Of Courtesy, it is much less
Than Courage of Heart or Holiness,
Yet in my Walks it seems to me
That the Grace of God is in Courtesy.
I became profoundly uneasy about Donald Trump when I saw him treat Jeb Bush so contemptuously, mocking him on the debate stage. It seemed to me then--and seems to me now--that a person who publicly humiliates a political opponent with school-yard taunts does not have the temperament to be President.
And Mr. Trump has done nothing to alleviate my doubts about his character in the months following his first Presidential debate. And now we are presented with the disgusting spectacle of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz (or their supporters) insulting each other's wife. Even the most bare-knuckle ward boss knows that there is one line that cannot be crossed--no politician with any claim to decency can disparage an opponent's spouse.
We must have a president who is honest and not venal, and Hillary Clinton does not qualify by either standard. But we also must have a President who is not a bully.
Increasingly, I am swayed by Hilaire Belloc's profound little poem, Courtesy. Surely Hilloc is right: the grace of God is in courtesy. And by that measure, the only top contender who is qualified to be our President is Bernie Sanders, who declined, perhaps to his disadvantage, to scold Hillary Clinton for her email scandal.
"[T]he Grace of God is in Courtesy."