I fear that in every assembly, members will obtain an influence by noise not sense. By meanness, not greatness. By ignorance, not learning. By contracted hearts, not large souls. . .
It took a man of great principle to defend the soldiers at the Boston Massacre — and John Adams did so at enormous risk. I don’t think he gets his due for his indispensable role in helping win the war and shape this nation.
In the book: DUKE, We’re Glad We Knew You: John Wayne’s Friends and Colleagues Remember His Remarkable Life — in the forward is a 1979 article that includes the following:
To him a handshake was a binding contract. When he was in the hospital for the last time and sold his yacht, The Wild Goose, for an amount far below its market value, he learned the engines needed minor repairs. He ordered those engines overhauled at a cost to him of $40,000 because he had told the new owner the boat was in good shape.
When I was thinking about how to start this page, this 60-second scene from The Searchers came to mind — as it squares with the quote above:
“I Told Ya, Didn’t I!”
If politicians had such unshakable integrity — I could understand the relentless loyalty for them — but they’re the diametrical opposite of that.
Or as T.E. Lawrence said in Lawrence of Arabia
There may be honor among thieves but there’s none in politicians
It confounds me that our nation cheers for people who lie for a living
In 1939 reporters and politicians hastily walked out of a screening of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. According to Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, “the film was attacked as anti-American, and several politicians suggested the film shouldn’t even be released at all — that showing it would be very bad for the country.” In keeping with American tradition of sloganeering, since the movie was deemed “anti-American,” naturally it was also assailed for its “pro-Communist” sentiment.
Over time Mr. Smith came to be revered as a cultural icon for truth and justice, but we carried on the legacy of assigning “anti” to anything we refuse to examine.
Just get up off the ground, that’s all I ask.
Get up there with that lady that’s up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something.
And you won’t just see scenery; you’ll see the whole parade of what Man’s carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting.
Fighting for something better than just jungle law . . .
fighting so’s he can stand on his own two feet, free and decent, like he was created, no matter what his race, color, or creed.
That’s what you’d see.
Probably the most powerful of these group cohesive forces is narcissism.
In its simplest and most benign form, this is manifested in group pride. As the members feel proud of their group, so the group feels proud of itself.
A less benign but practically universal form of group narcissism is what might be called “enemy creation,” or hatred of the “out-group.”
We can see this naturally occurring in children as they first learn to develop groups.
It is almost common knowledge that the best way to cement group cohesiveness is to ferment the group’s hatred of an external enemy.
Deficiencies within the group can be easily and painlessly overlooked by focusing attention on the deficiencies or sins of the out-group.