Monday, October 18, 2010

A Handshake Still Means Something

My late Great Uncle was an old school West Texas oilman. And I remember him telling me that in that the old days, oil deals were done on a handshake. The follow-up paperwork was a formality. A handshake meant something back then in Texas.

I am a bit old school myself in that regard. To me, if I shake your hand, it means I acknowledge you as an honorable person . . . or at least give you the benefit of the doubt in that regard. I cannot recall ever withholding a handshake (except as a courtesy when I was sick and contagious). But I sure can imagine situations in which I would.

What brings up the subject of handshakes? Over the weekend, Rand Paul very publically refused to shake the hand of his opponent Jack Conway at a Kentucky debate for a U. S. Senate seat.

To which, I say, good for Dr. Paul! There is a time to stop pretending that certain men are honorable, when it is not right even to go through a common formality that furthers such pretense. And Conway has proven himself to be dishonorable with his desperate and bizarre attacks on Dr. Paul.

Paul’s refusal is courageous and risky as history shows. But sometimes withholding a handshake is just the right thing to do. Kudos to Dr. Paul for doing the right thing.

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