The Richmond Register

Viewpoints

November 11, 2012

This is a day that should unite us

RICHMOND — The Founding Fathers didn’t plan it this way, but Veterans Day couldn’t come at a better time than  five days after a divisive and sometimes bitter national election.

The selection of the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November as the date for federal elections was placed in the Constitution which was ratified in 1789.

Then 130 years later, the nation began to commemorate the service and sacrifice of its veterans on Nov. 11, the anniversary of the World War I armistice. After War World II, what had been called Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day.

Veterans Day has turned into a weeklong celebration with flags, banners, school programs and solemn ceremonies. And, as Abraham Lincoln famously said, it is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

However, we can all honor our veterans every day by conducting ourselves as citizens in a manner that is worthy of their sacrifice. If America for them was worth fighting and dying for, is not America for us worth putting aside personal or partisan interest to seek the common good?

I have heard many people complain about recent election results, both national and local. But, without the victories our veterans won on the battlefield, there would be no election results to cheer or complain about.

Remember that the Founders created a diverse system of checks and balances that denies absolute power to the winners of elections. If government could act only with broad-based consensus, they reasoned, it would be less likely to act foolishly or unjustly.

 Would it not honor our veterans ? those who came home and those who did not ? to accept the will of the electorate and work together with mutual respect for the greater good?

James Madison, one of the Constitution’s principal architects and co-author of the Federalist Papers, would be smiling if he could see what the electorates, nationally and locally, have done with the system he helped design.

In Washington, the Democrats control the presidency and the Senate, but the Republicans control the House of Representatives.

In Frankfort, a Democrat sits in the governor’s chair and his party controls the House of Representatives. But the Republicans control the Senate.

In Richmond, there appears to be no longer an obvious majority on the city commission.

In all three cases, progress will be possible only if people of opposing viewpoints compromise and reach common ground.

During this, as well as past elections, partisans have exclaimed that a victory by their opponents would lead the nation or the community to ruin, or even usher in the end of civilization. For as long as I can remember, I have heard otherwise rational people take leave of their senses during election season and utter such rash statements.

I think we would do well to heed the advice that Richard Nixon offered in his first inaugural address.

“In these difficult years, America has suffered from a fever of words; from inflated rhetoric that promises more than it can deliver; from angry rhetoric that fans discontents into hatreds; from bombastic rhetoric that postures instead of persuading.

“We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another ? until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices.”

Some would argue, perhaps correctly, that Nixon made those statements cynically. But, I think their truth remains, regardless of his sincerity, especially what he said in his conclusion:

“Our destiny offers, not the cup of despair, but the chalice of opportunity. So let us seize it, not in fear, but in gladness - and, ‘riders on the earth together,’ let us go forward, firm in our faith, steadfast in our purpose, cautious of the dangers; but sustained by our confidence in the will of God and the promise of man.”

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Education a priority? Don’t believe it

    They did it – more or less.

    They got a budget, they got a road plan and they got out of town on time.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don McNay.jpg Did you miss small business health-care tax credit?

    A Kentucky professional who owns his own business found that he missed getting the health-care tax credit.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Compromise is not that simple

    It’s tempting for a casual onlooker to wonder why the Democratic House and Republican Senate can’t make what on the surface looks like the obvious compromise on pension reform.
    The Senate passed a measure based on recommendations of a task force to move new employees into a hybrid, cash-balance plan but maintain existing defined benefits for current employees and retirees.

    March 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG Frankfort plays ping-pong with public pension transparency

    Legislation that would make the Kentucky Retirement Systems transparent for those paying its bills has danced into the spotlight during the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
    Passage of transparency bills filed by Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, and Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, would make the “names, status, projected or actual benefit payments” subject to our commonwealth’s superlative Open Records Act.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jack Strauss-BW.jpg The case of the ghostly neighbor

    Wilbur lived in a world of fears. Everything frightened him. The full extent of his courage was to admit that he had none.
    Noises in the middle of the night, his own shadow creeping up on him and, most of all, black cats scared the wits out of him.
    So, picture his chagrin, one day, when he came home from vacation only to discover that a mausoleum had been erected on property adjacent to his home.

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Provisional concealed-carry law passes Senate unanimously

    Things are staying busy in Frankfort. Many bills are making their way onto the Senate floor from various committees. This past week several important pieces of legislation were debated and passed.
    I am particularly proud of the success we had in advocating for Kentuckians’ Second Amendment rights.
    I introduced Senate Bill 106 to allow anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order to receive a provisional CCDW permit from the Kentucky State Police in one business day. In some of these cases, victims need this type of protection as quickly as possible.

    March 8, 2014

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg 50 years makes a world of difference

    I wasn’t in Frankfort on March 5, 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Jackie Robinson led 10,000 on a march to the state Capitol in support of a public accommodations law.
    But a few months later, I stood in front of the “Music Hall,” site of the Glasgow Junior High School located on a street named Liberty, and watched black kids “walk up the hill” of College Street on the first day of integrated schools in Glasgow.

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 02.23 Mike Duncan mug.jpg Coal has kept Kentuckians warm this winter

    This winter, temperatures across the country dipped to historic lows. Here in our home state of Kentucky, the near-arctic climate caused increased power demand which resulted in an incredible strain on the electric grid and rising energy costs.

    March 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG Protecting citizens’ data is a no-brainer

    Target Corp. is learning the hard way: The price is steep for retailers who don’t protect customers’ sensitive financial information.
    Target’s profits fell a whopping 50 percent during its fourth quarter of 2013 as the result of a massive security breach involving as many as 110 million of its customers’ credit- and debit-card accounts, which began the day before Thanksgiving and extended throughout much of the holiday shopping season.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Making plans for spring planting

    My brother Keith (Keeter) probably planted peas on one of those warm days last week, and I would not be at all surprised to find out that brother Steve did likewise to try to be the first two fellows in Letcher County to actually be digging the soil in their 2014 gardens.
    Keeter’s father-in-law, the late Dock Mitchell, used to get my brother to drive him a 50-mile round trip to get pea seeds and potting soil for early February planting. Dock raised mammoth melting sugar snow peas and sugar snaps around every fence on the place. 

    February 27, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results