Lindsey Graham deserves a profile in courage award.
In days gone by a person’s allegiance to what was best for the country took precedence over what was best for the political party that one was affiliated with. It is hard to find any examples of political courage these days. Party loyalty is most difficult to go up against.
You can easily see the personal struggle that Senator Graham of South Carolina is going through. He has waffled back and forth on what to do, should he be the party loyalist or do what his conscience says is the right thing to do.
To understand Lindsey Graham more fully it is to know that his military background as a JAG officer defines him. As a prosecutor and defense attorney under the Air Force, honor and duty are basic and integral to his personal code. He is a son of the South.
The South is changing and he is a representative of that change that is taking place.
South Carolina was the first to sign the Articles of Confederation and it was a leader of the Nullification Movement and the first state to secede. They even refused to sign the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote. They waited until the late sixties to finally formally agree with the amendment.
South Carolina is more than the picture of an Antebellum era with Spanish Moss hanging from a tree and people sipping Mint Juleps. It is more than a picture of a bygone era when slaves were sold at the slave market in Charleston.
Senator Graham and younger politicians in South Carolina like Nikki Haley, Jenny Horne and Dan Cooper are representatives of a new South. All of them led the way in deciding to take the Rebel flag down. It was ironic and poetic to have Jenny Horne a relative of Jefferson Davis and Dan Cooper a relative of Strom Thurmond have a key role in their decision to remove the symbol of slavery and racial injustice from their state capital.
Senator Graham has stated that “Donald Trump a race baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my Party. He doesn’t represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for.” He went further at a later time and said in referring to Donald Trump and his statement regarding Judge Curiel. “This is the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy,” he continued, ” If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it.” “There will come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”
Graham had his Thomas Paine moment.
Thomas Paine in a most profound quote addressed the idea of patriotism a long time ago. He said, ” These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
This is no ordinary election. This election is really about who we are as a people and what values that we wish to preserve as we go forward as a nation and as a people. It is easy to be the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot. It is easy to be patriotic when all is good and nothing is on the line. Well, things are not sunny and it is not the summer of our country’s history, our very values are under attack. Equality under the law and the very rule of the law are under attack. We are being called upon to fight for our values as other generations of Americans are called upon to protect. This is the summer of our discontent.
Senator Graham and I might disagree on a lot of issues but of this we can be certain, Senator Graham is patriotic. Senator Graham has stood up for Judge Curiel and the rule of law.
We are all being called into action to defend our values and in particular equal justice under the law. May courage and patriotism be called to order as we face the test of a generation. He deserves a profile in courage. We should thank Senator Graham as he deserves the love and thanks of man and woman, for his service to his country.