Let’s not pull any punches here about General Michael Flynn. Let’s not make this political. Let’s keep this about personal brand.
Former US Army Lt. General Michael Flynn may have once been characterized as a man of honor, a man of integrity, and a man who would do anything for his country and the people who live here. However his actions in this case does to many people speak louder than words.
At the moment, Michael Flynn presents a shocking lack of integrity, responsibility, accountability and leadership.
It is not beyond the pale to take his own words and actions and consider him more someone running from responsibility and truth than an individual of respect. Even his supporters are departing for the figurative hills to escape being cast in the same shadows as the man who once led Americans into battle and claimed to have the soul of the American people first and foremost in his thoughts.
For Flynn, there is no doubt when it all began to unravel.
Flynn started this now infamous chant in order to curry favor with then-Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump and seek to ingratiate his way into a White House job. It was so thinly transparent in the moment. Flynn made the decision to attach this moment to his image, and he was undoubtedly convinced in his actions and his words, with no worries how it would impact him later in life.
Flash forward to this day.
If you’re innocent, why take the Fifth Amendment? If you have nothing to hide and have been truthful, why hide behind a Constitutionally protected edict?
Taking the 5th is something that, in the past, President Trump has found abhorrent.
This is not a commentary about President Donald Trump. However, in light of the story unfolding and unraveling, it is germane to the issue at hand in pointing out that as Flynn’s integrity has crumbled, indicating a willingness to tell his story only if he has immunity from prosecution, refusing to turn over documents under subpoena, and stating his stance on refusing to testify for fear it might incriminate him, Trump’s unwavering loyalty has dragged him into the fray.
The old saying is one that every single person concerned with protecting their image, whether it be personal or professional, no matter the political affiliation, must stand by it’s meaning without question.
With all apologies to my wonderful furry kids and the rest of the canine world that does not deserve to be so insulted, “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas”. First attributed to Benjamin Franklin in his “Poor Richard’s Almanack”, (yes, it was spelled with the final “k”), those involved here need to realize the taint to their reputations and image.
My sainted Granny always told me, “People will judge you byt he company you keep”. Perhaps you don’t agree that’s right, but it’s the way of the world. You better get used to it.
As a member of the US Army, Michael Flynn served his country for 33 years. But the path he has taken since removing his uniform for the final time should indeed make everyone question his level of honesty and integrity while serving.
Your image is the single most important thing in your life. What you do during your life of suspect nature will come back to haunt you, IF you seek to hide it and lie. Which is exactly what Flynn has done in numerous cases.
While this lesson will be taken by some as being a political attack, it’s anything but. What we have discussed here is based on fact. Hard, provable fact. Let’s not forget the words and actions of Flynn himself.
If you have nothing to hide, if you have held your personal and professional image to the highest standards, then fear no investigation. Welcome it. Embrace it. Do everything you can to prove you are the individual of integrity you know you are and others believe you to be.
If you have made mistakes, then admit them. Immediately. Openly. Again, without fear. There is no more pure light than the one of truth, and you should bask in it every chance you get.
Mike Lupica is a noted newspaper columnist who appears on various TV networks. He was hoping that if Flynn wants to hide behind the 5th Amendment, he be made to do it in an open setting. Lupica suggested something along the lines of a “perp walk”, where the accused is walked before the cameras heading to a court appearance.
Flynn once served his country with honor. Now, that pride and integrity is under serious question. His entire career hinges on his actions now. The image, reputation and level of leadership he takes into history is on the brink. For if a man is so terrified of admitting to his actions over a short period of time, why would anyone believe anything he has said or done in the past? Why should anyone believe he served his country with distinction when he could have easily been lying through his teeth?
Face the people, Flynn. Face the nation you swore to protect. Put your image and integrity there for everyone to see and exonerate yourself. Look people in the eye, admit what you’ve done and seek forgiveness while facing whatever punishment that might be forthcoming.
That is the honorable thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. It speaks directly to your integrity. Your Image. Your supposed leadership. And it’s a lesson for everyone, personally and professionally.
Or don’t. Hide. And suffer the consequences that will follow you into history.
The choice is his. And in life, the choice is always yours.