The political conventions start this week.  Many speeches will be given, and we’ll have to see whether any of them stack up with the greatest speeches ever delivered.  Like Shakespeare’s speech about St. Crispin’s Day in Henry V.  Or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Or Winston Churchill’s “we shall fight on the beaches” stemwinder during the dark days of World War II.

But as we look forward to the gatherings of our gutsy political leaders, right and left, in this our nation’s hour of need, my thoughts turn to another famous oration — the Cowardly Lion’s remarks on “courage” prior to his first encounter with the Wizard of Oz: 


What makes a King out of a slave? Courage!

What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage!

What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage!

What makes the Sphinx the Seventh Wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage!

What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the ape in ape-ricot? What have they got that I ain’t got? (Courage)

You can say that again!

Seems particularly apt these days, doesn’t it?

4 thoughts on ““Courage”

  1. Of course, everyone has an opinion – it’s part of what makes the world interesting. I will submit that Paul Ryan has political courage (it seems the author of the story below believes Ryan has courage – but believes he has miscalculated). See the article at this link.


    One of the interesting factors in this coming election is that if President Obama is re-elected, it will likely be because he will win the majority of the under age 35 voters. These younger voters will be most heavily impacted by the long-term trajectory of the cost of entitlement programs. The changing demographics are going to be a very big problem for these younger voters/workers. As the tens of millions of baby boomers retire (and that has just started to happen over the past few years), these younger voters who will be voting for the President are going to be hit with paying for social security and medicare benefits for a massively larger elderly population than are currently being supported by a larger population of workers.

    Maybe having courage will work out for Paul Ryan – maybe not.

    Thank you for your though-provoking post.


  2. Hi Mike, you provided inspiration for a post today, thank you. I was disappointed at Simpson-Bowles failure. It seemed fair to me in burden disbursement; everyone would have given something.

    WB, excellent post, tremendous speech by the Cowardly Lion. I am afraid courage has abandoned us along with common sense.


    • Good evening elroyjones. Yes – eventually . . . . . . we will all be sharing in the disbursement of the burden. I suppose the can may continue to be kicked down the road for a bit longer, but eventually we will run out of road.

      Very nice to hear from you.


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