Merle is a coward, because he does what is easy, not what is right, or even smart.
Dorian Thompson wrote:
You can be physically brave and still be a moral coward.
Right & Right, & that's what he is
But isn't moral cowardice sacrificing your values because you don't have the courage to defend them?
That's not what Merle is, he doesn't have those values to start with, as far as I can tell he doesn't really care about other people or what is "right" at all.
Actually, I'm not entirely sure how the phrase is defined, but by how you've defined it, then you have a point. My only point is that Merle is not a just or righteous man, & I really have a hard time seeing him ever becoming one, unless it was maybe a sacrifice to save Daryl
Would he die for Daryl? Maybe, but there isn't one other person alive he'd ever bother to stick his neck out for, lend aid to, or even abstain from victimizing. Ultimately, no one is safe around him, because he is untrustworthy & malicious, & I call him cowardly because of his recent actions
1. He told the Governor that the prison was unclaimable, likely because he didn't want to risk having to clear it out for the community
2. He would not risk going after Michonne, because he knew he was at a disadvantage against her, even with the last man still on his team. He would rather murder that man than face her
3. He would not tell the Governor that he didn't kill Michonne, because he either feared the repercussion or feared he'd be sent back to find her, or both
4. His immediate reaction to finding Daryl was to try undermining his relationship with the group because he fears their opinions have more value to Daryl than his now
5. He would rather return to a group of people who he tried to kill or left him for dead, than face survival without Daryl, not because of his relationship with Daryl, but because Daryl is the only person left who he can depend on
6. Most importantly, he left an abusive father behind & never attempted to do anything to prevent the same abuse happening to his little brother. He'd rather serve in the military than risk dealing with that
Merle is a textbook coward hiding behind a rugged exterior, & a ruthless demeanor
Daryl: "I may be the one walking away, but you're the one leaving... again"