Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
George Washington, letter, Aug. 17, 1779. Quoted in Maxims of Washington, “Virtue and Vice,” (1942).
Why is this generally true? Because our virtue always consists in acting on principle, even when it is not immediately beneficial; and so it is always assailed by the promise of instant gratification.
A twentieth-century author, Natalie Clifford Barney, wrote, “Most virtue is a demand for greater seduction.”
The unprincipled people who hold to “virtue” are holding out for a bigger bribe, or more likely, they already have their reward in the form of superficial praise and an inflated ego. That outward form of virtue is not what we aspire to.
That phony kind of virtue has led many “conservatives” astray during the administration of George Bush. They supposedly believed in the virtue of limited federal government, until more money was offered to them and their buddies. Then, all of a sudden, federal debt and radical intervention became “necessary.” Basically, anyone who calls themselves a “conservative Republican” right now looks like a complete idiot, all because of their fake virtue.