The Washington Post: America, Please Look Beyond Your Self Interest and Do Your Duty

August 22, 2019

Partner Lisa Monaco co-authored this article with Ken Wainstein, which discusses the importance of choosing duty over self-interest in these trying times. Both Monaco and Wainstein served as homeland security advisors. Monaco served under President Barack Obama; Wainstein under President George W. Bush.

“After the carnage in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, we are finally talking more about the increasing threat of domestic terrorism, which has killed more people in America since 9/11 than the foreign terrorism of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State,” the authors write. “In this era of polarized politics, where too often the political extremes dictate action — or more often, inaction — we need something even more important from our leaders. We need them to do their duty. Duty is the age-old notion that one should do what is right, regardless of whether it is personally beneficial or costly. That moral equation has always been a fundamental precept of our national character.”

The authors continue: “All too often these days, we tolerate leaders who promote their own interests at the expense of duty, especially if their political affiliation or agenda aligns with ours. We need to shed that cynical approach to politics.”