In the military, members do not brag about their victories or make excuses for their failures. Even when they enter political life or are given awards, others must champion their successes for it is considered inappropriate for them to extoll their own virtues. But when problems occur, personal or on the battle field, you will not hear excuses or non-denial denials or blame laid elsewhere, they simply own up and take the heat.
Likewise, our intelligence service members know they will never be given credit at all for their work. If they die in the field, all they will get is a star without a name to mark their sacrifice. But if they fail, the whole world will circle like vultures around them, pointing fingers of accusation and demanding retribution.
Our teachers, firefighters, and police officers choose work they know will never pay well, will require they be overworked, and will receive little if any gratitude. They also know that any mistakes could become the focus of opportunistic journalists and lawyers, seeking to make a career off their human error.
And still these citizens perform these tasks we need accomplished with quite dignity and distinction, under difficult circumstance and, in recent years, with diminishing returns. If that is not the definition of honor, I do not know what is.
But our politicians, well that is a whole different story. They have no honor, codified or implied. Every minor achievement they parade about like they just invented the wheel, usually being the result of someone else’s effort anyway. If there is a mistake or failure, they flee like Italian Captains from a sinking cruise ship. Denials, flip-flops, spin, lies, are what we have come to expect from our leaders. Furthermore, we have absolutely no expectation they will be held accountable for these failures. Although we know they will take full credit for any success that occurs within a kilometer of their person.