Perspective On Courage

1 comment December 29th, 2007at 08:09pm Posted by Eli

Brent Budowsky reminds us just how low the bar for political “courage” is set in this country:

Benazir Bhutto was no angel, but she was a believer in democracy who gave her life for her country, retuning to Pakistan knowing she would probably give her life for her country.

By contrast, Democrats in Washington have a life crisis, consult an army of pollsters, and have trouble taking clear leadership stands on war and peace because members of a Congress with record unpopularity might lose another point or two in the polls.

Our discredited politics in America has become a sad Kabuki dance of insiders congratulating and protecting each other, of pollsters and pundits uttering sweet nothings into the ears of politicians too fearful and self-indulgent to take even minimal risks for the higher values of our country.

Benazir Bhutto gives her life. Democrats in Washington cannot risk a point in the polls. Republicans in Washington cannot summon the courage to speak out against a president and war that many of them privately, silently, believe is a disaster for our country.

(…)

Give Al Gore credit for elevating the debate about climate change, but at a moment that our country, under George Bush, sabotaged the Bali summit, why isn’t Al Gore running for president?

Never have the man and the moment come together so perfectly as Al Gore for President in 2008. Never has any potential candidate been so clearly the heir to Roosevelt and Kennedy, never has any potential candidate so clearly embodied change when change is needed, and experience when experience is needed, as Al Gore for President in 2008.

Having supported Gore through campaigns and governance over a generation, words cannot express my disappointment, my sadness and to some degree my outrage that Al Gore had better things to do than be leader of the free world.

(…)

Does Al Gore, or anyone, seriously believe that any presidential candidate, in either party, is even remotely as committed to the battle to save the Earth from the planetary emergency as Gore? If the world is truly in danger of extinction unless major changes are made within the term of the next president, isn’t there some higher obligation to hold the one office that can lead the nation and the world toward those changes?

My hope is that Gore at least makes a major endorsement for change in the coming hours, but the real shame is that our strongest leader does not lead where it matters the most, and the voice of both experience and change is silenced on the most important debate about the future of our nation and the world.

Benazir Bhutto gave her life for her country; Democrats so often lack the courage of their convictions to risk even a few points in the polls; and Al Gore racks up the prizes and awards, no doubt deserved, but sadly silenced when the man who should have been leader of the free world had higher priorities.

Benazir Bhutto’s murder is a moment of outrage and sadness, of crisis and shock, but it is also a reminder of the power of hope, of the higher purpose of patriotism and of the higher truth that one woman can make a difference, if she gives enough of a damn to try and puts everything on the line for the cause she believes in and the country she loves.

Good-bye, Benazir. You may be gone, but you will be remembered and honored. Perhaps some day in the land that gave us Washington and Lincoln, some heroic leader will emerge once again, inspired by your courage and your example, and rise above the mediocrity and timidity of our times, as you did in yours.

Sigh. Much as I love Al Gore (and because I love Al Gore), Budowsky is right: We needed Al Gore to run for president. He was the only Democrat with the stature to win, and the intelligence and passion to start cleaning up the mess the Republicans and defensive-crouch Democrats have made over the last seven years. Who knows, perhaps he would have even inspired the Democratic party to start standing up to Republicans instead of progressives.

Sure, another campaign would have been a miserable hardship for Al, but it couldn’t have been any worse than Benazir Bhutto’s.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Gore,Politics,Republicans

1 Comment

  • 1. virgotex  |  December 31st, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    True about Gore.

    Also true about the extreme risk aversion of our current congressfolk- and that’s just what it is. They won’t even take mere risks, much less put their careers, or even more their lives, on the line.

    Hard to respect


Contact Eli





Feeds

Linkedelia!

Most Recent Posts

Archives

Categories

Calendar

December 2007
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  


Thinking Blogger

Pittsburgh Webloggers

Site Meter


View My Stats *