Courage in high places in short supply

Avoiding strong stands and pandering to your political base is in among world leaders, author says – Linked on our blogs with Danny Schechter, USA. Published on Al Jazeerea, by Danny Schechter,  Dec. 21, 2011.

… Hip, Hip Hooray!

Having guts is no longer a path to glory; avoiding strong stands and pandering to your political base is in. Courage in these circles is an anomaly, something occasionally to be referenced and immediately forgotten. 

Is it any wonder then that a wave of revulsion against corrupt and out of touch politicians is sweeping so many lands: Egypt, Russia, China and here at home.

No wonder TIME Magazine made “The Protester” its Person of the Year.

It takes courage these days to try to deal with the world that these politicians and their bankster buddies have given us. They think they control the system, even as it is imploding and collapsing all around them.

This does not mean that right will trump wrong. The System is still very powerful with its militarised police forces and armies of occupation. While they are being challenged, it is not yet strong enough to overthrow them.

A new round of Wall Street bonuses in the billions are soon to be paid out. The politicians meanwhile have laid out a direction that will only further demean our Constitution and its first amendment rights.

Will we all be seeing each other next in Guantanamo? That’s a trick question, what with our over-stuffed prisons and economy still in decline. The newly passed NDAA bill will compound the fear and intimidation in a “homeland” that a coterie of Republican and Democrats want to turn into a battlefield.

Is this what the Mayans meant when they predicted that 2012 would mark the end of the world?

As you know, when non-violent protest is ineffective, violence is sure to follow. Cops care less about courage when confrontations lead to bigger overtime pay. There are many among us who are standing up, but, as we are seeing in Cairo, the deepest hopes of a people can be officially romanced and then brutally repressed.

We need to remember some past greats who encouraged bravery, like Winston Churchill, who said, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others”. Or Martin Luther King Jr, who implored us to “build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear”.

In our era, in order to be visible and inspire change, political courage demands and depends on media courage as well, as the latter must be willing to shine the light on the darkness of our times and encourage leaders to speak out and lead without always first putting up a finger to see which way the wind is blowing. (full text).

(News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org. He is the author of When News Lies).

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