What to do, what to do . . .
The news seems to be all about our leaders behaving badly. Lying, backstabbing, craven finger pointing.
It seemed sensible to visit some patriots and visionaries, and good, decent Americans.
These are not the only leaders who inspire me but I came face-to-face with this group recently.
These heroes lift me up. They were not perfect but they put country and democracy, imperfect though it may be, first.
These may not be your heroes, depending on where you live and your political leanings. But, surely, you can identify good, decent people who remind you that strong, selfless leadership prevails.
Let us focus on and be inspired by them.
What a good post. I feel in need of some heros and heroines.
It’s the heroes and heroines who remind us that good can prevail!
Did not see any Republicans so assuming that you are praising the Democratic Socialist. Not interested in living in a Socialist country! Kennedy was the biggest farce there ever was! Our President is the President and he has done wonders for this country and all are benefiting. There is a Deep State in the Intel world – I know I worked in it! This is a political coup and powerful people are about to pay for their undercutting of our Constitution. Sorry that I just cannot believe in what the Democrats are doing toward digging for Impeachment – never will! No high crimes and misdemeanors going on in the White House! Review the 8 years with the previous president President Jackson forced the 5 Civilized tribes off their land in 1830 during the Trail of Tears – that to me was high crimes and misdemeanors.
BUT I still enjoy your Blog Kerry! We all have our opinions and beliefs and I stick with mine – even if they are not popular with everyone.
Hi Nanette–yes, we do have very different points of views and isn’t it nice we can still be friends?! Regarding Democrats, I really only included one (JFK). All the others come from a time before our current political parties were ever dreamed of. Maybe we can agree that, as the fathers of our country and framers of our Constitution, the others were admirable leaders? And I’d happily have included Lincoln (as a Republican) except I was using photos I took at museums I visited last weekend and his portrait wasn’t in either!
For the record, I don’t think Paul Revere, Alexander Hamilton or John Quincy Adams were Democrats.
Or socialists. 😉
Right. Democrats, per se, didn’t exist then. Actually, I guess they weren’t even Americans at the start, but British citizens who, in effect, created America through their words and deeds.
I think all politicians should remember they are but a tiny, tiny piece of history. It is their job to steward our great nation forward for the next generation. When it becomes about taking down the other person first and the country second we have a serious problem. It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle they sit on. It is up to us as citizens who vote to insure those who do their job well stay and those who don’t are replaced with those who will.
What a cheering post! Sadly, those leaders all seem to be dead, as would largely be the case in the UK too. We do have living political heroes and heroines, but they may not get many public statues hewn in their honour.
Yes, all dead . . . but I can still find some living ones to support. And support them I will!
Such a discouraging time right now. I know I need to find ways to refresh my spirit to recover from the ugliness of this administration. Looking back to times when the leaders were far, far better is not a bad way to do this.
I’m not kidding–a visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and to the JFK Presidential Library lifted me up, in huge ways. Looking into the eyes of these leaders, in the portraits, gave me hope.
Yes! And in his own flawed way, Kennedy was a great president. Think of all he accomplished in the short time he was in office. And what he ultimately averted. Along with Khrushchev.
I’m saying nothing – my own native country’s politics are bewildering enough at the moment 🙄
I know, I know . . . we are all at sea.
Yesterday was National Stress Awareness Day. The shenanigans of this administration and the state of American politics contribute greatly to my stress level. I have tried to understand those who support this President but have not been successful. I remain…anxious in Connecticut.
I’m with you, Susan. I spend most of my time flabbergasted and feeling faintly ill. Going to the JFK presidential library and being reminded of his approach and style left me both hopeful and depressed. How have we fallen so far?
Interesting state of affairs we find ourselves in. I drove myself to City Hall a couple of years back and changed my official affiliation to ‘undeclared’ because I think they are all lacking. I don’t think they start out that way, but I the huge amount of money that is involved in politics these days causes them all to be more interested in representing those who put cash into their campaigns and not the people who they represent. Many of our previous politicians certainly did things that they shouldn’t have, but it wasn’t put on the web for all to see day after day. Until some regulation is put on the amount of money that is needed to run for office and term limits, I’m not sure much will change. And, who in DC is going to vote for regulations stipulating terms and cash influx? No one. And, this is why I watch as little news as possible. 🙂
I think big money is a huge part of the problem, too, and when you add in a complete lack of morality and total narcissism, we get a toxic mess.
True leadership is in short supply these days. When I felt discouraged over the state of our nation, I read “The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels” by Jon Meacham. It is a wonderful history of the U.S Presidents who were in office during difficult times, such as war and economic depression. Well researched and beautifully written.
I’m going to get that book! It sounds like just what I need. The JFK Presidential Library lifted me up a lot. He was far from perfect but his values align with mine, and he had style and decorum . . . I miss style and decorum.
I miss civility and integrity.
We are being inundated with pro-Trump ads and Pro-Senator Collins ads. They hail her as “the most bipartisan person in the senate today” something I haven’t noticed since McCain died, and also something that doesn’t have a lot of competition! It won’t be enough to make me forget her cotes on DeVose and Kavanaugh. She is dead to me. Oh, and this one that makes me yell at the tv “you don’t want your government negotiating drug prices for you, that’s socialism”. Yes, much better to have the insurance companies do it. Or no one, as in the case of medicare and medicaid.
They all think we are idiot sheep.
It’s only going to get worse isn’t it?
Thank heavens for crafting.
And last thought… add Abe to your list. He took his strongest opponents and detractors and built a cabinet. Good book, Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I cried when they shot him.
Susan Collins has a *lot* to answer for! Vote her out! And, yes, Abe Lincoln is totally on my list of great leaders but I was focusing on the leaders whose portraits I came face-to-face with in Boston last week. Funny how they all seem to be from New England!
Well, between NewEngland and Virginia, there were a lot of prominent rabble rousers!
I will certainly work to banish spineless sue. 😉
Can I add Jacinda Adern’s portrait to the Inspiring World Leader category? Her response to the Christchurch Mosque shooting was magnificent.
If it weren’t for Jacinda I would give up in despair. Three years ago, to this day, I wrote on my Facebook page, “Is it time to kiss goodbye to the world as we know it?” I admire Jacinda for refusing to let darkness win.
Can you clone her, please, and send her to us?
Sadly, from my point of view, there are many people in New Zealand who would gladly give her to you in exchange for your President. It’s a weird world we live in!
I think you’ve got a good one there, maybe the best of them all right now! I wish she could be my president . . .
I have stressed to our children to read history ,and learn from the mistakes, and strong points of those in the past.
Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Edmond Burke
Well, exactly. Our leaders are only human but some are more humane than others. I think we need to know our own values and then support the people whose values align with our own.
I will have to also mention Jacinda Adern – our current PM in New Zealand. Mass shooting of people are not something we have on our general history books and I was away travelling in the South Island when that Mosque shooting happened, staying back packer hostels with many young people from overseas…some were shocked that this country that they were travelling in had suddenly changed “colour” as in peaceful and safe…
I know very little about the politics of any other country and don’t follow closely what is happening here, but Adern and her coalition have done a lot for NZers in general in their 2 years in office…next year it’s voting time again here.
I do think Adern is exceptional although, like you, I don’t follow politics around the world as much as I probably should. That mass shooting that so shocked your people seems to have become almost routine here–isn’t that a horribly sad state of affairs?!
You went to a very fine museum!
Yes! Actually, two very fine museums–the Boston MFA and the JFK Presidential Library. Both seem soothing and inspirational, every time I go!
These are true leaders!
I would like to think we can all agree on the framers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, even if we part company on some leaders who have come later . . . .
Kerry, have you seen the John Adams mini series by HBO, with Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney? I think you would enjoy it. Your post reminded me of that!
We don’t get HBO or watch much TV in general. Another blogger just clued me in on a biography of John Q. Adams and I’ll look to read that–I wonder if the series on HBO is related to the book?
We have it in CD form, it was done maybe 10 years ago, based on the book by David McCullough and so very well done. I see you can rent the whole thing for 3.99 from Amazon or Google too.
These are disturbing times, Kerry. It is unfortunate that politicians have worked so hard at turning people against one another instead of finding common ground and working for the common good.
Oh, yes, Lavinia, I agree. I sat and watched video of JFK’s inaugural address last week, at his presidential library, and one of the things that struck me most was how much he sought to create a sense of “one America” and, even, one world, where we work for the good of all. Sigh.
If only the Vulcans would land and set everything right. Where is Spock when you need him? 🙂
It’s a very similar climate here Kerry and now that we’re going to have a general election in December it will only get worse!
I try and try to understand what’s going on the the UK and am SO confused! But I know it’s not good and very divisive. I hope we all get better leaders, and become better people ourselves, soon!
You’re not the only one Kerry!
Well said, Kerry! We have to try to focus on the good and hope that commonsense will prevail. Hmmmmmm…………….
I think that’s part of what struck me, when I was in those museums last week, being reminded of the foundations on which the USA was formed. There’s great good here, lofty ideals, and we can reclaim them.
You did stir up the kettle a bit here. 😉 Loved it. As with every politician that has come into office, I always say to myself, this too shall pass. My dad always said to never vote for an incumbent. Some stay too long to be of continued service and a few should never, ever be there in the first place. I’m just looking for an honorable person who has no personal agenda. I don’t think they are billionaires.
I don’t seem to be able to resist stirring the pot–Jefferson and Kennedy made me do it! I believe that this too shall pass . . . but I worry some about how we’ve been changed along the way. The divisiveness and the tendency to dismiss facts and science . . . jeez. When you find that honorable person, please let me know!
I don’t think it will be a man. I keep telling people that this event has brought it all out in the open. We see who they are now. I’m keeping my mind as optimistic as possible.
Such a lovely portrait of JFK. I try to be like Marlene and say, “this too shall pass” but if democracy is to survive in the US and elsewhere we really do need a few heroes; failing that some good, honest politicians. ( That may be an oxymoron but I have known a few honest ones. Most of them were on the tiny islands of Fiji, where I had my first introduction to politics.)
Isn’t that portrait amazing? Wyeth (yes, Andrew’s son) was only 20 when he painted it and Kennedy was already dead. I could stare into those eyes for hours. We are desperately searching for good, honest people to lead us . . . I guess only time will tell.
It is captivating!
A favorite of mine is John Quincy Adams, a flawed but deeply ethical patriot. A friend wrote a great biography of him: Paul C Nagel, “John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life”
I’ll look for this book. I read Shaara’s Rise to Rebellion a couple years ago and it brought all these names to life for me. I actually get kind of excited for July 4 now!
Love your assertion that even though there are many different perspectives and points of views available here – that we can still peak our minds, and stay creative friends! Nicely said!
Every time I do one of these speaking-my-mind-letting-off-steam posts, I know whose feathers I will ruffle. And I know they know I’m still their friend-in-creativity!