The image the Republicans have of themselves needs the image they have of the Democrats to bring it into sharp focus. The Democrats are plainly a disreputable crowd; the Republicans, by contrast, are men of standing and sobriety. Many a middle-class American in many a small town has had to explain painfully why he chose to be a Democrat. No middle-class American need feel uneasy as a Republican. Even when he is a minority--for example, among the heathen on a college campus--he can, like any white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant, warm himself before his little fire of self-esteem.
Perhaps I am following in the footsteps of François Mitterrand, who really did want to shape Europe. My predecessors, by contrast, thought it was best to say nothing at all and to keep all their options open. That may sound like a tactical approach, but perhaps it was simply because they didn't have any ideas for Europe at all.
We’ve all heard of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In contrast, I realized, happiness has four stages. To eke out the most happiness from an experience we must: anticipate it, savor it as it unfolds, express happiness, and recall a happy memory.
Our German language has a word which in a magnificent way denotes conduct based on this spirit: doing one's duty [Pflichterfüllung]-which means serving the community instead of contenting oneself. We have a word for the basic disposition which underlies conduct of this kind in contrast to egoism and selfishness-idealism. By 'idealism' we mean only the ability of the individual to sacrifice himself for the whole, for his fellow men.