John Glenn was not a hero.
He was a liberal sellout during his latter days, when he served as a Democratic Senator from Ohio. He voted to acquit Bill Clinton, a chief executive who had lied under oath before a grand jury. There is nothing heroic about sticking with your party in the face of moral pressure.
There is nothing heroic about an American who accomplished a grand feat for the country then decided to join a theater production as one of the hoi polloi.
We do not need heroes in this country. We need individuals who will do what they want to do, enjoy the fruit of their labor, and respect the rights and responsibilities of other to conduct their lives as they see fit.
Heroes have been the cause of more trouble in our lives than not. We insist on looking up to individuals as examples of character and conduct, only to be disappointed when they fail to live up the standard which we have imposed on them. George Washington owned slaves, for example. Abraham Lincoln could not control his abuse wife, and he oversaw the greatest expansion of federal power at the expense of the states and the people since the foundation of the country. Yes, these men stood by their principles in the face of great opposition, but one thing that made them admirable -- at least in the case of George Washington -- was their desire for peace and an element of anonymity. Washington did not want to be president, yet he chose to the heed the call of his countrymen. Perhaps he would have been better off putting off the position, yet he chose to be President nonetheless.
John Glenn was an astronaut. What purpose has it served for the United States to engage in space exploration, especially during a time when so many individuals struggle to find a reason to wake up in the morning or to secure the solace to face the challenges which beset them every day?
We do not need man-made or manly heroes. We do not need people as examples at all. Men and women who know who they are, know what they want, and can seek and fulfill their calling in life -- those are the individuals who command respect, who have something to teach the rest of us.