"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
That’s the title of an opinion piece posted last week at USATODAY.com
. What made the article most interesting to me were the authors and their subjects.
The authors are:
*Jack Schlossberg (born John Bouvier Kennedy Schlossberg) – President John F. Kennedy’s grandson.
*Albert Hunt – noted liberal journalist and television commentator on such programs as CNN's “Capital Gang,” and “Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields” (among others).
The subjects are:
*George H. W. Bush – 41st President of the United States – REPUBLICAN.
*Paul Bridges, the former mayor of Uvalda, Georgia, population 592 - REPUBLICAN.
I found the article to be an interesting read. But then again, I find ANY article where prominent liberal Democrats compliment Republicans an interesting (and surprising) read. Here is the article in its entirety:
“Courageous leadership requires sacrifice: Column
Jack Schlossberg and Albert Hunt 7:03 p.m. EDT April 23, 2014
A former president and former mayor risked their popularity to do what was best for our country.
Courage is a rare commodity in American politics today. Political dialogue and action usually is dominated by sound bites, debating points and parochial partisanship.
It is thus inspiring to recognize two contemporary political leaders who displayed the sort of courage celebrated by John F. Kennedy in his prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage: George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, and Paul Bridges, the former mayor of Uvalda, Georgia, population 592.
For all the differences between these two politicians, they share a courage to risk their political future for the greater good. Politicians in Washington today would do well to emulate their examples.
In 1988 Americans read George Bush's lips and elected him president with the expectation of no new taxes.
In office he was confronted with two realities: deadlock with a Democratic Congress and a budget deficit spiraling out of control, both threatening the economy.
After lengthy negotiations, Bush and congressional Democrats reached a budget deal that rattled the political base of both parties. It set limits on discretionary spending, implemented "pay as you go" rules for entitlement programs and raised taxes.
The ramifications were profound: the 1990 budget agreement was a first step in the economic surge occurring during the Bill Clinton Presidency. "Without President Bush’s decision to support some tax increases along with spending cuts in the 1990 legislation, the economic boom of the 1990s would have been significantly diminished," says Mark Zandi chief economist of Moody's Analytics. And it enraged some of Bush's fellow Republicans, contributed to a sharp decline in his approval ratings and may well have cost him reelection in 1992. He put the public good ahead of his own political calculation.
For all the distinct differences, Paul Bridges, on a much smaller stage, showed the same sort of courage and willingness to risk his political future.
In 2011, tiny Uvalda, Georgia became an unlikely battleground in the fight over immigration. Bridges, the town's mayor and a Republican, was the only politician to join a federal lawsuit to stop a state law designed to drive illegal immigrants out Georgia.
To the dismay of his party and most of his constituents, Bridges opposed the law that would have authorized the police to demand documentation of immigration status during traffic stops, criminalized housing or transporting undocumented immigrants and greatly hindered access to state services and facilities.
Bridges knew the law would disrupt the local economy and devastate families. The mayor himself knew he would be a law-breaker when he drove undocumented workers and their families to the doctor or the supermarket or to church.
He was vilified by many in the town and suffered scathing criticism from anti-immigration partisans around the country. He became so unpopular that he had to abandon running for reelection. He sacrificed his career for principle.
Both men are reminders of an enduring truth that Kennedy recognized in Profiles in Courage: "The true democracy, living and growing and inspiring, puts its faith in the people -- faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment."
For putting their country and their community ahead of their political self-interest, George H.W. Bush and Paul Bridges will be honored this Sunday with John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
Only when more politicians find the courage to emulate Bush and Bridges will the nation's most intractable problems – from taxes to health care – be solved.”
“Courage is a rare commodity in American politics today.” Indeed. Personally, I’d like to see more of it demonstrated at THE highest levels of our current government. If our present national leaders exercised even half the political courage that is written about in the above article, America today would be a much better place for all of us.
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