PMMJ (cheetahmaster) wrote,

"As a child of the inflated innocence of the Fifties I was raised to believe in the George Washington 'I cannot tell a lie' cherry tree fable, Honest Abe, faithful Ike and devoted-to-Jackie JFK.

"By the time I was in my twenties I was experiencing the presidency of LBJ and then Nixon.

"One was sending men off to what he insisted was a just war while privately confessing to his friends it was not winnable. The other was the picture of public piety while privately he was a profane bigot and paranoid liar. I finished the century with Bill Clinton and I was a long way from the sanitized history of my youth.

"I have come to know the temptations and hubris of great power, the subjectivity of the virtue of honesty. I have also come to the conclusion that honesty and morality are not inconsistent with great leadership.

"Most of all, I want leaders who when they fail to meet those tests are honest enough to acknowledge their errant ways.

"The American people have so much invested in the presidency and they see the complexity of the office with great clarity, but they also have basic standards and the presidents who fail to meet them or acknowledge them do so at their peril."

-Tom Brokaw, The Disillusioned Generation

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