Kilroy Was Here
October 02, 2004
Wisdom is a Virtue
The President campaigns on the Character Platform. As his debate performance shows, the President focuses on stength, courage, leadership, consistency, etc. In fact, the current George Bush campaign site headlines "Clarity and Strength".
But when we think about character, it's good to go back to the godfather of virtue, Aristotle. Aristotle was big on the virtues, but he realized that in order to achieve eudaimonia, the virtues must be guided by practical reason, by the ability to make good judgements.
In other words, while strength and courage are indeed admirable traits, strength without wisdom is like angelic tongues without love -- merely a resounding gong or claning cymbal.
So when we judge the character of the presidential candidates, when we judge their vitures, we should first judge their wisdom, their judgements.
Which is Senator Kerry brings up a good point in condemning the judgement of the President in preparing for the War in Iraq, and in planning for rebuilding Iraq. Character is more than courage, consistency, and clarity.
Character is wisdom.