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Harry sculpted the latest reason for remaining resolute in the face of global threats for 20 neighbors in Aurora, Colorado - his angelic first granddaughter Charlotte.
“Resolution” is a word that has been made lifeless by its casual use at New Years. It calls to mind quickly abandoned diets or self improvement regimes.
Lost is the sense of determination or the resolution to solve thorny problems. We have those in spades today. If we can’t lose weight how can we save the Earth?
Today eight billions of us face a sixth extinction driven by our need to pave over and Formula 409 the planet, making it uninhabitable for rest of God’s Ark.
Earth nearly came to a bad end when I was a kid and there were three billions of us facing a reckoning with E=MC2.
Back then Americans had a literate President who was reading Barbara Tuchman’s Guns of August. It was a book about the blind leaders who stumbled into a world war none of them had ever wanted. We are ripe for resolution once again.
I don’t make resolutions on New Years but I do make them when sufficiently motivated. Learning French is a recent one. Writing books is another.
Yet to be achieved is a star-spangled resolution to accomplish something useful as a politician.
“Accomplishment” is the the key word. I have no use for the maxim most politicians live by, “The first job of a politician is to get elected.”
Hell, Trump got elected and he damned near broke America.
At present I’m mostly a perennial candidate and bloviator. Its not much to write home about but slowly and surely through life resolve, if not success, has taken hold of me.
My parents put my war hero Grandfather on a pedestal for me. Risking death was part of his charm.
There were less fearsome encouragements too. In 1960 Democrat, Jack Kennedy, was running against Republican Richard Nixon for president.
Jack’s famous hanger-on, Frank Sinatra, had a hit song which became the candidate’s unofficial campaign song. It was “High Hopes.”
Each verse describes an impossible task like “a little old ant” moving a rubber tree plant or a ram wanting to “punch a hole in a billion kilowatt dam.”
They may have seemed impossible, like electing the nation’s first Catholic president, but like Jack Kennedy the song’s critters succeeded.
While optimism might fuel resolution it won’t necessarily sustain or reward it. As Einstein may have said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
My Dad once blew his military severance, to my mother’s horror, to start publishing a magazine called The Optimist. He got three subscribers and published exactly one issue. Lesson learned but perhaps too well (says the son who has run for political office 20 times). Dad found other fish to fry.
Our lives are our testament and the resolution behind some lives have been spectacular.
Martin Luther King Jr and Lyndon Johnson teamed up and finally got black citizens the vote they had a theoretical right to.
When the assassinated Kennedy’s advisers told LBJ that trying to pass the legislation was a waste of effort Lyndon’s reaction was sterling. If I can’t do that, what’s the point of being President, he snorted.
Resolution got that job done but it was only a beginning. After 300 years black Americans are still subjected to Klansman and “Karens” who raise hell when their children sell lemonade on street corners.
My 20 runs for elective office are humorous, even to me, but they are also as deadly serious as public education, honoring the proclamation of equality written into our founding documents and saving the Earth.
I hope I’m not Einstein’s idiot but if I am I don’t plan to quit.
I write a weekly column for a tabloid to an unknown audience which is as silent to me as I am to the hundreds of people whose work I read every day.
Licking my wounds from last year’s congressional loss is the last thing I’m interested in. I am still paying attention to the fellow I challenged three times.
I read that he didn’t make an appearance when the brave leader of the Ukraine gave an address to Congress before Christmas. It was Pogo who said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
And while I’m quoting other luminaries here’s some vintage Teddy Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
I second that motion.
Welty also shoots his mouth off at lincolndemocrat.com.