Political courage is as scarce as hen's teeth. It's almost to the point where we can confidently say, "Show me a politician and I'll show you a coward." Don't search for it at senior levels of most businesses either. Look at all the Hewlett-Packard senior execs running for the hills or jumping into foxholes. What kind of CEO doesn't read a report about a program as volatile as investigating a leak from the board?
And when we're not treated to their kind of "She did it; not me" cover up for a bad idea that went even more badly, we're watching members of the House and Senate dodging left and right to avoid having to speak their minds. Then finally, like a breath of fresh air, and after watching him befriend those who are not his friends, Bill Clinton spoke up. What he said to Fox News' Chris Wallace was a long time coming - a very long time coming. And let's hope it puts a dent in the devious pre-election game of Spread the Osama Blame.
The Democrats should take a lesson from both the position Wallace was trying to put Clinton in and how he responded. The upcoming election isn't primarily about the economy or about illegal immigration. It isn't even primarily about two wars sapping America of its defensive capability or national security, though these are crucial elements. This election is first and foremost about bringing back honesty and courage so that our other pressing problems may be effectively solved in the best interests of the American people as a whole. It's about taking back America from self-serving people who seek to destroy it for their advantage. Those who hold the majority of power now are far from the gang that couldn't shoot straight, though clearly one of them can't. These people possess a conniving intelligence and the "mobocratic spirit" about which Abraham Lincoln warned in his Lyceum speech. Unpunished for their lawlessness their sort become "lawless in practice," and, having gotten away with so much, become, Lincoln warned, "unrestrained." Then, step-by-step they disassemble rights, "till all the walls erected for the defense of the persons and property of individuals, are trodden down, and disregarded."
So disdain as we might excessive polarity at this time, there is also much to be said for knowing what America is truly up against and having the courage to send it packing. President Clinton made a start the other day. Let's hope he and others like him don't back away. It's time to send a loud-and-clear message to all talking head pathetic press puppets and their gratuitous owners calling anything "news" that involves a camera and a desk. We need to see more of the kind of refusal to be bullied that Bill Clinton demonstrated in order to be better served by the press. Bullies don't respond to reason. They just keep coming until you shake their world. The upcoming election is a chance to do that in government -- a precious opportunity to prevent, as Lincoln called for, the giant oaks of our heritage being shorn of their foliage and mutilated by the most base instincts of men.
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