January 03, 2019

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"Trump Didn't Kill the Bush Values" Today's WSJ, 12/6/2018, column by Daniel Henninger, contains this sentence: "Those Bush values are definable in words such as temperance, self-restraint, plain-speaking, honesty, duty, forbearance, humility, prudence, courage." He also writes: "Most of the Bush values can be found on any list of what are called—or used to be called—virtues." I can locate all but one of these in the VIA Character Strengths. Temperance is the virtue category that includes Forgiveness, Humility, Prudence, and Self-Regulation. Self regulation seems to be the same as Self-Regulation. Plain-speaking and honesty both are part of the Character Strength of Authenticity. Humility, Prudence, and Courage are all named Character Strengths in the VIA Classification. So, that only leaves "duty" and "forbearance." I'm inclined to see "forbearance" as much like "self-restraint", especially since it can be grouped in Mr. Henninger's sentence with humility and prudence, and thus be just a return to the virtue of Temperance. But, I know that the grouping of the strengths into virtue categories is not empirical. Thus, looking at the first quoted sentence above again, it seems to me that duty defines the difference in this list of values for a very public figure from other lists composed by those considering a broader set of roles for individuals. I need to think more about where, if at all, duty fits in the VIA classification. "Duty" does not even appear in the index to Character Strengths and Virtues.In the MAPP program, we had to write a paper on our candidate for the...

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