Saturday, April 19, 2008

Imperfect heroes

Power Line has the transcript of a speech given at the White House by Wilfred McClay in honor of the 265th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's birth. The whole speech is worth reading, but these lines are extraordinary:
Our era is possessed by a small-minded rage against the very idea that imperfect men can still be heroes. But we badly need such heroes. In fact, we can’t live without them.

Perhaps, in the past, we have been too prone to place our forebears on a pedestal. But it is far worse, to feel compelled always to cut the storied past down to the size of the tabloid present. Perhaps the time has come for that to change. Perhaps we are wise enough now, to know that imperfect heroes are the only kind there ever are, or can be.

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