believes this stuff… and so they just keep spewing it.

          This is a good part of the GOP these days. People like Liz Chaney and others including Mr. Haner locally in BR are considered RINOs and no longer welcome in the Republican party.

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Larry – instead of repeating a Dem talking point, state a specific lie.

    2. Lefty665 Avatar

      For Warner to be lying you have to assume he is witting enough to know what he is saying.

  7. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    Expect to see MTG and Kevin McC featured on TV ads for Prevagen to raise funds for election campaigns. The lack of honor expressed as lies is the problem. Lies support self-preservation while honor encourages service to the community not mere power grasping. With apologies to the Whataboutists, pound for pound the liars on the right outweigh those on the other side.

  8. Donald Smith Avatar
    Donald Smith

    You’re talking about the Democrats who told the American people that Russia swung the 2016 election to Trump, right?

  9. Ronnie Chappell Avatar
    Ronnie Chappell

    I think Dick is being provocative and a little disingenuous. That said, there is something delightful about a politician of either party being caught in an out-an-out lie. Made me smile and remember one of my favorites: I didn’t have sex with that woman.

  10. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

    Real integrity is shown by the Washington Post when it failed to enforce its total separation between the reporting and editorial (opinion) staffs. And topping that off by missing the Northam story in two consecutive election cycles, while sending a battalion of reporters to cover an Alabama senate race.

  11. DJRippert Avatar

    Great to see liberals contrive a story with a tenuous connection to Virginia, at best. McCarthy is a fourth generation Californian. I guess the bile backing up in the throats of Democrats after the wipeout in Virginia and Slow Joe Biden’s incompetence leaves the left with no options other than dreaming up imaginary connections between Kevin McCarthy and Virginia on a Virginia blog.

    Jim Bacon – are the gloves off on BaconsRebellion being Virginia-specific? I certainly have plenty to say about the senile ass-clown now occupying the White House if that’s the case.

  12. DJRippert Avatar

    In an epic display of hypocrisy, the woman who spent decades falsely claiming to be a Native American calls Kevin McCarthy a liar.

    I guess American politicians, from both sides of the aisle, have no shame.


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