Describe an act of political courage by a United States elected official that took place during or after 1956.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Political courage is often in the eye of the beholder.  What one person sees as courageous, another will see as idiocy and bullheadedness.  Let us look at two examples that can be looked at in either way.

First, there was President George Bush, Sr.'s decision to abandon his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge.  One can argue that this was an act of political courage because Bush had to go back on a promise he had made when he realized that he had been wrong to make that promise.

Second, you can say that President Obama's effort to pass the "Obamacare" reforms was an act of political courage.  Obama believed in the need for reforms.  He acted on that belief even though (as it now turns out) his actions were relatively unpopular among the electorate.  

In both cases, we can call these actions examples of political courage even though many people abhor both of these actions.