Our question for Republican legislators in Illinois is a simple one: do you really want to be remembered as someone who was on the playing field for years and years yet remained silent while things got worse?
All your rationalizations won’t work. No one cares, for example, that you were named the legislator of the year by organizations like the Illinois Nurses Association (no offense to the INA intended).
When your career is over an accounting will take place – and your excuses won’t add up. Especially because you’re not dealing with foreign policy, international terrorism, war, the social security system, the worst tax system in world history, or the most bloated government mankind has ever seen.
Your job as an Illinois legislator is simple. Your main challenge is to say “no” a lot more often than you already do. “No” to taxeaters, “no” to a power and money hungry failed public education establishment, and “no” to those who don’t understand what’s wrong with socialized health care. The IEA and IFT are not quite the equivalent of Iran.
The good news (and we like to constantly remind our readers about the good news) – is that there are examples of leadership to follow.
Last week former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick died. Here is how one admirer eulogized her (emphasis is mine):
“To say Jeane was exceptional is an understatement. She was an exceptional diplomat, exceptional scholar, and above all, an exceptional human being. I came to know Jeane originally from her work at the United Nations, where she served in the 1980s and more recently in 2003 as American ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
The job of U.S.-U.N. ambassador is not a pleasant one, since everything one holds dear — and assumes erroneously that democratic allies do too — is up for grabs all the time. It was a testament to Jeane’s love for her country and strength of purpose that she agreed to go back to the U.N. and its Human Rights Commission at the age of 76, where she found herself under constant attack as the human-rights bad guy among fellow members which included a Libyan chair, Syria, and Sudan.
In this environment, Jeane exhibited her trademark qualities that made her great. She just said “No.” She would not be pushed into actions inimical to her deeply ingrained sense of decency and justice, no matter how unpopular it made her in the midst of a menacing crowd of bullies and thugs.
When everyone else was intimidated Jeane was not. She never forgot who and what she represented, and strongly believed there was no substitute for clarity of vision and goals. Ironically, this made her unpalatable to most in the human-rights movement, who have never understood either the threat to our way of life or the deeply humanistic character that drove whatever Jeane Kirkpatrick did. She will be sorely missed.”
We assume readers get the point we’re making about principle and courage.
In the big leagues we got to witness the service of a strong leader like Jeane Kirkpatrick. Here in the Illinois little leagues we can’t even find leadership strong enough to remove a person that even the Tribune editorial board agrees should be removed.
Click here to read “Iron Lady Remembering Jeane Kirkpatrick An NRO Symposium.”
©2006 John Francis Biver