Civic Virtue and Our Constitutional Republic
Right and wrong exist. Understanding civic virtue means acknowledging this. To further justice requires that one exercise judgment. To understand and evaluate virtue, we must be willing to admire heroes and condemn villains. We must be willing to take a stand. A special challenge today may be that many people do not wish to appear judgmental. We seek to balance two ideas: on the one hand, being too quick to judge is wrong. Respect means not looking down on others who are not harming anyone simply because you don’t agree with them. On the other hand, a reluctance to judge the behavior of others should not mean we do nothing in the face of evil. All that is needed for evil to triumph, it is often said, is for good people to do nothing.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” –Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee