jfk’s profiles in courage

In John F. Kennedy’s book Profiles in Courage, he defines political courage as one’s need to maintain his own respect for himself and because of his conscience, his personal standards of ethics that is stronger than the pressures of public disapproval and his course was the best one, that it out weighed his fear of public reprisal.
In my personal opinion of political courage, I believe it is doing what one feels is right besides what opinions or desires other might have. I believe my definition of political courage is similar to Kennedy’s in that political courage comes from within, not from the wants of others. Kennedy feels when one is faced with an important decision; one must look beyond public disapproval and look inside to make the correct decision. In Kennedy’s book he says some (Senators) demonstrated courage through their unyielding devotion to absolute principal. One person who did this was Edmund Ross. Edmund Ross was the deciding vote in the impeachment trial of President Johnson. Facing pressures from his own political party and the state he represented to impeach Johnson, Ross voted against the impeachment. Ross felt that if the president were impeached, it would show that our country does not have faith in the leader it elected and would make our country weaker. Kennedy stated in his book that it is on national issues, on matters of conscience that challenge party and regional loyalties that the test of courage is presented. I believe the actions of Edmund Ross are perfect examples of what Kennedy meant by courage. In Profiles in Courage, Kennedy stated that, living in a true democracy, we put our faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment, faith that the people will not condemn those whose principles lead them to unpopular course, but will reward courage respect and honor to what is recognizabl

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