In life we meet a lot of people and sometimes you are really blessed because of that meeting. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of just such an encounter – I spent some time with an amazing man from our greatest generation, William Dubois. Now, many of you probably don’t know Bill but I will bet you that most of you have heard of his wife, Bjorg – otherwise known as the “cookie lady” at Neosho High School.
Bjorg called me and said that Bill had been writing down a lot of his thoughts on what’s going on in this country and wanted to share those with me. Apparently he reads my column on a regular basis and thought that I might find some of his writings interesting and could possibly use some of them in my columns.
With busy schedules as they are it took a little while for us to actually meet but it was worth all the effort it took to make that happen. Bill is a fascinating man and has a very deep understanding of the challenges facing our nation. He is also facing some pretty serious health challenges himself but like so many Americans from his era he puts those concerns secondary to what faces our future generations.
I’m not going to share specifics of his writings with you since they are his private thoughts but I will definitely be drawing from them as I continue to voice my concerns. Time is rapidly taking one after another of that generation from our midst and I wonder if future generations will remember just how much they sacrificed to ensure our freedoms and to help create the greatest nation on earth.
I am somewhat overwhelmed by emotion as I think about our country today and the many issues that threaten to tear it down from the pedestal of greatness. Is our generation up to the challenge of preserving the country that so many have sacrificed so much for or, will we allow mediocrity and malaise to replace greatness and excitement? History will be the judge and I only hope that it finds that we were indeed up to the challenge.
One way to honor those that have sacrificed so that we can make our own destiny is to participate in the election process. Wednesday night I was at church and remarked that I had to hurry home so that I could watch the presidential debate. Someone said that I needed to get a life to which I replied that they needed to get a life and get involved. This person had already made their mind up and I understand that because I have already made mine up as well. But, I still wanted to hear what both candidates had to say so that I can be informed as I talk to other people.
Page 2 of 2 - Of course the pundits and party faithful all put their spin on the debate and are now debating who won the debate. I, personally, think that the debate was an excellent showcase for both candidates and I think that both of them did a great job of laying out their thoughts and plans for the future.
Now, I don’t want to hear anyone nitpicking and talking about how the candidates weren’t specific enough in their plans. The point of a debate is not to lay out everything that you are going to do for the next four years. There just isn’t enough time to do that in a 90-minute debate that covers a variety of topics. No, what a debate does is allow the candidates to share with you their personal philosophies and then you decide if you can support them as they craft policies that implement those philosophies.
On that level, I think that everyone can agree that the candidates did a very good job of identifying the philosophical ideals that will guide them should they be elected (or re-elected) president of the United States. In the case of President Obama, we have a four-year record of what he thinks is important and with Gov. Romney we can look at what he did as governor of Massachusetts and use that as a basis for projecting what he would do as president.
We are in a critical time in the election cycle and more importantly in our nation’s history. I think that the differences between the candidates are as clear as I have ever seen in an election. I pray that the American people will not take a pass on this election but will wake up, get informed and make their voices heard on Nov. 6. To do anything less would be a slap in the face of our greatest generation and to future generations.
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.