"Good people are strong." That is a comment that someone wrote to me today in a Facebook comment. There is truth in it. Good people have to be strong. Many are unwilling to be labeled any of the things that are considered the opposite of "nice."
I think the truth of things is much more complex than just "nice" vs "mean," for there are good arguments to be made that those who engage in actions many would call "mean" are actually performing a service and bestowing a kindness. I would compare it to how good parents must make the tough decision to allow their children to feel hatred toward them over resentment of the discipline that a parent doles out. I've said it many times before, and I believe it to be true--we need accountability. Not just from others, but from ourselves. Good parents discipline their kids because they accept the responsibility of the job, but some avoid that responsibility because of how it makes THEM feel to dole out the discipline. Nobody wants to be considered the "bad guy." It takes courage to be willing to accept the discomforts that often accompany doing the right thing.
Even as conservatives complain about how everything in our country has been "dumbed down," most still want God to make our tests easier. We want to skate by, and if we think that we can get away with it, we are even willing to try to cheat or take shortcuts and hope that we don't get caught not putting in the effort required to pass the tests. But you cannot cheat God.
Accountability is key.