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Profiles in Cowardice

As President Donald Trump and a majority of Congressional Republicans attempt to pass a tax bill that benefits America’s wealthiest households at the expense of everyone else, political courage on the part of those who disagree could not be more necessary. Yet such backbone is nowhere to be found.

NEW YORK – The fate of nations often comes down to the choices made by a handful of individuals at a particular moment in history. Today, the United States is facing just such a moment. What a handful of individual Republicans decide will shape the future not just of the country, but of democracy itself.

Modern history is littered with similarly pivotal choices, for better or worse. A century ago, the Russian Revolution came down to a showdown between the iron will of Vladimir Lenin and the indecisiveness of Alexander Kerensky, who ended up sneaking out of Saint Petersburg to escape the Bolsheviks.

Another Russian revolution – on New Year’s Eve 1999, when President Vladimir Putin gained the government foothold that ultimately enabled him to rule the country to this day – also came down to a solitary selfish decision by the country’s then-leader. Choosing to prioritize his own safety and that of his family over the wellbeing of Russia, President Boris Yeltsin named Putin, a former KGB colonel, as his successor.

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