Courage is like a muscle. The more we exercise it, the stronger it gets. I sometimes worry that our collective courage is growing weaker from disuse. We don't demand it from our leaders, and our leaders don't demand it from us.
We may have learned important lessons from the intelligence failures that preceded the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But I'm not sure we set a reassuring example to the rest of the country by declining to punish anyone involved in those failures. Not one person was fired or was moved by his or her conscience to resign.
When there's an absence of courage, greed and selfishness take over.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.Even dyed-in-the-wool Democrats like me can find value in this piece. If, as I suspect, McCain turns out to be our next president, I hope he practices what he so wisely preaches in this essay.