03/08/14 — Courage lost: What happened to those who actually stand for something?

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Courage lost: What happened to those who actually stand for something?

 One of the most uncommon of attributes in today's political world is guts.

You see it at almost every level of political discourse.

It could be a politician or party leadership bowing to a special interest group out of fear of lost votes or dwindling donations.

It could be a promise made that is tossed aside when it is politically expedient to move in the other direction or when the attacks begin.

Or it could manifest in party faithful who blindly follow leaders into an abyss of partisanship simply because they do not have the fortitude to stand for what is right rather than what they have been told to say.

And then there are those for whom the election is the thing. They are more than willing to hide behind neutrality rather than to stand firm behind a principle. This group is also the most likely to spin an answer or to simply avoid a question to keep the truth from coming to light.

It is not about the answer or making things better -- it is about staying in office.

And the last are the ones who are the most dangerous.

It might seem like the Ukraine is very, very far away. And a country weary from years of war in the Middle East might be more than willing to turn away.

That caution and concern are acceptable and understandable.

But it is not right.

America has always been a place that stood up to bullies and a country that fights for what is right even when it is not our battle.

We mean what we say about freedom. Or, at least we used to.

Who knows for sure what should be done right now as the Russians continue to march across a country whose citizens made the decision to toss out their corrupt Russian-backed leadership.

But one thing is certain. It cannot be done effectively from Florida or the Virgin Islands.

This is a crisis as serious as the ones many of our leaders of the past faced. It is a standoff with a world power that seems bent on hostile and violent relations with countries that are unable to fight back.

And we are the country that the world has looked to in the past to take a stand, to draw a line and to mean it.

But we have lost something in the last few years, a courage and duty that we were entrusted with by the Greatest Generation and that has been cared for by the generations of American military men and women who have fought for their country and freedom since.

It is time to stand up, to speak, to lead and to stand firm for the principles that matter.

It is time to live up to that flag, that pledge and the promises we have made to those who have fought and died for freedom.

It is time to demand guts and to see if there are still leaders out there who are willing to take on that mantle.

It is time to remember that there are principles worth defending and stands worth taking.

It is time for hope and change -- for real this time.

And it should begin with a good hard look at Russia -- and a message to those who are watching to see if America is for real.

Published in Editorials on March 8, 2014 11:39 PM