Second Thought

Looking again at news and commentary

U.S. News & World Report

"The general public and television commentators alike have expressed dismay in recent months that those who would lead the country have fallen so short in character. ...

"I think we're facing a bigger problem, and it's inherent in this very idea that leaders should cling to a higher moral code. What has happened is that we've come to expect less than that from ourselves. We have lost sight of how much it means to live a life of ... integrity, ... whether that life be private or public. Talking about presidential candidates is a convenient way to avoid talking about ourselves. ...

"A truly great society cannot be built even by the most pristine of leaders when the man on the street measures his own character by a lesser standard. If the spring of idealism and creativity in this country fails to revive, it will not be because one or two or three or more politicians disappoint us. It will be because we disappoint ourselves—maybe without even knowing it, maybe without caring—and continue to lose pride in the kind of people we are."

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Gratitude for government
January 23, 1989

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