Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ambrose's Nixon: Ruin and Recovery 5

On page 134 of Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990, Stephen Ambrose says the following about Elliott Richardson, who would serve as President Richard Nixon’s Attorney General:

“But Richardson was also a D-Day veteran.  He was one of those junior officers at Utah Beach who had led the way up and over.  No man who had been through that experience ever again had anything to fear.”
Someone with Asperger’s one time said something similar to me: that he is not afraid of most things because of all of the bad experiences that he has already gotten through.  It’s probably a variation of the “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” platitude.

Do I agree with it?  I wonder if war can make some people even more afraid, rather than eradicating fear, as it supposedly did for Richardson.  There is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but I’m not sure to what extent that entails fear.  In any case, there are people who become scarred by trauma, not made stronger by it.

Still, I can see some rationale to Richardson’s experience: if something really horrible is thrown at me and I live to tell about it, then perhaps that can influence me to be less fearful when less horrible things are thrown at me.

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