Archive for February 2nd, 2021

The Cowardice

“Call him tyrant, murderer, pirate, bully; and he will adore you, and swagger about with the consciousness of having the blood of the old sea kings in his veins. Call him liar and thief; and he will only take an action against you for libel. But call him coward; and he will go mad with rage: he will face death to outface that stinging truth. Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one; and that one is his cowardice. Yet all his civilization is founded on his cowardice, on his abject tameness, which he calls his respectability.”

― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

I’ve been plowing for an hour already this morning and it’s not even yet 7 AM. It looks like there is a lot of work today outside the studio. Even so, I wanted to stop to make one comment on what I have been seeing lately. Well, actually it’s been evident for years but it has really coalesced in recent times.


Complete and abject cowardice.

I used the Shaw quote at the top to illustrate my point but in this case I believe that Shaw, that great observer of the human condition, might be wrong. Most of these people know they are cowards and don’t even have the spine to react with faux righteous indignation when the word is yelled in their face.

I am, of course, speaking of the modern Republican party. Not the party of Lincoln. There is a moral bankruptcy there that is staggering and it is all driven by the fact that there is not a soul in that party willing to match action with words in doing what is right.

What they know is right. They know that they are plowing ahead on lies and lunacy at this moment.

And that is the difference between courage and cowardice. Courage is knowing what is right and what must be done then doing that thing while accepting the consequences of doing so, even if it puts that person in personal peril.

The type of cowardice we are witnessing is beyond the opposite of courage. A coward who admits his cowardice has the potential for redemption. That’s not what we’re seeing here.

Nearly all the members of this party party understand what is right and wrong. They know what they should do in service the oath they have sworn to their country. But they refuse to do so and create all sorts of excuses and obfuscations, trying in vain to either validate or cloak the reprehensible motives that seem to be behind this party today.

And they barely utter a peep in response to those who point out their gutlessness, that call them cowards to their faces.

I don’t see anybody in this party willing to change that anytime soon and that is a sad state of affairs for their constituents and for this nation. I often have thought that this time is a perfect opportunity for someone of that party to step boldly and bravely step forward, to state the beliefs and goals that they hold that are righteous and to outline a new direction for that party. Someone to call out the bonds that now exist between this party and white supremacists. Someone willing to extend a hand to others and make their tent more inclusive instead of relying on chicanery to suppress votes.

Why not just make their party in a way that they can simply get more votes from everyone, from all creed and colors? Is that asking too much?

Maybe so. That would take courage and a total rejection of the cowardice that now encompasses this party. It would be almost Lincolnesque.

Then maybe they could again proudly call themselves the Party of Lincoln.

I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I also want to point out that the Democrats are not immune to cowardice, that they too often suffer from a lack of courage. In fact, it has been their unwillingness to boldly do what they know is right when they solely possess the moral high ground that has allowed the darker aspects of this political world to rise. They sometimes seem timid and fearful of exercising the power they have campaigned for so long to possess.

If they truly have the moral high ground and do things that benefit the greater portion of the population, things that makes the lives of everyday folks better in some way, they have nothing to fear. 

I don’t have any answers, of course. I am a simpleton sitting in the woods, getting ready to go out and plow. But I do have one bit of wisdom to share:

Both courage and cowardice are contagious and you are a carrier.

Choose your malady well.

I know I said I was taking some time off from doing this and I am and will. I just needed to vent a bit this morning. Hope you understand and thank you for reading.

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