Quote of the Day: Courage

 

God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.  – Chester Nimitz

It is easy to look at what is going on in the world and feel despair. Things look hopeless. Crime seems out of control, inflation is running wild, there are shortages of life’s necessities, and a real possibility of a nuclear exchange exists. Some days you feel like going back to bed and crawling into a fetal ball.

I get that. I feel that way from time to time. And yet I do not.

Consider the position of Chester Nimitz when he took over the Pacific Fleet on December 31, 1941. The battle line was either at the bottom of Pearl Harbor, trapped behind sunken ships, or had been sent to the West Coast because Hawaii was viewed as too dangerous. The Japanese were running amok over most of the Pacific. Guam and Wake Island had fallen. The Philippines had been invaded, as had British and Dutch possessions in the Pacific and bordering the South China Sea.

Nor would things get better for another four months. Not until May would the Japanese advance be blunted, and not until June would it have been finally stopped. It would have been easy for Nimitz to declare the situation hopeless and give up. But he did not. He did what he thought was right. Three years and nine months later, he was part of a delegation standing on the deck of a US battleship in Tokyo Harbor accepting the surrender of the Empire of Japan.

Today we are currently at the same type of impasse faced by Nimitz 72 years ago. But we are already seeing cracks in the Progressive and Woke Iron Curtain that has fallen across the United States. In Harris County, TX Woke incumbent county judges got defeated in their primary elections – by fellow Democrats. Parents across the country are turfing out Woke school board members. Leaders like DeSantis are showing the way to fight back. State legislatures are beginning to reign in Woke Universities. The tide is beginning to turn – but ultimate victory depends on those of us on the real right side of history – the side that believes in the power of individual liberty and free markets – to not walk away in despair.

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  1. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Wonder how Nimitz would feel if he was in his fifth decade of loss and not just a year or two.

    • #1
  2. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    I take some comfort knowing in my lifetime, things have been pretty bad and yet somehow we’ve managed to pull out of the spin.

    We are after all,  a nation of some accomplishment.

    What other nation can claim to have been to the moon and, retained the customary imperial system of measures.

    Still, I wonder. Are we close to exceeding the design margin. 

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Harrow, England, October 29, 1941

    • #3
  4. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Are we close to exceeding the design margin. 

    I believe we are. However, even then – or especially then – doing what is right and not giving up is even more important.

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Wonder how Nimitz would feel if he was in his fifth decade of loss and not just a year or two.

    Giving up is easy. Feel free to do so. I don’t plan to join you. My ancestors were Greek. They believed (unlike Kamala Harris) that it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.

    • #4
  5. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    I believe that at times we have remember that the “wars” we fight are all part of a constant struggle – there are times we seem to win but there is always another coming sooner or later as long as there are ones who would force themselves or their ways on others. There is always evil waiting for a chance to rise again. Each and every generation has their own set of conditions to fight under IF we are to do our part , maybe even a brave but seemingly vain fight at the moment set the stage for the next one’s victory 

    • #5
  6. She Member
    She
    @She

    A few decades later, another naval officer, enunciated what’s come to be known as The Stockdale Paradox:

    You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

    The story was popularized in Jim Collins’s book Good to Great, along with accounts  discussion between Collins and Stockdale.  Another excerpt, in which the two men are talking about Stockdale’s imprisonment in the Hanoi Hilton:

    Finally, after about a hundred meters of silence, I asked, “Who didn’t  make it out?”

    “Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”

    “The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused, given what he’d said a hundred meters earlier.

    “The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say,‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

    ….

    To this day, I carry a mental image of Stockdale admonishing the optimists: “We’re not getting out by Christmas; deal with it!”

    Hope and despair, when they’re unmoored from facts and reality, are both phantasms and traps.  Faith moves mountains.

    • #6
  7. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Thanks, Seawriter.  I really needed this today.

    • #7
  8. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Are we close to exceeding the design margin.

    I believe we are. However, even then – or especially then – doing what is right and not giving up is even more important.

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Wonder how Nimitz would feel if he was in his fifth decade of loss and not just a year or two.

    Giving up is easy. Feel free to do so. I don’t plan to join you. My ancestors were Greek. They believed (unlike Kamala Harris) that it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.

    Well that was a particularly low blow to madam Harris.

     

    • #8
  9. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Are we close to exceeding the design margin.

    I believe we are. However, even then – or especially then – doing what is right and not giving up is even more important.

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Wonder how Nimitz would feel if he was in his fifth decade of loss and not just a year or two.

    Giving up is easy. Feel free to do so. I don’t plan to join you. My ancestors were Greek. They believed (unlike Kamala Harris) that it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.

    Well that was a particularly low blow to madam Harris.

    Like I said, my ancestors were Greek. Against our enemies we fight dirty.

    • #9
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Are we close to exceeding the design margin.

    I believe we are. However, even then – or especially then – doing what is right and not giving up is even more important.

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Wonder how Nimitz would feel if he was in his fifth decade of loss and not just a year or two.

    Giving up is easy. Feel free to do so. I don’t plan to join you. My ancestors were Greek. They believed (unlike Kamala Harris) that it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.

    Well that was a particularly low blow to madam Harris.

    Like I said, my ancestors were Greek. Against our enemies we fight dirty.

    Merlin’s Dictum: Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.

    • #10
  11. DonovanGodfrey Coolidge
    DonovanGodfrey
    @DonovanGodfrey

    She (View Comment):

    A few decades later, another naval officer, enunciated what’s come to be known as The Stockdale Paradox:

    You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

    The story was popularized in Jim Collins’s book Good to Great, along with accounts discussion between Collins and Stockdale. Another excerpt, in which the two men are talking about Stockdale’s imprisonment in the Hanoi Hilton:

    Finally, after about a hundred meters of silence, I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?”

    “Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”

    “The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused, given what he’d said a hundred meters earlier.

    “The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say,‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

    ….

    To this day, I carry a mental image of Stockdale admonishing the optimists: “We’re not getting out by Christmas; deal with it!”

    Hope and despair, when they’re unmoored from facts and reality, are both phantasms and traps. Faith moves mountains.

    I envy your mind :)

    • #11
  12. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Thanks for this!

    • #12
  13. Illiniguy Member
    Illiniguy
    @Illiniguy

    Seawriter:

    God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless. – Chester Nimitz

    @seawriter: Thanks for this post, you put new wind in my sails. As a member of the Illinois House Republican super-minority, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

     

    • #13
  14. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Are we close to exceeding the design margin.

    I believe we are. However, even then – or especially then – doing what is right and not giving up is even more important.

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Wonder how Nimitz would feel if he was in his fifth decade of loss and not just a year or two.

    Giving up is easy. Feel free to do so. I don’t plan to join you. My ancestors were Greek. They believed (unlike Kamala Harris) that it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.

    Well that was a particularly low blow to madam Harris.

    Like I said, my ancestors were Greek. Against our enemies we fight dirty.

    You understand that was a tongue in cheek reference to her tenure with the old Pol “Willy” Brown,  not some admiration for an invisible fortitude on her part.

    • #14
  15. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Seawriter: The tide is beginning to turn – but ultimate victory depends on those of us on the real right side of history – the side that believes in the power of individual liberty and free markets – to not walk away in despair.

    Ultimate victory? There’s no such thing any more than the left had “ultimate victory” with their wokism. Even believing there is an ultimate victory is the recipe for disaster. It’s the same kind of end of history nonsense.

    • #15
  16. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Are we close to exceeding the design margin.

    I believe we are. However, even then – or especially then – doing what is right and not giving up is even more important.

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Wonder how Nimitz would feel if he was in his fifth decade of loss and not just a year or two.

    Giving up is easy. Feel free to do so. I don’t plan to join you. My ancestors were Greek. They believed (unlike Kamala Harris) that it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.

    Well that was a particularly low blow to madam Harris.

    Like I said, my ancestors were Greek. Against our enemies we fight dirty.

    You understand that was a tongue in cheek reference to her tenure with the old Pol “Willy” Brown, not some admiration for an invisible fortitude on her part.

    Oh yes. 

    • #16
  17. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    When it seems dark, I remind myself that the enemy has chosen Biden, Harris, Pelosi & Schumer, Brian Steltzer & Rachel Maddow etc. as their leaders. As long as we’re not in the back seat, what difference does it make if the left does a Thelma and Louise exit from power?

    We are all about to learn that the oddly, stubbornly stable climate did not require us to destroy our energy economy, that massive federal spending does not “stimulate” us per Krugmanian/Keynsian mythology, that wokeness is tyranny and a bunch of other reality-feedback mechanisms all lined up to bring home some hard truths like turds on a San Francisco sidewalk.  Biden is closing off all the escape routes to political fantasy and deception.  At a time when the left really needed a skillful liar and manipulator, they stuck themselves with the spectacularly inept Biden and Harris.

    Congenital lefties like Bill Maher and Glenn Greenwald are issuing common-sense nostrums.  American minority groups are less and less enthused about being “saved” by white liberals.  Trump-hating suburban women are organizing against perverts running their local schools.  They also see prices accelerating upward and their 401k’s in jeopardy.

    I don’t fear the good guys being swept under by hordes of the evil and stupid so much as I fear the good guys blowing the opportunity that is about to be presented on a silver platter.

    • #17
  18. Henry Racette killed the Black Dahlia Member
    Henry Racette killed the Black Dahlia
    @Misthiocracy

    “It’s not about giving up, Chester my man.  It’s about strategic withdrawal!”

    – Mikhail Kutuzov, in my headcanon. –

    • #18
  19. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Inspiring post!

    To steal a line from Lincoln, I’d like to find out what you drink and send a case of it to the California Republican Party

    • #19
  20. Ford Penney Member
    Ford Penney
    @FordPenney

    ‘God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.’ – Chester Nimitz

    This works if, like Chester Nimitz, you are actually standing on the front line and are willing to put your life on the actual ‘literal’ line.

    I am all for a vision of ‘hope’ and fearless intention but is the average person or even the average politician? Or as has been threatened and acted upon during the pandemic, these ‘rights’ can be swept aside by the government and the state? This is our government and our state elected officials.

    My grandfather was drafted into World War II at around 28, they were running out of men to send to war. He was a marine. He was sent with his platoon to an island in the Pacific and dropped off, told to hold the island ‘we’ll be back’. ‘They’ didn’t come back and after around 20 or so days they were captured and interned by the Japanese. He made it back, most didn’t. His view of ‘what it takes’ was always a little more blunt & brutal than the average persons.

    I haven’t had to put my life into such dire circumstances, or back someone like Chester Nimitz with my life and my courage so how far we all are willing to go is a real question. (ANITFA & BLM are willing to burn it down)

    BTW- I wonder if any Japanese also thought- ‘God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.’

    Our enemies also have convictions and they have been willing to do a lot for those convictions.

    • #20
  21. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Ford Penney (View Comment):

    ‘God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.’ – Chester Nimitz

    This works if, like Chester Nimitz, you are actually standing on the front line and are willing to put your life on the actual ‘literal’ line.

    I am all for a vision of ‘hope’ and fearless intention but is the average person or even the average politician? Or as has been threatened and acted upon during the pandemic, these ‘rights’ can be swept aside by the government and the state? This is our government and our state elected officials.

    My grandfather was drafted into World War II at around 28, they were running out of men to send to war. He was a marine. He was sent with his platoon to an island in the Pacific and dropped off, told to hold the island ‘we’ll be back’. ‘They’ didn’t come back and after around 20 or so days they were captured and interned by the Japanese. He made it back, most didn’t. His view of ‘what it takes’ was always a little more blunt & brutal than the average persons.

    I haven’t had to put my life into such dire circumstances, or back someone like Chester Nimitz with my life and my courage so how far we all are willing to go is a real question. (ANITFA & BLM are willing to burn it down)

    BTW- I wonder if any Japanese also thought- ‘God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.’

    Our enemies also have convictions and they have been willing to do a lot for those convictions.

    Read Valor. I have submitted the review of this book to Epoch Times, so it won’t appear on Ricochet for at least six months, but it answers the question you asked.

    It is the story of a marine who was captured at Corregidor, swam six miles across a shark-infested channel to escape, fought alongside Filipino guerillas for over a year, attempted to sail to Australia to rejoin the fight, was captured again, imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp in the Home Islands, and kept resisting throughout. He never gave up and never stopped doing what was right, especially when it was hopeless. Then, after being released, he remained in the Marine Corps, commanding a battalion in the Choson Reservoir.  And never gave up there.

     

    • #21
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