- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2009


The conservative Republican Party needs to have enemies in order to thrive politically (“Humility can be a false virtue,” Commentary, Thursday). Republicans want us living in everlasting fear of foreign adversaries. Many in the party don't want President Obama to be a peacemaker who reaches out to leaders of countries whose cultures and ideologies differ from our own.

False humility is not virtuous, but genuine humility is never a false virtue. As a young man, Benjamin Franklin listed humility as one of the 13 virtues he believed were necessary for living a successful life. To emulate Jesus and Socrates was Franklin's formula for living humbly.

I don't believe arrogance is ever a virtue. George W. Bush began his eight-year presidency saying our country would conduct a more humble foreign policy, but his administration instead operated from an arrogant position of power. America does not win friends or gain global influence by flexing its military muscles and causing other nations to live in fear of our mighty nuclear weapons.

Kudos to Mr. Obama for having the courage and strength to call for a world without nuclear weapons. Would that not please God, the creator of all humankind? The motto “In God We Trust,” which graces U.S. currency, is a hypocritical slogan if we do not believe it is possible for the global community to begin turning weapons of war into, for instance, farming implements to feed a hungry world.


Louisville, Ky.

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