Friday, January 30, 2004

We Didn't Start The Fire

I like to look back on history to comfort myself that all of the trials we face now have been faced before. On the great canvas of history we fight out the internal, personal strugges of light against dark, good against evil, enlightenment against ignorance. Although the current battle for the presidency of the United States worries me, I look back on the thoughts from the first half of our century and find some solace. They faced much of what we have faced. And somehow they got us here.

    "Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it." ~ George Orwell (1903 - 1950)

They apparently had their own Dub-yas to respond to:
    "When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it."~ Clarence Seward Darrow (1857 - 1938)
    "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." ~ Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)
    "I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking."~ Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924)
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life." ~ Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)
    "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest- but the myth- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."~ John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
    "There ain't nothing that breaks up homes and nations like somebody publishing their memoirs."~ Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)
    ""Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.""~ George Orwell (1903 - 1950)
    "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.", "If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion."~ George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

They had their own Howard Dean:
    "Do you realize the responsibility I carry? I'm the only person standing between Nixon and the White House." ~ John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
    "The Buck Stops Here.", "I never give them hell. I just tell the truth, and they think it is hell." ~ Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)
    "The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.", "In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."~ Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)
    "Let's talk sense to the American people. Let's tell them the truth, that there are not gains without pains." ~ Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
    "Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people." ~ George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
    "A radical is a man with both feet firmly planted - in the air; a conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward; . . .a liberal is a man who uses his legs and his hands at the behest - at the command - of his head.", "A government can be no better than the public opinion which sustains it."~ Franklin D. [Delano] Roosevelt (1882 - 1945)
    "Without enthusiasm, there is no progress in the world."~ Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924)

Even Milhouse has a few pieces of advice for Dean:
    "A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.", "It is necessary for me to establish a winner image. Therefore, I have to beat somebody." ~ Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)

And they faced the challenges that Dean has faced this month:
    "It is not enough to have every intelligent person in the country voting for me. I need a majority." ~ Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
    "Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money to even be defeated." ~ Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)

The battle for the presidency essentially comes down to the battle within ourselves between hope and fear. In retrospect I think that in November hope always wins. Howard Dean gives us hope that our future can be better. He will be our next President.

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