Courage Is Needed as Cowardice Grabs Power

Courage is rare and noteworthy

We often think of courage that happens on the battlefields. While those actions are noteworthy, beyond what I probably could muster, a deeper courage emerges when actions are taken that counter popular sentiments for causes beyond the moment or the crowds.

We don’t often witness such courage. The rarity of such actions serves to make them even more noteworthy when they do occur.

Senator Romney honored for his courage

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The Associated Press reported and was noted in The Oregonian, of Senator Romney’s being honored for impeachment vote.

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney was named the recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Friday for splitting with his party and becoming the only Republican to vote to convict former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial.

The award was created by the family of the late president to honor public figures who risk their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good, and is named after Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles in Courage.”

“Romney’s commitment to our Constitution makes him a worthy successor to the senators who inspired my father to write ‘Profiles in Courage,’” JFK’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, said. “He reminds us that our Democracy depends on the courage, conscience and character of our elected officials.”

Senator Romney commented:

When I think of courage, I think of my Dad. … He did what was right regardless of consequence. I aspire to his example, though I have failed from time to time. We must subordinate our political fortunes to the causes of freedom, equal opportunity and truth, particularly as they are under assault here and abroad.

Cowardice tarnishes our democracy

Meanwhile, Georgia’s leadership show their cowardice as they usher in a sweeping bill that egregiously exacerbates voter suppression. Their collective fear is on full display as the state’s congress and Governor Brian Kemp put forth steps that will limit and even deny voter access to the ballot box. These elected officials take this stance regardless of the fact that voting is the fundamental foundation of our democracy: for the people, of the people, and by the people.

Tessa Stuart, writing for Rolling Stone, explains Everything You Need to Know About Georgia’s New Voting Law. She writes:

The new law, passed by both chambers of the state legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday, is designed specifically to address the controversies that engulfed the Peach State after the 2020 election …

It’s a potpourri of odious measures designed to make it harder for Georgians to vote and register, and easier for fringe groups to challenge their registration. It criminalizes “line-warming” or offering food and water to individuals waiting to vote, a practice that has become popular as the Georgia GOP has dramatically reduced the number of polling places over the past 10 years, increasing the amount of time voters — especially voters in mostly black precincts — must wait in line to cast their ballot.

“It’s criminalizing the normal activities you do to take care of our friends and neighbors,” Lauren Groh-Wargo, CEO of Fair Fight, the anti-voter suppression organization co-founded by Stacey Abrams, says of the provision.

The article further explains:

The new law also allows for unlimited challenges to a voter’s registration — a tactic that has been used to racially profile voters, intimidate them from voting, or knock them off the voter rolls completely.

Among the new law’s other provisions are restrictions on mail-in voting. Voters will be required to provide either their driver’s license or state ID number, or a photocopy of their identification to cast a mail-in ballot. It also bans third-party groups from sending absentee-ballot applications to voters, and ends the use of portable polling sites, like the mobile voting buses used in Democratic Fulton County last cycle. 

Cowardice is a character flaw

It needs to be said that such cowardice may currently reside within the Republican party but it is truly a character flaw of individuals. Though these leaders should know better (they took an oath to serve and protect the U.S. Constitution), they gather their resolve from each other and go forth and multiply. Their anti-democracy disease spreads. It can challenge the nation.

Hopefully, there will be other Republicans – leaders and voters – who will recognize the moment for what it is: a time for courage!

Elections should be free and fair and inclusive

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) rests on the principle of free and fair and inclusive elections. None of us should be denied the right to vote or to have our votes matter.

Sadly, courage is not as contagious as is the fear and denial that feeds cowardice. It can be enticing to reach for an approach that guarantees a result without giving due attention to the process. Denying citizens their right to vote freely and fairly sends a message that they don’t matter, their perspectives don’t matter, their votes don’t matter.

Democrats, too, have exercised suppression. Currently, it’s even more egregious than what Georgia is doing. As they clamor for a seemingly simple answer to presidential elections via the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, they therein defy the U.S. Constitution, ignore the sovereignty of states, and put more ballots (not fewer) at risk of not being represented in the electoral college. It shows the prevalence of a lack of political courage.

All Votes Matter! addresses our habitual process of denying tens of millions of presidential ballots their voting significance. The book explains how every vote can matter and, honoring our republic, make every state significant in our presidential elections.

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Click here to read the Introduction to All Votes Matter!
The book is available at popular online bookstores.

 

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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team

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