Browse the Profile in Courage Essay Contest News Release
By Peter Buttigieg
St. Joseph’s Tall School
South Bend, Indiana
In this new century, there are a daunting number of important problems which are to be confronted if we are to advance as a nation. Each needs to be addressed completely and energetically. But in order to perform the collective objectives of our culture, we must first address how we handle problems. We ought to re-examine the emotional and political environment of American politics. Because it stands, our future are at risk because of a troubling tendency towards cynicism among voters and elected officials. The successful resolution of each issue before us is based on might question of public integrity.
A new mindset has swept US politics. Prospects have discovered that's easier to be elected by not offending anyone instead of by impressing the voters. Politicians are rushing the center, careful never to stick their necks on problems. Most Democrats shy away from your message “liberal” like a horrid accusation. Republican presidential hopeful George W. Bush uses the centrist rhetoric of “compassionate conservatism” while Pat Buchanan, as soon as considered a mainstream Republican, was driven off the ideological side of the G.O.P. Just as film manufacturers shoot various endings and allow test audiences select the many pleasing, some candidates run “test platforms” through sample groups to see that is likely to win before they speak on major issue. This distressing trend reveals cynicism, a double-sided issue, that is perhaps, the best hazard toward continued success of United states governmental system.
Cynical applicants are suffering from a capability to outgrow their beliefs so that you can win power. Cynical citizens have given up on the election process, going to the polls at one of the cheapest rates in democratic world. Such an environment inevitably distances our society from its leadership and is hence significant hazard towards axioms of democracy. It also calls into question what motivates a run for office – in many cases, apparently, only the desire to occupy it. Fortunately the governmental procedure, there stay several committed folks who are steadfast sufficient in their values to perform for workplace to benefit their fellow Americans. Such people are ready to eschew political and individual comfort and convenience because they think they can really make a difference. One outstanding and inspiring exemplory instance of such integrity could be the nation’s just Independent Congressman, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.
Sanders’ courage is clear in the first word he uses to spell it out himself: “Socialist”. In a country in which Communism remains the dirtiest of ideological dirty words, in a weather where truly liberalism is known as radical, and Socialism is straight away and perhaps willfully confused with Communism, a politician dares to phone himself a socialist? He does indeed. Listed here is someone who has “looked into his or her own soul” and indicated an ideology, the endorsement which, in today’s governmental atmosphere, is analogous to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Despite the fact that he's resided through a time by which an admitted socialist cannot work in a film, aside from hold a Congressional chair, Sanders just isn't afraid to be candid about their governmental persuasion.
After numerous political defeats in his traditionally Republican state, Sanders won any office of mayor of Burlington by ten votes. An effective and popular mayor, he went on to win Vermont’s one Congressional seat in 1990. Since that time, he's taken many courageous and politically dangerous stands on dilemmas dealing with the nation. He's got come under fire from different conservative spiritual groups because of their support for same-sex marriages. His stance on gun control led to NRA-organized media campaigns against him. Sanders in addition has shown creativity in arranging drug-shopping trips to Canada for seniors to phone focus on inflated drug rates in the usa.
While impressive, Sanders’ candor will not itself represent governmental courage. The world is teeming with outspoken radicals in a single kind or another. The majority are sooner called crazy than courageous. It's the last half of Sanders’ political part that sets the first half into perspective: he could be a strong force for conciliation and bi-partisanship on Capitol Hill. In Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy wrote that “we should not be too hasty in condemning all compromise as bad morals. For politics and legislation aren't matters for inflexible maxims or unattainable ideals.” It may seem strange that some body therefore steadfast in his concepts has a reputation as a peacemaker between divided forces in Washington, but this is what makes Sanders undoubtedly remarkable. He represents President Kennedy’s ideal of “compromises of issues, maybe not of axioms.”
Sanders has utilized his unique position since the lone Independent Congressman to aid Democrats and Republicans force hearings regarding the internal framework of the Global Monetary Fund, which he sees as extremely powerful and unaccountable. He also succeeded in quietly persuading reluctant Republicans and President Clinton to ban the import of products created by under-age workers. Sanders received some critique from far kept as he made a decision to grudgingly endorse President Clinton’s bids for election and re-election as President. Sanders explained that while he disagreed with lots of Clinton’s centrist policies, he felt that he was the best option for America’s working class.
Sanders’ positions on numerous hard dilemmas are commendable, but their real effect was as a reaction to the cynical weather which threatens the potency of the democratic system. His power, candor, conviction, and capability to bring individuals together stay against the present of opportunism, ethical compromise, and partisanship which runs rampant in the American political scene. He and few others like him have actually the energy to restore concept and leadership in Congress and also to win back the faith of a voting public weary and wary of political opportunism. Above all, we commend Bernie Sanders for giving me personally a remedy to those that state American young adults see politics as a cesspool of corruption, beyond redemption. I have heard that no sensible young person today would want to provide his or her life to general public solution. I could actually guarantee you this really is untrue.
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“Homepage for Congressman Bernie Sanders.” http://www.house.gov/bernie (7 January, 2000).
Kennedy, John F. Profiles in Courage. Nyc: Harper & Brothers, 1956.
Nichols, John. “Go Knock on Some Doors: Bernie Sanders Appears Off.” The Progressive. Might 1996.