Dante in Devine comedy prophesied a sentence that last the generations as he said, “the hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in a time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality”.
President Kennedy said the same thing through different version, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. Michael Cohen confession of truth showed us that some republicans unfortunately changed it to “ask not what your party can do for you, ask what you can do for your party”. I assume all politician should read Dante in Devine Comedy.
American history has taught us that one man or women of courage makes a majority by time and changes history, from Martin Luther King to Gloria Steinem history has repeat itself. Courage to serve the nation rather than party needs just a calling to service. Martin Luther king said, “you do not have to have a college degree to serve, you only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love and you can be that servant.”
There are many who pursue moral principle rather to pursue popularity such as previous Secretory of Labor Hilda Solis (advocate for environmental protections for minority communities), congressman John Lewis (civil right movements) and President Gerald Ford (reconciliation for the soul of the nation). They have the courage to stand for justice, freedom and rule of law. They acted on moral principle regardless of its cost to their popularity. They learned from early president of our nation which resonate with them these words ‘the magistrate is the servant.” What happened to our moral compass? Did the magnetic field of morality die with passing generations or can we revitalize it again? I believe that latter is the true and history has shown the case.
There are many in political system that have political courage in the face of pressures: “The way to get along”, should not be “to go along” when nation moral principle is at cost. Compromise in political systems sometime not only needed but essential, but when we see our politicians compromise the principle, we should ask ourselves what kind of government we want? As President Kennedy once said, “the virus of Potomac river, which rages everywhere in Washington, breeds nowhere in more virulent form than on the Senate floor.…or as Jefferson said it “machinations”. I saw it in recent Michael Cohen (a sinner who found redemption by telling the truth and deep confession) and how republican and democrat fought for the soul of our nation. On one side, we see a political party is denying the reality and truth by any means, presenting moral corrosion and shooting the messenger rather than looking for the source. They remind me of movie Terminator (1984) when Sarah Connor asked Reese about the Terminator, is he a human? He said, no, he is a machine, Cyberdyne System Model 101, not a robot but a cyborg, part man and part machine, microprocessor controlled. They all said the same thing trying to discredit Mr. Cohen rather to find the truth. What happened to the Party of Lincoln? as speaker of the house Paul Ryan once said. On the other side of isle now is the party who are defending the life, liberty and pursue of happiness. President John Quincy Adams said he refused to achieve a success by becoming what he termed a “patriot by profession” rather patriot by virtue. Where is our politicians’ patriotic duties? As chairman Cummings recently said, “we are better than this. The greatest gift that we can give to our children is making sure that we give them a democracy that is intact and better than the one we came upon.”
The Profiles in courage that has been named in the honor of president JFK remind us that, “great crisis produce great men and great deeds of courage”. We had many example in the past, such as Senator Robert Taft (a republican defending the rule of law), President and senator John Quincy Adams (a Federalist stand for principle), senator Henry Clay (preservation of union), Senator Daniel Webster (work with Henry clay to prevent civil war), Senator and Vice president John C Calhoun (South Carolina), senator Sam Houston (prevent civil war), and Representative Ms. Gabby Gifford (was shot defending for gun control), and many others exemplify of these profiles. Most recently, Admiral McRaven was an example of this courage who stands up to tyranny not only to Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden but to President Trump. Bravery not only on physical battlefield, but on moral battlefield shows the true character of a great soldier. This is the Leadership and not the salesmanship. On the opposite, some of our senators unfortunately practice salesmanship rather than leadership in recent Cohen confession session. They should remember America’s history and what sacrifices the American forefather endured. They also should learn from another brave hero comes from Charlottesville Virginia, Heather Heyer, an amazing American woman, gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, her life, when she was run over by enemy of America for protesting her human and civil rights. They tried to shut her up, but her message was magnified by 1000 folds.
It is profiles in courage of those who desire to maintain the reputation for integrity of our nation make our nation great. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “freedom makes huge requirement of every human being, with freedom comes responsibility”. This kind of courage requires from all of us to participate in all aspects of political life as this is the government of the people, by the people and for the people and it is our responsibility to keep it so for generations to come and defend it. What happens to our country and to the world, depends on what we do with what others have left us through their great sacrifices.