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WHY THE NAME, AFORGOTTENMAN?

I chose the name after reading a book by Amity Schlaes entitled: “The Forgotten Man“, about the Great Depression and former President, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s, use of the phrase in debating Hoover for the White House. The phrase actually came from a Yale Professor as told in Ms. Schlaes own words:

In the late 19th century, there was a book, a collection of essays, called The Forgotten Man and a famous lecture called “The Forgotten Man.” The author was a Yale professor called William Graham Sumner, who had quite a different forgotten man in mind. He put it algebraically. Sumner said a wants to help x, with x being the man at the bottom. And b wants to help x too. That’s our philanthropic impulse, we want to help. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all have that impulse to provide charity. It becomes a problem when a and b get together and pass a perhaps-dubious law that coerces c into funding their maybe-good project for x. In Sumner’s original version, c is the forgotten man, the man who pays, the man who prays, the man who is not thought of.

That phrase meant a lot to people at the time, and when Roosevelt people debated Hoover people they were all familiar with William Graham Sumner. So [Roosevelt’s supporters] said, “You have the wrong forgotten man! The forgotten man is the man waiting for the recovery that you are not delivering or that you are preventing.”

I think Sumner’s concept of the forgotten man also has to do with today. When you talk about the upcoming presidential election, you see great powerhouses, the Democratic powerhouse (Hillary Clinton) and the Republican powerhouse (maybe McCain, maybe someone else). And the individual voter says, “Where do I fit into this? I feel like the forgotten man.” There’s something very un-fun about this election as it’s beginning to unfold. Given our challenges with the funding of entitlement programs, the forgotten man in the future will be the generation who will pay for what Roosevelt created during the Depression

As one of Professor Sumner’s many “c” people, I decided that I’ve had enough and it was time to make myself and my voice memorable once again. It was time to fight back against “a” and “b” and to remind them that I have a natural right to my own life, my own liberty, and my own pursuit of happiness. I am a free man and refuse to be a slave or a servant for another [“x”] by force. It’s time for “x” to either learn to fend for himself or to rely on voluntary assistance outside of those within the tableau of redistribution of wealth.

WHAT IS THIS BLOG ABOUT?

I have chosen to blog about the political goings on in Billerica with a local, national and/or international perspective . I have several reasons for wanting to do this. First and foremost, I think the town is in desperate need of strong leadership. We have been drifting aimlessly as a town for 15-20 years now.  While I can’t come anywhere near answering the important issues facing the town, I have been in a leadership role since the age of 18.  During my 20 years in the U.S. Navy, I spent time as a field medic serving with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade 1970 – 1973; as a surface and submarine Hospital Corpsman (HM – Rating), serving independent of a medical officer for months at a time during silent ops. This is a period where no matter what injury one may acquire during an operation, no help can be sought outside the submarine and no transfer at sea can be conducted – avoidance of detection is paramount and the lives of the crew rest solely in the hands of the Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC). I think I’m used to thinking and working as a leader under pressure.  In fact, I have a set of dolphins and a certificate that says I’m qualified in submarine duty.  So, while I may not have all the answers, I do have some insights that may be a bit different from the average political animal that could be helpful when considered.

Many good things have been accomplished during this period; a good deal of sewage has been installed and septic systems removed, a water treatment plant which keeps us off of the oppressive MWRA system and saves each home owner a good deal of money over time, and much more.

In my view, the town stopped its forward progress shortly after Mr. Robert A. Mercier resigned as Town Manager, Since then we have been wandering, aimlessly, like a tall ship without a sextant and compass. Instead of planned growth, it seems that the town has been grabbing at whatever brass rings it sees, which has contributed, greatly, to the town developing a schizophrenic look born of a helter skelter approach to governing and deciding key issues outside of the day to day realities of economics and evolving standards for community living.

This blog is intended as another voice to encourage people to become and remain involved in town politics, while keeping in mind the national and international backdrop currently in place. I hope to motivate people to transform bitching into action and action into meaningful results. This place for all opinions; so, feel free to disagree with me. However, let’s try to keep the debate civil and not personal.

 

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Thank you for your consideration and understanding: –Rick

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