A young Florida cattleman seeking his fortune acquired a business loan from the Exchange Bank of Tampa, leased 14,000 thousand acres near the Everglades and spent hot sweaty months stringing barbed wire, pole by pole, around the 15 mile perimeter.  Emmett Sumner then purchased 300 head of steer and transported them several hundred miles. It was 1947.

By October 1949, Emmett’s first challenge, a surprise interloper, a late hurricane, pounded South Florida drenching his pastures leaving the steer knee deep in water that receded too slowly over the long wet month.  The steer barely subsisted.

Emmett’s next blow also appeared from the sky:  horse flies by the millions, antagonizing the cattle, sucking away his life savings.  The tormented steer could not withstand this second disaster.  He sold them for 12 1/2 cents on the dollar a 50% loss.  It was 1950. The young Florida cattleman’s word was his bond.  No storm could blow it away.

His steer were lost, his future would change.  But his word and handshake meant more than cattle and career.  Hat in hand, Emmett visited his Tampa banker promising to make the loan good - if only given more time.  He secured a job as foreman at US Phosphoric Products, working double shifts for six years while raising his young family. He repaid every dime. Today, many would not fault a man walking away from a loan like that, rationalizing that he was not responsible for the hurricane or flood.

“By their actions we shall know them”.  In this hurricane season of presidential candidates’, words blow across America like hot July air and flashes of lightning occasionally illuminate candidates’ character. (Matthew 7:20)

Hillary Clinton , like a weather vane, spins with the wind.

One day she lies to 340 million people, “it’s a you tube video”, the next day she tells her daughter it’s a “terror attack”.  Today it’s “sniper fire”, tomorrow, children delivering flowers. She says she “misspoke”. Integrity and truthfulness obviously are absent from her character.

Other candidates aspiring to the pinnacle of power have also revealed their character flaws this political season.  After promising each other and signing this pledge: “I ___ affirm that if I do not win the 2016 Republican nomination for president of the United States, I will endorse the 2016  Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is”  five presidential candidates reneged on their word.  Obviously their word is NOT their bond.

These elite presidential candidates graduated from the finest schools yet they never learned:  integrity counts.

Honoring a commitment does not require a college degree.  A 26 year old cattle hand with a Brandon High School diploma, understands more about handshakes and integrity than upper class Ivy men and women who refuse to honor their word.  In another word: These candidates have NO class.

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity.”                         – Dwight David Eisenhower