Saturday, April 02, 2005

Opposing Views

As a critical election nears in the Peoria area, I would like to share with you a copy of a Letter to the Editor, Wall Street Journal, 3/104. The writer quotes an article attributed to the renewed diplomat George Keenan in which Mr. Keenan made the following point:.. “it lies within the power as well as the duty of us to recognize not only the possibility that we might be wrong but the virtual certainty that on some occasions we are bound to be. The fact that this is so does not absolve us from the duty of having views and putting them forward. But it does make it incumbent upon us to recognize the element of doubt that still surrounds the correctness of these views. And if we do that, we will not be able to lose ourselves in the transports of moral indignation against those who are of the opposite opinion and follow a different line, we will put our views forward only with a prayer for forgiveness for the event we prove to be mistaken.”

This Keenan quote was made in 1968 but it still a perspective that is absent in many of our elected officials and community leaders today.

When opinions that differ from the community elite are expressed, these opinions are usually treated with moral indignation. The elite have no doubt in their righteousness even when they are proven wrong.

With this perspective in mind, I will state my endorsements of the following candidates: For Mayor, Jim Ardis, For City Council, Bob Manning, Barbara Van Auken and Patrick Nichting.

Incumbent Councilman Gulley appears confused on many of the issues of the city and his district.. Also a couple of years ago, I complained of the poor condition of some of the streets in his district, mentioning a ragweed that started as a seedling in the middle of a boulevard and by mid summer had grown into a small tree. I asked Mr. Gulley why City Public workers, who drove by it every day, didn’t stop and cut it down. Mr. Gulley said “why don’t you cut it down? A week or so later I did. I am observant that there was enough dissatisfaction with Mr. Gulley that he had four opponents in the primary. Also several of my friends who live in his district have a low regard of his efforts to serve their neighborhood. I know Mr. Banks and suspect he would do a better job than Mr. Gulley.

It is my experience that those who are viewed as the rather arrogant elite; do not respect any other opinion but their own and their supporters. I suggest they read some of the writing of Mr. Keenan.

There is nothing wrong with pursuing a vision for greatness. But the path to greatness must be refined with the brutal facts of reality. I believe that those I endorse understand these facts.


Anonymous said...

What about Billy Spears? Aren't you going to endorse him?

Merle Widmer said...


I guess I take Bill as a fixture. Totally overlooked him and also failed to give him credit for opposing the water company buyout.

I apologized to him on the later and will do so in my failure to endores him but he knew I did endorse him because I talked with him at an Ardis fundraiser.

Thanks for calling my oversight to my attention. Keep commenting.

I also enjoy reading columns by Bill Dennis and Roger Monroe in the Community Word.

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