Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is Courage Really Allowed a Politician?

My short answer is "no."

My longer answer is that my definition of courage in politics is standing up for what is right in the face of strong opposition. Unfortunately strong opposition usually means voters, which means forfeiting any chance of being elected.

When a courageous stance becomes popular (as with Obama's initial opposition to the war) then the positions taken before are lauded as evidence of courage, but they were not actually taken in a courageous manner (specific to his position at the time).

I suppose that it may not be best to speak in less than glowing terms of the candidate that I will be voting for and whom I want a (large) majority of other Americans to vote for, but I sense a real feeling surrounding his candidacy that he will do many wonderful things, and the reality that will come to be will be harsh for many with such high hopes. He will not end our dependence on oil. He will not get the government fast out of debt. He will not get universal health care that is best for the people (eliminating or minimizing for profit insurance). He will not make housing affordable again. He will take steps in those directions, but they will be small.

We need real courage from our government to set goals, to force us to adapt to a new and different world. We need that, but, because it is difficult, because it takes us out of our comfort zone, we will not support it. We will not vote for it. If Obama becomes the champion of change that so many of his supporters want him to be, it will be very hard to get him re-elected. But if he does not, then he will be viewed as a failure.

This is all neverminding that the handful of GOPers that will be left in the halls of congress come January will probably do their damnedest to grind the government to a halt and prevent the change from happening.

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