When we use the word hero we generally think of a champion who has rescued us from some dreadful evil or done something so courageous that few of us, if given the same opportunity, would choose to take up the challenge. The hero is a person to whom we look as a savior, a winner.
But not all heroes were victorious. Sam Houston and Davy Crockett fell to the overwhelming power of Santa Anna’s army. King Leonidas and his Spartans fell to the Persians at Thermopylae. So we know that victory and heroism are not necessarily congruent.
What does it take to be a hero? Certainly the first requirement is that the hero must have a cause in which he believes – a righteous cause. That, of course, means that the hero subscribes to a value system which has formed him and shapes his worldview. It is inherent in heroism that the individual stay steadfast to principle, irrespective of the eventual outcome.
It is a sad commentary on human society that the hero is often only recognized as such posthumously. Perhaps it is true that a “Prophet is not without honor, except in his own country.” That may often be said of a hero as well. The recent flak over the partial government shutdown illustrates that point only too well.
Senator Ted Cruz (R – TX) has been demonized not only by the Democrats but by some members of his own party. It is understandable why members of the political opposition would engage in vitriolic rhetoric. The senator is attempting to stand in the way of theirs and the president’s signature piece of legislation.
He opposes their underlying premise that only the government knows what is best for the individual and that only the government has the right to decide what is good for the individual’s most fundamental rights – his or her health. He is making them look bad because he is doing something that his constituency sent him to Washington to do – a principle they have long forgotten.
Perhaps the problem is that far too many of those in Congress have been in Washington far too long. That is true on both sides of the aisle. These representatives and senators are no longer there to represent those who sent them but to entrench themselves in the beltway power structure and gain influence and prestige for themselves.
Their actions make them the strongest argument for a Constitutional amendment for term limits. If the Founding Fathers had foreseen how their successors would corrupt their high office, term limits might well have been incorporated in the Bill of Rights.
While the rallying cry for the administration and the Democrats is “change,” the only change they truly endorse is what they can force on the rest of the nation. For them the welfare of the people is, at best, inconvenient and, at worst, irrelevant. The recent refusal by the Democrats in Congress to include themselves in Obamacare is as clear a validation of that statement as any thinking person needs.
So is Senator Cruz a hero as his constituents and supporters believe or a radical who like the goat should be sacrificed? How does he compare to the president who, by the polls came out of this skirmish looking relatively less scathed?
If we return to the premise that a hero must adhere to principle it is hard to find any aspect of his life, let alone his life in politics, in which Obama could be described in that way. If the Nobel Prize Committee had an award for mediocrity, mendacity or simple laziness, Obama might top their list in all three categories. This president believes it is in his job description to govern based on polls rather than on sound policy or principles. That makes him a fierce political opponent – and a zero as a leader.
Setting aside partisanship as best as I might, I have only been able to find two statements that Obama, either as candidate or president has made which have held true. The first is that those who currently are unable to obtain insurance because of their previous health issues will have access to it. The second is that his presidency will change the fundamental character of America.
Sadly, that second statement doesn’t include the modifier that this would be for the better. And it may take an army of heroes and many years to overcome the damage which he has and will inflict on the country during his tenure.
If the voters in this country are wise, a matter that is at best questionable, we need to learn a lesson from those who have imposed a “zero tolerance” policy as it relates to drugs and guns in our schools. We need to embrace an attitude of having a “zero tolerance” attitude toward political hacks and work vigorously to elect those people who have the country’s true interests at heart and are the heroes we need to “deliver us from evil.”
Ironically, the law against which Senator Cruz fought courageously and for which he was crucified, Obamacare, is proving to be an amazing house of cards – just as he stated. Perhaps the signature on this “signature legislation” which we will most remember is that belonging to the coroner as he signs its death certificate.