Owning up to mistakes is important


At an event in Jennings County honoring my father, former Gov. Edgar D. Whitcomb, state Representative Jim Lucas introduced himself to me, saying, “I am proud to consider myself carrying on your father’s legacy.”

My upbringing prevented me from responding, “In case you did not know, my father was in the Senate, and you are in the House of Representatives.”

I would also have told him that my father, whose five children attended public school, would never sponsor a bill that allowed guns to be taken to school.

The news that Rep. Jim Lucas was arrested for driving while intoxicated, for leaving the scene of an accident and causing endangerment, tells me that he is more different from my father than he could ever imagine.

Like my father, Lucas served in the armed forces. He makes a very big point of his service as a Marine. I am curious as to how he would reconcile his conduct on the night of May 30th. In case you are not familiar with the code, it reads this way:

Honor guides Marines to exemplify the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior. Never lie, never cheat or steal; abide by an uncompromising code of integrity; respect human dignity and respect others. Honor compels Marines to act responsibly, to fulfill our obligations and to hold ourselves and others accountable for every action.

I understand that no one is perfect, including my father or myself. What I do not understand is how Rep. Lucas justifies his conduct in light of his Marine Corp values. If life is so tough that alcohol is the only answer, for goodness sakes, stay off the road. Shortly after my father died, my son was arrested for driving under the influence, and he went to rehab and came out a stronger person. Owning up to mistakes is important.

This is an opportunity for Rep. Lucas to step back and assess his obligation to his community. I know that politics is very different from when my father served, but I like to think that basic decency is still a standard.

Trish Whitcomb, Seymour

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