Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:14 am
Letters to the Editor 7/28/16
FEEL BETTER, NOT BITTER
By now we all have read how disappointed all the Erika Holsts out there are, how they were buoyed by young Mr. Hope and Change back in ’08, and how sad they are today (“An elegy to the spirit of ’08,” by Erika Holst, June 21).
Holst says her memory that “a page was turning in our nation that would lead us all to a brighter tomorrow” is now bittersweet given all those dashed hopes.
To not stand in awe of what Barack Obama has done is to be unaware of any arc of history, particularly that great Iroquois idea of Seventh Generation, acting now with our eyes on our children’s children 140 years from now.
Here’s a sampling. About 15 million jobs have been added. Annual deficits have now been halved. He’s put a record 265 million acres under federal protection. Obama and Elizabeth Warren forged the Citizens Financial Protection Bureau. He cut taxes for virtually all working families. He created the post of special assistant to the president for Disability Policy as well as a White House council of Native American Affairs. Crime is down. Fatalities among police are down. He immensely increased gay rights. He spoke at a major Islamic forum and hosted the first Seder in the White House. He banned U.S. torture. He’s thawing 55 years of U.S. Cuban sanctions. His START treaty reduces deployed nuclear weapons by a third. The Affordable Care Act covers at least 10 million and ends several inhumane insurance rules. Wind energy tripled in recent years. He chose half the women ever on our Supreme Court, including its first Hispanic justice. He and Michelle turned some White House lawn into a garden, part of a winning effort to fight childhood obesity.
Are all our problems solved? No. Does Erika Holst get kudos for her work improving the ground floor of Edwards Place even while the upstairs remains unfinished? Yes, she does, deservedly. As for that much larger home we all share, she and we should be feeling better, not bitter.
LUBRICATION FOR RESOLUTION
I have read several articles in various newspapers on how to resolve the Illinois budget impasse. At this point, a reasonable and prudent person would consider it irresolvable.
This reminded me of one of my favorite Abraham Lincoln stories. When Lincoln was a young lawyer, two farmers who had been lifelong friends came to him and both asked him to represent them in a proposed lawsuit over the installation of a fence between their properties. Lincoln listened to them carefully and said he would think it over.
At a later date, he called them together, put them in a back room with a jug of whiskey and told them he was going to lock the door and keep them there until they resolved there differences. He felt their friendship was too valuable to throw away over a petty issue such as this. According to legend or history, whichever you wish to believe, they worked out their own resolution.
I should like to propose by mutual agreement, Bruce Rauner and Mike Madigan be placed in a room at one of the local hostelries with beds, a large table and other necessary accoutrements and they be kept there until everything is worked out. No TV, no newspapers, no outside contact unless it is a personal emergency. I will provide the whiskey, beer, wine or whatever is legally necessary to provide lubrication for resolution.
DYNAMIC SAM CAHNMAN
The time has come again for me to speak to radio and news reports regarding Sam Cahnman (“Disciplinary tribunal dings Cahnman,” by Bruce Rushton, July 21).
Cahnman continues to persevere as a dynamic force both locally and in public service. His work involves advocating for the homeless with the CWLP round-up program. He also works in the preservation of municipal, national and international historic sites here in Springfield. They include the YWCA building, the North Grand Restoration Group and the Foundation for Oak Ridge Cemetery, final resting place of Abraham Lincoln.
Armchair quarterbacks who sit and criticize, in my humble opinion, do little to facilitate improvement or growth. A chosen few choose to be bold, courageous and steadfast on a path of public service to maintain and create great things.
Let us join Sam Cahnman under the tent of bettering our community, which has no place for malice, but charity to all.
Donna J. Mapes
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