THE PRESIDENCY by HUGH SIDEY: We Argue About Courage Again

The Presidency

Jimmy Carter pondered the barbs from Mexico's President José López Portillo a few days ago, and momentarily wondered if he should respond. Then in a fraction of a second he decided that the better part of wisdom and the greater part of courage for the leader of a superpower was to sit calmly and quietly. In Mexico there was some grudging appreciation. In America, beset by too many inner doubts, there was plenty of criticism.

The President had expected a difficult time in Mexico, but he was surprised by the intensity of López...

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