The progress of humanity has been greatly enhanced by those who, after thoughtful analysis, expressed views that are contrary to popular thought. Persons like Voltaire, Galileo, Socrates, Nietzsche, and the father of both the American and French revolutions, the great Thomas Paine, whose "Rights of Man" and "Age of Reason" would make him the contrarian of all time in my book.

It is in the spirit of these polemicists that I create this blog. It is my intent to challenge popular suppositions. While it will become evident that I am generally a progressive liberal, hopefully I will have the courage to take opposing viewpoints to those of my own comrades when appropriate.

No comments will be deleted based solely on the political , social, economic or religious views you may have. In fact I encourage thoughtful discourse. I will however promptly remove any postings that contain overtly vulgar comments, racial slurs, hate speech of any kind, or multiple postings of "conspiracy theories". Though not required, please post links for references to the point you are trying to make, or at the least, give us an idea of where you found the information that supports your cause or claim.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Kinder Congress

In today's glut of rancid partisanship, infantile sloganry, half-baked reasoning, and political demogagy I find myself wondering if there are any true statesmen who will present themselves in our time of need. Real and complex problems, both domestic and foreign, will never be solved with simplistic political pandering. It seems that for every worthy movement or cause there is a plethora of persons and institutions more than willing to take the helm, more often than not for their own gain. Usually they find a scapegoat upon whom to pile blame. Solutions offered, if any, are generally too vague to be of any consequence. The "other side" gets whipped into a frenzy and, sure enough, some politicians of equally questionable motivation step up to the plate. The really maddening thing, though, is that the problems all remain unsolved.

I'll be the first to admit that Lee Hamilton wasn't the most exciting man. He wasn't a great orator, his facial expression rarely changed, and he wasn't a snazzy dresser. He had few heated debates in Congress. His demeanor was more like that of a college history professor. But he had respect. Respect that he had earned. He never automatically dismissed the ideas of his opposition. He believed in getting at the facts. He understood that great things are only accomplished through compromise. But he wouldn't compromise his basic principles. More than anything, his behavior showed that he knew he was supposed to serve the people who elected him, and yes, even those who voted against him. A good friend of mine had a son in the military overseas and his father was dying. My friend went to Lee Hamilton's office where Lee greeted her personally. He made a couple of calls and had her son on a plane back home within hours. In other words, he was accessible.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars honored Lee Hamilton on October 5, 2010, at a Gala Dinner that paid tribute to his 12 years of service as the Woodrow Wilson Center's president and director, as well as the previous 34 years in which he served as a distinguished member of Congress.

Welcome home to Indiana Lee! We could use a few more statesman like you now!

1 comment:

  1. Rep. Hamilton was a good guy. The people who have had and fought dirty election campaigns for his seat since he left wouldn't add up to a fraction of his ability to represent the people represented by that seat.

    From the Kentucky, and many more state legislatures to the Congress almost all of those serving don't realize they are expected to serve the interests of those they represent.