Most people have probably heard by now of the pathetic "Profile in Courage" award given to California Assembly and Senate Democrats Karen Bass and Darrell Steinberg, and current job-seekers, former Republican state legislators David Cogdill and Mike Villines.
These four received the "Profile in Courage" Award from the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library for voting and wheeling-dealing in the largest state tax increase in U.S. history last year.
This brings me to my main point, which is that I never read Profiles in Courage. All my life, I believed that the book was about heroes in WWII. Au contraire! It profiled previous politicians who'd fit the "profile" of the book - someone who crossed party lines or did something unpopular, just because they thought it was right. The original lineup was so undistinguished that I sort of question the alleged ghostwriter and researchers for Pres. Kennedy. Because if they covered this type of thing, they sort of left out people like Harry T. Burn, the Tennessee state representative who became the single vote by which the 19th Amendment was ratified and made part of the United States' Constitution. Mr. Burn had said ahead of the vote that he was likely to vote against it, and changed his mind at the last minute, having received a written request from his mother.
The 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in the United States - in August, 1920. Mr. Burn seems to have experienced negative results from women's suffragists - according to Wikipedia, "after the vote was ratified, angry anti-suffragists chased Burn through the Tennessee Legislature Hall, and Burn was forced to conceal himself for a short time until the tense situation had been defused." (Another website says that wasn't true).
But why would becoming the one deciding vote on allowing to women vote in the United States, and getting criticized by the very people you voted for be "courage"? Voting for the largest tax increase in U.S. history just in order to keep the horrible status quo going in Sacramento: That's a real "Profile in Courage." Profile in Courage book itself? A bunch of pathetic party-line crossing losers.
Just in case people forget what "courage is," courage is exemplified by GySgt. Carlos Hathcock, one of America's greatest warriors, and the most-feared sniper in Vietnam - respected by enemies and his fellow troops alike - modest, brave, but deadly-effective. Carlos' courage continued over the years, as he bravely faced life with multiple sclerosis and remained courageous to the end.
Back when these prizes, such as the Nobel Prize for Peace, were occasionally given to those who deserved them, Polish union leader and inspiration to the world Lech Walesa stood up to the communists and organized non-communist trade unions, later founding the Solidarity movement and freeing the entire nation of Poland from oppression.
I'll let King of the Badasses Ben Thompson describe Indian heroine Rani Lakshmibai, Queen of Jhansi: "Over the years, the Queen of Jhansi has become a near-mythical hero among the people of India for her role kicking ass during the 1857 Rebellion. She fought bravely, refused to surrender, and died the death of a martyr for freedom. She now has a couple statues in her honor, is included in all Indian history textbooks, met Flashman a couple times, and is so synonymous with being an asskicking chick that when the Indian National Army put together an all-female infantry unit during World War II they had the good sense to name it after her."
Look, I know my personal answer to this question, but do you? Which would you rather be - one of these four loser politicians all fighting to get their sweaty mitts over this questionable 'prize', or a real hero? Do you need an absolutely idiotic, bankrupt thing like this award to tell you what "courage" is? I'm confident in saying that very few people do, and I hope each of these awardees enjoys their little stick of pewter or whatever it was they got. That award they're fighting over looks like it would be pretty uncomfortable if forcibly applied where it really deserves to be. Shun them.