Michael J. Kerrigan


A corollary to my first lesson of handling the truth is personal one. Rather than using a pseudonym, I have perhaps ill advisedly, placed my own character development front and center for others to see.

When I write about restoring old school values and cardinal virtues like self-control, for example, I realize any time I display any anger after hooking a drive out of bounds, I can be viewed as a hypocrite. So too with other character traits like temperance, I must be mindful never to drink in excess, I must be prudent not to announce my boredom at cocktail parties and I must have the fortitude and strength of character to stay the course when few care about the success of my mission.

In writing about character development, I have chosen to be on a public stage knowing at times, I will fail and risk not practicing what I… Continue reading

I believe in the great intellectual tradition of the Judeo-Greco-Roman-Christian heritage.

I believe it is wiser to focus on the nobles rather than the knaves.

I have respect for the honest public servants faithfully doing their duty.

I believe in the imperative of civility in our discourse.

I believe principles and virtue can transcend partisan politics and personality.

I believe the virtue of citizenship is timeless as are the virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.

I believe in being trustworthy to all and loyal to your friends.

I believe truth and virtue will triumph over lies and deceit.

I believe trust placed wisely trumps cynicism.

I believe aspiring public servants should know there are standards of decency practiced by those who serve selflessly in the service of our nation.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) depression is the most costly disease in the world. Treating one case of depression cost about $5,000 per year. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) there are around ten million such cases annually in the United States. Apparently, millions of Americans are not satisfied with their lives. Continue reading

What story will be written in your obituary? Will it consist only of the facts, where you lived, worked and died, or will your story be something more meaningful? Will your life story peak at our career success or will it encompass true character growth honed by ethical life choices made under pressure?  Continue reading

Readers in reaction to Monday’s blog post have pointed out that Congressman Peter King, the Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee has recently brought attention to the threat of homegrown terrorism among Muslims. Also Senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins (R-Maine), chair and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, largely have agreed with the view of Rep. Peter King (R-NY) that Islamist extremists pose a grave threat to US homeland security. Continue reading

The next member of the “character community” to be profiled is Alexandre Havard. Alexandre is a graduate of one of France’s leading law schools. He has worked as an attorney-at-law in several European countries. He is an alumnus of IESE Business School. Alexandre has lectured throughout the United States, at the Moscow MGIMO, the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics and the Russian Academy of National Economy. Havard is the author of the book “Virtuous Leadership” published in New York in 2007 and translated into 13 languages. Continue reading

Recently, I shared advice to new Members of the 112th Congress based on the guiding principles and the lessons learned in writing Politics with Principle: Ten Characters with Character. Former Senator Lott’s comments about co-opting the new Tea Party members prompts me to offer my own roadmap for legislators about to assimilate into Hill politics. During the Congressional midterm elections, the Tea Party candidates had much to say about the misgovernment of excessive spending, the corruption of modern day legislators and lobbyists, and the intrigue of special interest infecting our politics. Continue reading

History tells us that the possibility of a cynical worldview is very real. Recall Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. Robespierre and Napoleon in France; Calvin in Geneva; Tsar Ivan in Russia; Saladin in the Holy Land; and even the despotic emperors like Nero and Diocletian in ancient Rome. This solution appeals to humanity precisely because it is simplistic, and it requires very little of citizens except one thing: submission. Continue reading

The people included in Politics with Principle were defined as “characters with character.” In your play on words, we understand what having character is—but to be a character—what do you mean by that; what is a character?

All ten share the attributes of being a character, including but not limited to being fun to be around, witty and especially, not boring. Continue reading

The Characters in Politics with Principle are PROOF-OF-PRINCIPLE that civility and good character are not impediments to success, but critical elements of personal and professional success.

The characters in my book are practical politicians who believe the perfect should not be the enemy of the good and that differences of opinion are not differences of principle. They tend to favor principles of bi-partisanship, civility and unity of purpose. Continue reading

At the outset, I stipulate that American Muslims who may wish to build a Mosque near “Ground Zero” are well within their Constitutional rights to do so. Christians, Jews, Mormons and other religious denominations in the United States support the First Amendments rights of free exercise of religion for all persons in our nation. So building a Mosque near Ground Zero is legal.  But is it prudent?  Or is it a breach of civility? Continue reading

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Courage in America has been aurally transcribed for the visually impaired, thanks to Volunteers of Vacaville, California. Tel: 704.448.6841 ext 2044.