I am watching a movie the other night and heard a word for the first time in my life. Pusillanimous means lacking courage, weak or fain-hearted cowardice.
In my part of the South, one can’t be pusillanimous. Boldness and courage define a person’s character. Upon further review, it shouldn’t be that way. People should make coolheaded, rational decisions after weighing all options and seeking counsel from wise elders. Being brass, bold and overconfident can lead to drug use, early parenthood and poor educational choices.
It’s all about balance between cowardice and boldness. In America, some citizens feel that the government’s eagerness to help people creates a culture of softness. I enjoy being in barbershops and listening to rags to riches stories of those who made it and made it cleanly. Those tales usually include advise about not waiting for or relying on the federal government “because the government doesn’t really care about you.”
If ultra conservatives take over the congress, the blessing in disguise might be that folks function with caution because the government safety net will be thinner. That tough love is some rough love but ultimately is healthier.
We should remember that President Obama was raised by Midwesterners and those corn-fed people have that Little House of the Prairie vibe. The current occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have grandparents on both sides that epitomize the American dream and weakness to them is a nightmare. The “change I can believe in” will be a president and congress making sensible policies that reduce American pusillanimity—yes we can.