Tuesday, September 08, 2009

This Day in Northern Michigan History

Sixty five years ago today, the American statesman known as the "Old Roman" died at his ranch near Fairview, Michigan.

"Truth to tell, Washington has become the universal mecca of human freaks."
Truth be told, things have not changed a lot since James Alexander Reed, a three term US Senator and two time Democratic candidate for the Presidency, spoke those famous words.

In many ways Reed was a visionary. He was adamantly critical of the KKK, anti-Semites, Hitler, prohibitioners, anti-trade legislators, socialists, corrupt politicians, and is largely recognized as being instrumental in Woodrow Wilson's inability to get the US to join the League of Nations. (Mom would tell you that he slipped up on that whole suffrage thing, though.)

Reed spoke his mind and was not afraid to get into a verbal brawl.
"No man can amount to anything in this world when he is afraid that somebody else will take his bread and butter away from him. Let him think for himself instead of taking temporary and uninformed opinion, let him have convictions of his own and follow them in spite of every man in the country if necessary."
Something tells me that this country could use a few more Old Romans these days in place of some of today's 'human freaks' that fully intend to perpetually call Washington home.

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