Entries Tagged 'Manuscripts & Presentations' ↓

Humility as Virtue or Vice?

An earlier version of this essay was a Guest Commentary in the Asheville Citizen-Times on April 18, 2006.

At a 2006 town meeting sponsored by the World Affairs Council, North Carolina resident Harry Taylor told President Bush that a leader ought to have “a degree of humility.” He then asked the president to describe things he “maybe should have done differently,” specifically mentioning the telephone surveillance of citizens.

The President did not respond to the humility point, but he said, “I’m not going to apologize for what I did on the terrorist surveillance program. . .”

This exchange on CNN caused me to wonder what Americans think about humility. Do we see it as a virtue or a vice? Do we see it as a virtue for those in low-status positions, and a vice for those with high-status? How would Americans respond to a President who displayed humility?
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