Civic virtue anyone?

Slated on Backbone Radio, March 16 Listen every Sunday, 5-8pm on 710 KNUS, Denver.. 1460 KZNT, Colorado Springs... and streaming live at

Civic virtue is an old idea you won't hear about on the cable channels, but it's alive and well on our radio show. It means the moral qualities and character attributes required of citizens in a free society. Integrity, honesty, probity, and trustworthiness, being in fact what you claim to be, stand high on any list of indispensable civic virtues -- and they are even more essential in officers of the public trust than in private citizens. This, not the childish squabble over sexual mores, is the lesson of the spectacular downfall of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer after this week's prostitution scandal. Once his crusading career of public righteousness was shown to be a sustained fraud, he was at least man enough to resign. The Hillary Clinton super-delegate stopped short of Bill Clinton-style shamelessness.

So the Empire State moves on under new Gov. David Paterson, and our attention will soon return to the presidential race, the dwindling credibility of Bill Ritter, and the Rockies' upcoming season. On Backbone Radio this Sunday we'll look at the condition of civic virtue in America -- top to bottom, not just among the famous -- and we'll survey the headlines as well as the spiritual weather on Palm Sunday 2008. I hope you will be listening.

** Former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, state chairman for McCain, will update us on the Republican nominee's campaign. Black conservative commentator Joseph C. Phillips will size up the Obama-Ferraro flap, the howling Rev. Wright, and other race-laden concerns on the Democratic side.

** Plus a deeper look at the war with radical jihadism from Marvin Hutchens of, and the latest common sense from Rocky Mountain News columnist Jay Ambrose, our politically incorrect Backbone regular.

"Our constitution," as John Adams said to Thomas Jefferson, "was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Power checking power, as with the federal prosecutors who brought down Spitzer, is one safeguard for liberty; but the only ultimate safeguard is civic virtue. Which is, come to think of it, backbone by another name. That's why we do this program!

Yours for self-government, JOHN ANDREWS