dark times

A man named Robert Ingersoll once said “The greatest test of courage is to bear defeat without losing heart.”

I don’t think so.

Some defeats are easier to bear than others; to be defeated by someone with similar values, but a different roadmap calls for humility more than courage, I disagree with people I think are evil, but I also disagree with those I think are simply wrong, losing to a debating partner is one thing; losing to an enemy is quite another. But in both cases, “my defeat” is not the problem — the triumph of what is either wrong or evil is the problem.

The greatest test of courage is watching the triumph of evil without losing heart.

This calls for a particular and painful type of courage for those who are self-aware and self-critical, because there is necessarily a self-questioning, both of perspective and of the appropriateness of continuing action.

For me, this is such a time. I do not believe that the Democratic nominee was flawless. She is someone who will manipulate and milk the system, for her own purposes — but those purposes included the advancement of causes beyond herself. I believe that the Republican nominee is someone entirely self-interested (though not against allowing benefits reaped to spill out to others as an afterthought). But I also believe that rather than being satisfied to manipulate the American governmental system of checks and balances, even with a ‘friendly’ congress, he will do everything he can to dismantle checks and balances and restraints on his power. He is by far the more dangerous.

She acts in a way that allows the preservation of a system that can call her to account. He acts in a way that dismisses and dismembers anything that could stand in a position to call him into account.

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