"Profiles in Courage" was a 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning book written by then-Sen. John. F. Kennedy.
In it, Kennedy profiles eight U.S. senators who took courageous stands, including defying their own political party, to fight for principles and honest people.
Sometimes politicians who take a courageous stand just because it is the right thing to do are overlooked - or worse, castigated - and we'd like to mention a recent example where we think credit is due.
Shan S. Tsutsui is a state senator from Maui. More than that, he is state Senate president, so when he speaks, we'd hope that people listen.
Earlier this week, Sen. Tsutsui wrote a Viewpoint in The Maui News asking the University of Hawaii not to rush to judgment about suspended Athletic Director Jim Donovan. Donovan is being investigated for his part in trying to organize a Stevie Wonder concert as a fundraiser for UH athletics. The talent agency for the concert apparently was not authorized and the University lost money as a result.
In the Viewpoint, Tsutsui reminds our readers that Donovan "inherited a mess and now has the athletics department headed in the right direction." Furthermore, he talks about getting to know the AD:
"I know Jim to be an honest, dedicated and caring person. I've seen him interact with UH sports fans, and more importantly, listen to them give him 'sports advice.' The patience that he displays gives the impression that the person he is conversing with is the most important fan to the university. Government needs more people like Jim, who are not too busy for the people that we serve."
Tsutsui asks that a thorough investigation be conducted and that "the man should be judged based on the totality of his work and accomplishments while serving as the AD."
Donovan is lucky to have someone of Tsutsui's stature coming to his defense. Then, again, Hawaii is lucky to have a Senate president who is determined to see that the right thing is done and that Donovan is treated fairly.
More than one politician would simply throw Donovan under the bus and let the AD take the hit for the Wonder fiasco. Tsutsui has the guts to stand up and demand the right thing be done.
Tomorrow: Another profile in courage
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.