Are integrity and faith dead?
Replaced with image-making and opportunism?
We trust integrity. We have faith in those with integrity that they are being honest and forthright with us; that they are trying to do what is best for all. Selfishness and taking advantage of the weaknesses of others (most particularly us) for personal gain betrays that trust and causes a loss of faith.
At the core of every American is a fundamental belief in ourselves. A belief that we have the skill, the strength, and the duty to "do the right thing" for the benefit of all humankind. This faith in our "rightness" gives us the courage to act when others vacillate.
With a reputation for integrity, those who question will give us a degree of trust... pending the outcome. Without it, we further alienate others by acting, in their view, recklessly.